How do i do that? Alterning the structure. I have been trying for years man. This is insanity.
It depends on the specific beliefs that you have incorporated into your identity.
For example: let's say that your father treated you horribly when you were very young. He yelled at you, hit you, told you you weren't good enough, etc. As a young child, you don't understand why he acts the way he does. You're afraid of him. So to try to find some way to deal with the way he treats you, you try to understand what triggers him. He's always telling you what a rotten kid you are, and how disappointing, etc., so you come up with a hypothesis that the reason why your father yells at you and hits you is because you are a bad person
. (Or maybe you're unlovable, or stupid, or ugly, or some other reason -- whatever it is that he seems to think about you that makes him angry.)
You now proceed to test this hypothesis: "Am I a bad person?" You watch for any kind of evidence that you are a bad person. Every time you do something 'bad' (ie. something that makes your father angry) you have 'proof' that you are a bad person. Even thinking about doing those things becomes 'proof' that you're a bad person. And when you see how often he gets angry, and how often you have 'bad' thoughts, you realize, in a shocking way, that you ARE a bad person!
This insight -- that you are a bad person -- is a kind of psychological trauma. It creates a fracture in the way that you think about yourself, sort of like breaking a bone. And if no one corrects this idea (eg. your mother explains to you that you aren't
a bad person, but that your father gets angry because he's an alcoholic or whatever) then it never heals properly. This idea: "I am a bad person" is now part of the way that you think about yourself.
This idea, since it is negative, is painful. Every time you think: "I am a bad person", it hurts. It destroys your ability to build self-esteem because you can't feel good about yourself if you ARE a bad person. Once that concept becomes integral to the way that you think, your mind will always be sensitive to anything that reminds you of it. If someone gets angry at you, or someone makes fun of you, or someone rejects you, you're reminded that the reason is because you are a bad person. And it's very painful for you.
Because people get angry at other people all the time, and people get teased all the time, and people get rejected all the time, your social life becomes a series of painful experiences. You're always expecting to receive one of these shocks, and because you want to avoid them if at all possible, you become more and more watchful of other people's behavior, trying to predict in advance when someone is going to do something that will give you one of these shocks. So soon even ambiguous behavior, like indifference, or impatience, etc., becomes 'proof' that you are a bad person. Even minor slights become painful to you, because you're trying to predict and avoid more serious attacks.
Eventually, so much of your socializing becomes painful that you start to avoid it altogether. Avoiding people is the only way you can avoid pain. But now you have a new problem, because if you avoid people, you can't do all the things you would need to do to prove that you're not a bad person. You can't get your diploma or a job or a gf, etc., because you spend all your time hiding in your bedroom. And the further you fall behind other people, the less evidence you have that you aren't a bad person (a failure, useless, incompetent, etc.) the more convinced you are that you're completely broken and incapable of getting better. Your pain is constant because it's not just other people that make you feel bad; it's the fact that you're in your room instead of out socializing, that you don't have any money, etc., etc. There's no longer any way to escape being in pain.
All of this is a result of a belief that you formed as a child to explain why your father treated you the way he treated you. Children don't have enough experience and information to be able to draw good conclusions from their own experiences, so they draw bad conclusions like this one. They don't know that a person can't really BE bad or unlovable, etc. But once they come to that conclusion, they spend the rest of their life proving it to themselves by interpreting all of their own experiences in light of this 'fact' about their character. So if they look back on it now, they have a mountain of evidence collected to support it. "Well, maybe it wasn't true that I was bad when I was five years old, but it's true NOW because look at me: I'm useless, I haven't done anything with my life, I don't have a job or a gf, people avoid talking to me and call me names, etc. So it might as well be true.
But the fact that you are the way you are now is BECAUSE you had that belief about yourself. You were never bad or stupid or unlovable, etc. But the belief that you were has led you to act in ways that give you more and more evidence that it's true. As long as you continue to believe it, you will continue to act in ways that reinforce it. The only way to fix it is by realizing that it isn't true and never has been true, despite all the evidence that you have that it is true. You have to see that that evidence is a product
of the belief, not proof of the belief. You are a "proof that I'm a bad person" generator. You create that proof constantly by the way you interpret your experiences and by the way that you act. If you had believed that you were a lovable person, you would have spent your whole life finding evidence of that instead, and you would have acted in ways that prove that it's true in exactly the same way.
So you not only have to reject the idea: "I am a bad/unlovable/stupid/ugly/whatever person"; you have to consciously choose a different way of thinking about yourself and you have to consciously start looking for evidence to prove that it's true. And at first, it's going to be extremely hard to find that evidence because you don't know how to generate it yet. You'll continue to see evidence of your old belief all around you; you'll continue to act in ways that conform to your old belief because it's become a habit and you're used to acting that way.
You have to consciously act as though your new belief were true, even though everything is telling you it isn't. You have to act in ways that feel like self-deception, because the 'self' that you've spent your whole life building is built around the idea that you're a bad person. But you created that self by believing that you were bad, gathering evidence that you were bad, and acting in ways that produced more evidence that you're bad. So the only way to fix it is to consciously begin acting in different ways and looking for any evidence you can that your new self-concept is true. You have to train your brain to become sensitive to slight positive signs instead of slight negative signs. You have to start looking for the things you do right instead of the things you do wrong. You have to say: "Sure, I screwed up nine times in a row, but on the tenth time I got it right, which means I'm not all
bad and I can get better." And then you have to keep trying until you get it right two times out of ten, and then three times out of ten, etc., gradually building up the proof you need to contradict all the old proof you've already gathered.
This is why there are no immediate fixes and why changing yourself is hard work. Because you have to consciously force yourself to hold ideas about yourself that feel self-deceptive, and you have to act contrary to your instincts, and you have to train your brain to look for new evidence that is hard to find or rare to happen, etc. And you have to keep doing this for long enough that you have enough evidence to efface the old self-concept. You have to have faith that the process will work.
If you feel stupid, and have a mountain of evidence that you are stupid, you have to say: "I'm not stupid, I'm smart" and then start looking for evidence that you are. It won't change all the stupid things you've done in the past, or immediately transform what you're currently capable of; it's not being willfully self-deceptive. It's making a conscious decision to start collecting evidence of your intelligence instead of collecting evidence of your stupidity. It's making a conscious decision to start doing what smart people do so that you can create more evidence. Smart people read books. They take courses. They challenge themselves intellectually. They try to figure things out. So you start doing all these things. You ignore all the evidence that you're stupid because it's not what you're looking for anymore; instead, you pay attention to all the evidence that you're smart. And the more evidence that you collect, the more convinced you will become of your own intelligence, and the more willing you will be to think about problems and solve them yourself, and over time you will actually
become a smarter person. Because you will be trying new things and learning from your mistakes, which is how everyone learns. And since you have no real knowledge of your own capabilities, you have no reason to limit how smart you might actually become.
You can use the same process for every other part of your life. You can become a good person, or a strong person, or a lovable person by following the same procedure. But it will require time and effort, and you will often feel as though you're deluding yourself. Because it's very hard to reverse processes that have been going on automatically and unconsciously your entire life.