Fear of Stealing SomethingFeb 12, 2021
Fear of Stealing Something
In this episode, I am going to discuss the fear of impulsively stealing. This fear is one common manifestation of fears related to the idea that one may impulsively snap and do something amoral or against their true nature.
So, in this episode, I am going to talk about how this fear develops. I will also be sharing some case studies and strategies on how to overcome this. If you struggle with the fear of impulsively stealing, I hope this episode will help you on your path to recovery.
All right. Hello, and welcome to this episode where we're going to talk about the fear of stealing things, right? And so, um, this is, uh, you know, a pretty common fear that that will pop up for people, um, in treatment when it comes to stress and anxiety and OCD, or really psychological stress. And it's this idea of like, okay, well, what if I stole something? What if I indirectly did something that I believe to be wrong? Right. And, and I mean, this really the idea of stealing something bronze out into this category of what if I did something that I didn't want to do right. Or something bad. Right. And because what we need to understand here is this, the fear of stealing something, the reality is people that are thieves and that steal stuff for, you know, like that's what they do with their day-to-day life.
What they don't do is they don't worry about if they stole something or not. Right. You know, because they are very intentional about what they do and why they do it. So people that act in a dishonest fashion, um, it doesn't cause them right. You know, they don't, they don't ponder it and think about it. Right. Um, because they know what they're doing, what with OCD, anxiety, and stress, right. We'll have these doubts of what if I did something. Right. And so this fear of like, what if I stole something? Or what if in the future I do something and I don't realize it. And usually that is like one of the key things there is like, what if I didn't realize that I did it. So let's say I borrowed a, a pen from a friend and I was writing and I put it in my pocket.
And then all of a sudden, you know, like I just keep it and I never realized it well with OCD and anxiety, there's a lot of black and white thinking. Right. And that's one of the cognitive distortions that I want to talk about. Right. That black and white thinking. Right. It's like, you can never steal something. Stealing is terrible. And, um, you know, and then, and then, so they they'll go to the extreme of like, yeah, I have this guy's pen and I stole. So that means that I'm a terrible person. And, and really that's what I want to jump to here is this idea of like, with this fear, it's usually bigger than the idea of stealing, right. It's the idea of a fear of committing some kind of more like breaking a moral code, right. Doing something wrong and not always, but oftentimes in the eyes of God.
Right. Or, um, you know, or the law, you know, something above you. Right. And then ultimately the outcome of that is what a lot of people are afraid of. So if I stole something, then what's going to happen. Well, I might get arrested. You know, I might go to hell in, in that usually is where the fear goes to. So first, first and foremost, like if this is something you're struggling with, I'd encourage you to get clear on like, what is the actual thing you're afraid of, right. Because if you, if you may have stole something, it's like, okay, well, that's just an act, right? Like what's going to happen is the fallout of that, because that's what we want to really target. When we talk about exposure and response prevention, we don't just want to target this idea. Right? Like in a lot of times with, with, you know, these kinds of fears, right.
It's really entertaining the uncertainty. Like, well, maybe I will steal something one day and not know. Right. I mean, these, cause these things, there's no way you could ever be certain about that. And that is what actually creates the anxiety loop, right. Is our need to be certain that an event will never happen. And when we try to pursue certainty about something that we can't be certain about, that's when we get caught in the loop and what happens is, is we, we assume it to be a stealing problem. But the reality is, is that we're reacting to it as it's a much bigger problem than the stealing problem. Right. You know, we're, we're reacting to it as it's like a life and death situation. It's a jail or no jail situation. It's a heaven or hell situation. And in some cases, right. And because we're reacting to it like that, we have to keep ourselves safe.
So we do these behaviors, which then gives us that temporary relief, then the thought pops back up. And so then we start doing more and more things like avoiding touching other people's stuff, because I might steal it or avoiding going to jewelry stores. Cause I might have a thought about stealing something. Right. And even the idea that the thought might pop up, it's just like, Oh, evidence like, Oh, see, you know, I'm this bad person. And um, so when I've worked with people that have had this particular, um, obsession or fear, right. Um, you know, one of the things is, is to always get clear on what you're really afraid of. And generally again, generally applies to most it doesn't apply to all right. But generally speaking, the fear usually comes back to this idea of what, if I'm a bad person, right. And I, and being a bad person versus a good person and, um, and attempting to be certain that you're a good person and that is what causes that loop to really, really build and spiral sometimes.
So when it comes to working with, um, you know, people that, that deal with this, a lot of it, you know, is what we do cognitively. Right. And again, you know, so making sure you're using the right cognitive strategies, um, when the thoughts pop up as well as the behavioral strategies. So if you avoid, let's say, go into a jewelry store, for instance, well, that's exactly what we can't avoid doing because it's reinforcing it. Right. And so, um, so those are just little kind of like, um, tidbits. And in this episode, I just really wanted to kind of introduce the idea of what this is and really kind of, um, create an episode to kind of explain what this fear is and then some things to look for. Right. So understanding what you're really afraid of underneath that. And then also what are the behaviors you're doing that are reinforcing it, right.
And that's what is so, so important, right. Of really making sure that we're not doing those behaviors because that's how we want to break that loop. So, um, you know, if, uh, this is something that you struggle with, again, we have more resources [email protected] I have some links down in the notes where you can get some free downloads, free audios, as well as we have our, um, you know, taking back control training as well as, uh, coaching programs, groups, uh, you know, support forums, all of the, all of the above. So, um, anyways, if that's something that you, you deal with, please go and check those resources out. They're there for you. Um, because you know, we want to make sure that you get the support and the help that you need. And if you found this helpful also, please we'd really appreciate your support by liking and subscribing as well as sharing, um, in commenting so that, you know, we know if, if, let us know if there's something else that you'd like us to, uh, to create an episode on as well as any feedback that you want to give us. And, um, yeah, we appreciate it. Also. Thank you so much for taking the time to hang out today. And I hope you guys have a great day. See you soon.