-Activating event (the incident that I wish hadn’t happened)
Example-I took a wrong turn traveling to a meeting and was late.
-Belief about the event (what I tell myself about it)
Example-I'm an idiot who NEVER gets it right! Only losers make stupid mistakes.
-Consequence of that belief (feeling that results from my belief)
Example-I feel ashamed, stupid, depressed, sad, etc.
-It is the thought or belief about the event that causes my upset, not the event itself.
-Circumstances don’t cause my upset, what I tell myself or believe about them is what upsets me.
-I can alter my thoughts; therefore, I can change my feelings.
Turning it around- Based on the same thought thread above, see how changing your self talk can shift your feelings.
-Activating event- I made a mistake.
-Belief about the event-I’d prefer not to make mistakes, but everyone does so I'll cut myself some slack.
-Consequence-I feel disappointed but my self-esteem is intact.
If you'd like to practice, you can use the questions below as a guide to keep you on track-
- What actually happened that I wish had not?
- What did I tell myself about what happened?
- How did that make me feel?
- What else can I tell myself about what happened that will be less upsetting? What is a ‘rational response” to the negative self-talk?