Inspiration–Learn about the Five-Ball Game of Life

Today I was thinking about a difficult issue for many modern day families. Don’t Take for Granted the Most Important People in Your Life. Is your unwavering focus on work causing you to unintentionally neglect your family’s emotional needs? If so, you might derive inspiration from the poignant words of Brian G. Dyson, a former CEO of Coca-Cola:

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them-work, family, health, friends, and spirit-and you are keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls-family, health, friends, and spirit-are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”

Want more? See my post today on the Growth Mindset Experts blog–

Want to be less Pessimistic or Negative? Try the Self-Coaching Method of Thought Disputation

Pessimism could be at the heart of you feeling “stuck” or unhappy with your life.

Negative thoughts drain you of energy and keep you from enjoying life. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become and the more they become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Like the  story of a someone making a snow ball and climbing to tall hill and letting the ball and gravity take its natural course. The small snow ball rolling down hill, starts to roll and becomes bigger and faster the farther it goes down, until it crashes into something at the bottom.

That’s what one small negative thought can turn into: a huge, speeding ball of  pessimism. On the contrary, a small positive thought can have the same effect of producing a positive climate for discussions and problem solving. If you any proof of this ,just reflect on some of the recent staff meetings you have had.  I’d like to share with you a cognitive  development technique  that can you turn around this pattern of pessimistic thinking.

Using Thought Disputation (ABCDE Method)to overcome negative thinking.

Coping via thought disputation is a specific technique derived from cognitive therapy for negativity and pessimistic thinking that can lead to frustration and feeling in a rut. The method urges us to challenge our own pessimistic thoughts. The technique can be done in a variety of ways. It can be done informally in a discussion with someone else, written down, or simply done in your head. The guidelines developed by Dr.Albert Ellis are condense below and offer a framework for approaching your problem with negative and irrational thinking.

1)  A–Write down nature of the adversity or problem that you are facing.

2) B--Identify any negative beliefs triggered by this problem.

3) C--Record the consequences of the problem, how is it impacting your relationships and your ability to find positive energy to function in a more effective and effect ways in  living.

4) D-Dispute the negative belief, challenging it, thinking of other possible reasons for the problem and ways to overcome its impact on your quality of life..

5) E--Consider the more optimistic explanations of your problem to Energize you and lift your spirits, so that you become less anxious and more hopeful.

To be sure, the hardest part is disputation and to challenge your own negative thoughts. The act of disputing is taking the role of “devils advocate” and looking for evidence to disprove your own negative thinking. Disputing negative thoughts and being gentle on yourself leads to new patterns of thinking and increases your self-compassion.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Here are some additional tips for getting started:

-What specific evidence do I have for this negative belief?

-Even if my belief is true, what are the implications? Put another way, what is the worst possible thing that could happen?

-What alternative explanations are there for your recent behavior?

-What is the best possible thing that could happen and how can I make that happen ?

-On a 1-10 scale how committed are you to change your situation?

-What do I honestly think is the most likely outcome?

-In what ways is this negative belief pattern or playing victim useful to you?

-What payoffs do I get from continuing to support these negative thoughts ?

-What do I plan to do to address the Problem?

Quote and Reflection: “Don’t believe everything you think.”

Quote:   “Don’t believe everything you think…  The more you can surround your negative thinking with compassion, the easier it will be to dissolve it and move on.” Meg Selig

Reflection:  Recently, I was doing research on the positive and negative effects of self-talk.  Of course, I reviewed Albert Ellis’s theory of ABC and Tim Gallwey’s  Inner Game concepts and framework.  Again I found the review stimulating but still remained confused on how to apply these techniques to everyday situations. To be spontaneous and authentic you can’t go around in life and stop to ponder how to react so as not to offend someone.  Then while reviewing Psychology Today blog I discovered Meg Selig.

(See http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/changepower/201202/manage-emotional-pains-rains)

In essence,  she provides a framework called R.A.I.N.–Basically,  the RAIN technique states that when you are in a situation where negative thinking habits are making you suffer and overwhelm your ability to think clearly consider this tool way to soften and re-channel  harmful thoughts and negative patterns.  Buddhist teachers and therapists such as Tara Brach often teach the RAIN technique to bring mindful awareness to emotional distress and provide a relaxing approach for controlling emotional pain. Supposedly, The RAIN technique can help you be your own best friend instead of your own worst critic. Here are the basic steps you can take to RAIN on your parade of negative thoughts, soothe yourself, and move on.

Activity Challenge : This week develop a routine for relaxing and keeping your negative thoughts from making it a good week.  

Daily reflection and exercise to improve Meaningful Constructive Living? Eliminate One Irrational Idea

Daily Reflection and exercise: On Clear and Rational Thinking.

Exercise: Identify which Irrational Ideas are true for you. Keep track this week how many times a particular IRRATIONAL IDEA is operating and interfering with you living a meaningful constructive life. Develop a plan for changing your thinking by identifying how you can think differently. Ask the questions: What can I do differently to create better results in my life?

By paying attention to your impact on others and listening to feedback from significant others you can eliminate irrational thinking and doing in your life. Significant others can provide straight talk about how your actions impact them. And others. Then you can decide what you need to change to be a more effective and congruent person. The congruent person has more comfort in life because their “inner thoughts” and feelings match what you show or do with and to others.

Meaningful Constructive Living Principle: Seeing With New Eyes

“The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”  Marcel Proust

Irrational Ideas that Block Your Growth and Development

  1. Need to be loved or approved by everyone–Give credit away and recognition will come
  2. Differences make people bad, evil or stupid–Not stupid just different. Differences wwiden your perspective and help update your mental maps.
  3. Life is awful when things are not like we want them to be. Not awful just inconvenient.
  4. It’s easier to avoid difficulties and self-responsibilities. Face difficulties or they get worst
  5. Happiness is caused externally–Happiness is determined internally by living our values
  6. The past is the all important determiner of the present and future. No, it is just on factor.
  7. One can’t admit mistakes or ask for help–Asking shows your strength for growing. Create a no Bullshit Support Team. Keep focus on goals and honestly accept responsibility for mistakes and move on.
  8. One needs someone stronger to rely upon–Better to be interdependent. I depend on you and much as you depend on me. We don’t accomplishes anything important by ourself.
  9. One needs to control and protect others. Focus on others needs and respect their abilities to accomplish things. Be supportive by listening not controlling.
  10. Need to be competent in all aspects of life —Can’t be perfect. Do the best you can.

Adapted from Albert Ellis—Rational Emotive Therapy

Exercise: Identify which Irrational Ideas are true for you. Keep track this week how many times a particular IRRATIONAL IDEA  is operating in your life. Develop a plan for changing your thinking by identifying how you can think differently. By paying attention of your impact and listening to feedback from significant others. They can provide straight talk about how your actions impact others. Then you can decide what you need to change to be a more effective and congruent person. The congruent person has more comfort in life because their “inner thoughts” and feelings match what you show or do with and to others.

How to Stop Irrational Ideas and Attitude: Develop Bullshit Support Team

 “It all starts in your head…(Success) begins by trying to make each day count…If you sincerely try to make each day a masterpiece, angles can do no better.”  John Wooden, Hall of Fame Basketball Coach, UCLA 

 Irrational Ideas that Block Your Growth and Development  

  1. Need to be loved or approved by everyone–Give credit away and recognition will come  
  2. Differences make people bad, evil or stupid–Not stupid just different. Differences wwiden your perspective and help update your mental maps.
  3. Life is awful when things are not like we want them to be. Not awful just inconvenient. Continue reading “How to Stop Irrational Ideas and Attitude: Develop Bullshit Support Team”