As promised, here are the steps to identify negative thinking. We’re going to play a little game. Ready? Pretend that the negative voice in your head actually isn’t you, but instead, it’s an awful, bitchy woman who reside within your brain. By identifying this woman we will be able to take the first step towards quieting her voice and taking back our control. Try this exercise after you’ve spent one week documenting your negative, self-sabotaging thoughts.
When you’re ready, get out a pen and paper and start answering the questions below:
- What is the woman’s name who lives inside your brain? Here are some ideas: Polly the Perfectionist, Anxious Annie, Never Good Enough Nellie, Critical Chris…and so on, you get the point.
- Describe her physical characteristics, including her voice, stance, attire, height, and body posture.
- What are her favorite sayings or stories?
- What are her habits?
- What do you do that gets her anxious and on alert?
- How does she like to spend her time when you are not available to her? For example, when you’re sleeping, or just havin’ a damn good time!
- What are her skills and abilities?
- What are her values?
- What is her secret fear?
- How does she hijack your values?
When you’re finished answering these questions, get out a blank piece of paper and some colored pencils, markers or crayons, and draw a picture of this woman. Use this picture to remind you that she is not you, and that you are able to choose to be in control of her.