Overcoming thinking mistakes by courageously changing

BDS Week 5/9: Responding to Sabotaging Thoughts: Learning the Techniques

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot affect change.—George Bernard Shaw

Sometimes, because of emotions, chemicals, fatigue, previous baggage or whatever – we don’t think logically. We make thinking mistakes (Beck Diet Solution, Days 25 -27).  Typically, these are black and white, an all or nothing mentality, i.e. “If I can’t stick to the diet I might as well give it up.” Self-deluded, unrealistic, negative, emotionally-laden thoughts that we twist to our advantage, “I should eat this because my mother told me there are starving people in China.” Or over exaggerating your abilities, “I’ll just eat less tomorrow.”   Some of these errors can lead to sabotaging thoughts that we use to justify over eating, not exercising, or not caring anymore, over and over again, to become more comfortable with excuses for disabling behavior. One of the keys to overcoming these often emotionally laden “Hot” thoughts is to take the time to “learn the techniques” of how to calmly (which is the hardest part for me), honestly and rationally refuting your sabotaging thoughts and considering the possible negative effects; then think about other behaviors that you could do, and purposely make a choice.

As outlined below, Week 4 of the Beck Diet Solution is a step-by-step process of learning the technique – of courageously changing. Next week, weʻll continue to practice these techniques, with a few tweaks to challenge you and stimulate your growth, so that by Week 6, if you chose to, you will stay in control even in difficult situations.

Derrickson’s 8 Steps to overcoming sabotaging thoughts builds on the “Seven Question Technique” outlined by Judith Beck in Day 27 of the Beck Diet Solution.

Week 4. Responding to Sabotaging Thoughts (Courageously Changing)

As illustrated in the picture: Derrickson 8 steps to overcoming sabotaging thoughts.  I’ve “blended” Beck’s 7 Step Question Technique with common cognitive therapy “disputing thoughts” techniques, with my own Wellness Compass Journey, to both facilitate “retraining your brain” to learn what you “Should do” and adding the final step of using all that you’ve learned to purposely take action.  To be effective you must learn the technique so well that you don’t just have awareness of it, but that your awareness prompts a calming rational thought process that overpowers the negative, empowers you to “do what you should,” and promptly take control and action. It gets easier with practice and time, as you become more competent and confident that you have control over negative thoughts.

I encourage you to try my  “Derrickson 8 steps to overcoming sabotaging thoughts” for 3 of your worst thinking errors this week, and again next week with 3 more . Please let either me or your diet buddy know how it works for you!

For more activities about becoming more open-minded, creative and personal growth see Activity 15.1 Foundations-of-change and Activity 15.2 Professional Development SWOT of the Wellness Compass Travel Guide.

Note: This is the 5th post in a series of 9 posts  providing online support in using the 6-week Beck Diet Solution (BDS) to lose weight and keep it off.   See the Initial blog for more background.


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