Four steps to exterminating your ANTS

The last part of this discussion ended by pointing out that the two most common ways of ridding ourselves of ANTS (automatic negative thoughts)  through shear  will power will just make them more powerful and likewise denial will also cause them to take over our lives. However, there is hope and there is a way…

dead_ant Four steps to exterminating your ANTS

A while back I learned about  my ANTS by using a very simple tool developed by Byron Katie. She had been struggling with almost a decade long bout of depression when she had one of those “ah ha” moments that seem to come out of nowhere to slap us upside the head. She realized that she was letting here negative thoughts run her life and when she started really examining the thoughts that drove her to stay stuck she was surprised  to see them disappear. Katie came up with a simple process called “The Work” that has worked with hundreds of thousands of people, helping them refocus their energy and move on to achieve their goals.

In a nutshell the process consists of:

Identifying the negative intention AND committing it to paper so it doesn’t linger in your mind.

  1. Ask if the negative thought is “true” or “False” you can ONLY answer “Yes” or “No”
  2. If you answer yes or you are not clear then ask “Can I know with absolute certainty if this is true?” Again only yes or no.
  3. Now ask: “how do I react when I think that thought” write down what you feel it can be one feeling or a collection. Don’t think about just write down your feelings and reactions.
  4. Who would you be if you didn’t believe that thought? Write down who you would be or what would be different if you didn’t have that thought. The key here is to really imagine what life would be like without that ANT.

The final part of the toolset is called “The Turnaround”. Turn the belief around to its opposite. There maybe several iterations of the turnaround. It is very important to understand that these are NOT affirmations, they are alternate realities different ways of  looking at the belief. To validate the turnaround do the following:

  • Ask if the turnarounds are as true or truer than the original belief
  • Write down some examples of how the turnaround is true
  • Write down descriptions of actions that would support the turnaround.

For more information on this process visit www.thework.com. We will also be going into further detail about using this process as part of your preparation for 2009.

Next we will apply this process to common mindset issues that hold artists back.

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 Four steps to exterminating your ANTS
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