The Five R's - A Negative Thought Stopping Procedure
Dr. Jacques Dallaire
Rule #2 of the 'Seven Rules of the Mental Road' states: "You
can't NOT think about what's on your mind". In fact, the harder
you try to 'not think about' something that is negative, the
more powerful and entrenched in your mind that negative thought
becomes, and the greater the negative influence it has on
your performance. The only way to stop negative thoughts is
to shift your thinking to thoughts - and images - that are
both positive and productive with regard to your personal
performance. Since the human mind can only process one thought
at a time (Rule #1), you must actively choose to direct your
mind toward (i.e. focus on) a Dominant Thought that is positive,
productive, and directly related to how you want to perform.
By doing so, you will deny the mind the processor "capacity"
required to dwell on the negative.
The FIVE R's are key words that summarize a Negative Thought
Stopping procedure that can help you achieve this goal. Each
word sets up the thought process for the next step in this
sequential procedure. Implementing this thought process on
a consistent basis, with intensity, is critical to successfully
learning to stop negative or counter-productive thoughts.
RECOGNIZE - Recognizing that you are having a negative thought
is a critical first step in learning to control negative thoughts.
Consciously increasing your awareness and vigilance with regard
to negative thinking will aid in the recognition and control
of counter-productive and self-destructive thinking. You must
be "on guard" to recognize the first signs of negative thinking
in order to crush that thought before it has a chance to fully
form and strongly take hold of your conscious mind.
REFUSE - You must refuse to allow the negative thought to
continue and gain strength by some positive and defined action
(e.g. visualize a STOP sign in your mind's eye; snap a rubber
band across your wrist every time you have a negative thought;
etc.). You must do something to disrupt the negative image
and/or thought in order to prevent it from growing stronger.
By doing this, you begin the process of shifting your mind
away from the negative thought.
RELAX - Use any of a number of techniques that can help you
to relax: take a deep, controlled breath; use a verbal trigger
to shift your thoughts and feelings to a relaxing image; etc.
When you are relaxed, the effect of mental programming is
more powerful and you are ensuring that the next step in this
5-step procedure will have an increased potential to be effective.
REFRAME - The 4th step in the Negative Thought Stopping procedure
serves to complete a mental shift toward images and thoughts
that are consistent with your best performance. Replace the
negative thought with a positive image or thought. "I AM in
control of my thoughts and actions, I can choose to respond
and think the way I want to." "I've been here before and done
this before, so I know I can do it again." "This is part of
the process that I have chosen." Use imagery to 'see' and
'feel' the performance you want to achieve and how you want
to BE as you achieve it. Become you're personal A.C.T.©
RESUME - Continue your activities with a sense of confidence
and control. You will always enjoy strong sense of confidence
if you tie this mindset to a personal commitment to always
give nothing but your best effort, regardless of the situation
or outcome. The degree of effort you apply to the challenges
that you face on an ongoing basis is totally, 100% within
your control… it is one of the few things that is, in fact,
fully within your control. Think about what you are like when
you perform with excellence and what you want to achieve,
and develop your confidence by always applying your best effort
to achieve it. A.C.T.© like a Champion in word, thought,
and deed. The next time you feel negative thoughts grabbing
hold, use these Five R's to effectively change your thought
patterns and bring about powerful results in your life. Make
this simple program your new habit!
Copyright © 2006 Dallaire Consulting LLC
Jacques Dallaire, Ph.D is the principal consultant
Performance Consulting. Dr. Dallaire has extensive experience
gained over the past 32 years working with more than 1000
high-performance athletes and business professionals. More
information about their revolutionary business
and group performance seminars, mental skills products,
and free access to Dr. Dallaire's Performance Files are available
from their website.
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