Change Your Experiences by Changing The Way You Think

What’s different about those two scenarios? In the first one you created what you anticipated would happen by your behavior and attitude. In the second one you didn’t create a negative self-fulfilling prophecy, rather you created a positive experience and you’re happy that you didn’t waste time on negativity.

            This description of an experience is just an example. You can apply the same principles to any situation you’re in. Notice yourself and whether or not you’re experiencing cognitive distortions like “He/she is never any fun so I won’t have fun tonight.” You won’t have fun because you don’t expect to and your energy, attitude, and behavior will reflect that and you’ll create what you already thought would happen before it even happened.

2.  What you believe about something is what will cause the consequence not the action.

            This is part of Albert Ellis’ theory of rational emotive therapy. He called it the A B Cs of Rational Emotive Therapy.

            He believed that it wasn’t the action (having to change your shirt before you went out) that caused the consequence. He said it’s what you believe about the action that will cause the consequence. In other words, if you believe ( that she wants you to change your shirt because she loves you and wants to show you off and is a bit tired from a long day so she isn’t saying it in the nicest possible way so you change your shirt keeping a positive outlook and looking forward to having fun with her (A) then it’s likely that you will have a good time with her because you created a positive experience (C) and didn’t let negative thinking influence you.

            Or you can think that she’s a witch and can’t believe you’re stuck with her ( so you change your shirt but you’ve already begun experiencing the bad time you knew you were going to have so you frown and stop talking (A) and then you have a terrible time with her and come home wishing you hadn’t gone out at all (C).

            Old Albert was a pretty smart guy because he figured out something that will work in most situations, not all, remember the brick, but most, and if you practice you’ll think he was pretty smart too because your life will be happier and you won’t  create negative self-fulfilling prophecies.

            It’s your life. How do you want to live it?