T.B.F.A.-Thoughts – Beliefs – Feelings - Actions
NEGATIVE Thoughts, Beliefs, Feelings and Actions that take us down the wrong path if we let them.
You might be thinking to yourself – “what the heck is a DNA Demon”? Awhile back, I conducted a coaching session with a bright and very talented sales professional. During our conversation, we discussed thought patterns as it related to her job. She mentioned things like: “I’m not sure I can do this; I’m not sure this job is right for me; I question myself and wonder if I’m doing the right things.” Out of the blue, I came up with this concept – “DNA Demons” and spoke about negative thought patterns that are part of our DNA, whether we like it or not. What are your DNA Demons and how do you overcome them? With that in mind, we will explore three things:
- DNA Demons Defined
- Common DNA Demons
- Four-step model to overcome DNA Demons
DNA Demons Defined
DNA Defined: is hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA. If you take DNA and connect it to individual characteristics and behaviors, DNA could also be viewed as pre-dispositioned physical, emotional, and mental characteristics that stay with us for life.
DNA Demons: When it comes to individual characteristics and behaviors, it’s no secret that the environment, upbringing, culture, language, family norms, spiritual connection, education, career, family and friend relationships, all contribute to the DNA of our personality, style, thoughts and belief patterns. I think of my own life and I have one particularly DNA Demon that I’ve worked very hard to overcome. I’m the only girl out of 5 children. I am the second oldest in our family. For some reason, my oldest brother has been able to “trip my trigger” as it relates to making me mad and frustrated when he says things that I don’t like or agree with. The first reaction is one of anger and frustration. Over time, I’ve been able to manage this negative thought chain reaction with success. The thought pattern represented by: “he doesn’t love me”; “he’s mean and insensitive”; and “he’s a jerk” has been replaced with – ‘I know he doesn’t mean that”; “he must be stressed out”; “he’s being defensive and I don’t know why.” Mind you, this is not easy and to this day, my first reaction tends to land on the negative side. However, I am able to switch my DNA Thought Demons to the positive side which I call DNA Delights.
Common DNA Demons (Thoughts)
- “I’m not good enough.”
- “I haven’t done this before.”
- “This is outside of my comfort zone.”
- “What if I fail?”
- “I can’t do this.”
- “He/she doesn’t trust or respect me.”
- “I don’t have a problem.”
- “You can’t tell me what to do.”
- “I’m afraid to ….”
- “What if they don’t like me or what I do?”
- “I’m not good at this or that.”
- “What if this happens?”
When looking at these DNA Thought Demons what’s the common denominator? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that they represent negativity. Negativity can be controlled if you are aware of the pattern to begin with and choose to change the narrative in your head.
Your turn: Spend a few minutes, close your eyes, and think about negative thought patterns that you’ve experienced in the past. For each one, identify a situation and/or example that comes with that thought. What was the trigger? Why did you react that way? How did that make you feel?
Four-Step Model to Overcome DNA Demons
Step One – Capture Your Thoughts
Notice the thoughts that come to mind as it relates to a specific situation or circumstance. Then decide if these thoughts are helping or hurting you. In other words, are the thoughts uplifting or down drafting? Write them out on a sheet of paper or say them out loud to call attention. The best thing is to get the thoughts out of your head and on to something else (paper, computer, audio, video). The physical manifestation of transferring thoughts from inside to outside is cathartic and very helpful! Once you identify the initial thought, be intentional about switching it to a positive one. That action alone can flip the switch from negative to positive.
Step Two: Assign a Belief to the Thought
When it comes to beliefs, you can Choose what you believe about that particular thought. The key word is choice.
In today’s world of Covid-19, there’s basically two responses: choose to be a victim of the circumstance or choose to be victorious over what you can control and how you react to the situation. I choose to think, believe, and act positively. I don’t deny that the situation is tough for many. However, for those who stay positive, pivot where they can and take positive action, that’s the best way to stay on the upside of a very downside situation. It’s difficult to hear on the news the impact on mental health of people of all ages, from children to senior citizens. Experts recommend to seek help and be your own or a loved one’s advocate.
Step Three: Describe the Feelings Associated with the Thought
Negative feelings, such as, anger, frustration, hurt, sadness, tend to connect with negative thoughts.
On the flip side, when thoughts and beliefs are positive, then feelings such as optimism, hope, peace can more easily surface.
Step Four: Own Your Actions
No one owns your reaction or action to a situation. That’s yours and yours alone. Actions are a manifestation of your thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Follow the thought trail and that’s where the cycle begins. Once again, you always have a choice for how you respond! Choose actions that support the positive side of the equation and you will gain momentum over time. From that point forward, new patterns of behavior will emerge.
EXAMPLE: I’ve been told that I’m not a good writer.
I can’t do it.
I’m not good at it.
I make too many mistakes.
I can do it! I may not be a famed author, but I am capable of writing good material.
I believe that I will never be a good writer because of what I was told back in college.
Over time, with practice, and getting help, I believe that my writing is good and helpful to others.
I feel defeated.
I feel stupid.
I feel sad
I feel less than others.
I feel positive
I feel optimistic
I feel strong and hopeful
I feel confident and capable.
Give up and shy away from writing because it’s not worth it.
Get an editor or proofreader
Take a class.
Sign up for a writing group.
What you think and believe becomes your truth.
Part One: Request a TBFA worksheet to track down negative thought patterns and turn them into positive ones.
Part Two: Request a 30-minute complimentary coaching session to address a negative thought pattern that you would like to turn around.