It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci, inventor and painter
Learning to use STOP Signs.
In chapter two I discussed using thought stopping, or putting up a stop sign when you began using should, or negative thoughts that led to depression or anxiety. Dr. Samuel Yochelson and Dr. Stanton Samenow described the following deterrents, or stop signs, that you can use to manage problem thinking.
Deterrent Thinking Patterns positive plan for thinking changes.
Deterrent 1 — Stop — Think Of The Immediate Consequences – IT’S DANGEROUS!
Before you act, think about the immediate consequences.
Ask, “What gets me into trouble?”
Think, “Using a drug equals prison.”
Remember if anything can go wrong, it will.
Deterrent 2 — Stop And Think About Who Gets Hurt — Reasoning Process
Think about all the problems that similar actions have caused yourself and others in the past.
Use the bad feelings to change yourself.
Think about the whole picture or ripple effect.
Deterrent 3 — Plan Ahead, Think Ahead, Make another Choice
Use this when you are reminded of exciting past actions and you might want more. Consider this poison.
Try to predict with who, where, and under what circumstances you might get into trouble. List ahead of time your past thoughts and actions that equal poison.
Avoid these people and places, and make another choice.
Deterrent 4 — Examination Of Conscience — Moral Inventory Daily
Think, not about the crime itself but that it is wrong.
Think about the injury you have inflicted upon others.
Examine your conscience immediately as you think about irresponsible, criminal conduct. This is a preventive tool.
Deterrent 5 — Do Not Dwell On It. Use responsible thinking patterns to replace the old patterns. Do this in advance and practice it. Irresponsible thoughts are dismissed fast.