Can You Stop Negative Emotions from Taking Root?
RADSI: a simple model to overcome your limiting beliefs and have positive emotions.
You may think that this is much easier said than done, but you will be able to stop negative thoughts from becoming negative beliefs by simply changing your thinking. This is about focusing on the positive instead of focusing on negative thoughts and emotions.
Imagine for a minute that you were put into a room with ten people who had different levels of intelligence from each other. Even though some people would be smarter than others, they all have the same number of eyes, ears, and limbs. The only difference is the level of intelligence, and that would depend on what they used that intelligence for.
The smartest person in the room would be able to solve problems much faster than anyone else because they used their brain for solving problems instead of worrying about other things. If everyone had the same number of senses, but one person’s brain was used for worrying instead of solving problems, do you think that person would solve problems as fast as the others?
What separates people is not their senses but how they use them. This is important because when your negative thoughts start turning into beliefs, it’s because you are giving them more attention. The trick to stopping this is to challenge negative thoughts and emotions by giving them less importance.
For example, let’s say you started thinking about all the things that are wrong with your career right now. You start worrying about money, how far you are from reaching your goals, etc. Then more negative thoughts come into play like “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not smart enough,” “I don’t have the skills I need,” etc.
If you challenge these thoughts by asking yourself, do I know for sure that X is true? Are they really facts? Why would this be happening now, and why to me? What can I learn from this?” Then you would see how much less weight these negative thoughts have and how much more confidence you would feel.
Get rid of your limiting beliefs.
In my book, From Agony to Bliss: Turn Your Limiting into Limitless Success, I introduced the RADSI model to eliminate limiting beliefs. I use a simple model to get past all those self-imposed blockades that nothing adds to my life but pain and hours of wasted time.
Here is how it works. Firstly, what RADSI stands for:
R = Recognize; A = Attack; D = Describe; S = Stop; I = Investigate.
First things first, I’ve trained myself to recognize when a limiting belief is operating. I recognize it because often, when I feel sad, I instantly regret the quality of my thinking. The thing about limiting beliefs is that they’re concise phrases that you throw in without reason. You try to justify yourself for an imagined failure that often would pass unnoticed.
“This meal is too salty; I’m bad at measuring ingredients; I always ruin what I cook,” or, “I should have baked it one minute longer; I’m hopeless at baking; all my cakes turn out awful.”
If you think about it rationally, one minute more or less when a cake has been baking for an hour is irrelevant. The cake will surely be edible and tasty. Even though these “failures” are only perceived, they still leave us with a sense of sadness, and that’s a big red flag that there’s a limiting belief in action. You get all Bs instead of all As, so you feel like a total failure. You say things like, “I’m no good, I cannot remember what I learn, and so I fail all my tests.”
What to do next? Get ready for a battle. Contradict your limiting and self-sabotaging thoughts. Think about how much your kids, friends, or partner like what you cook. See whether people complain about the supposedly salty meal or criticize you about the baking time of your cake. Recognize that you performed in the top quartile, and nobody got all Bs or As. Think of the events that demonstrate exactly the opposite and bring them up. Remember them, and smile while doing so.
Next, describe why you have the feeling that you should have baked the cake longer or the meal should have been less salty. Say something like, “The new oven has a slightly lower heating power than the old one,” or, “The salt is saltier than usual; at least I feel it tastes that way today.” By doing this, you’re delimiting the causes of your perceived failure to very specific events. There’s nothing immutable that is related to your abilities to cook.
Resolve to stop thinking negatively about what happens to you. When you’ve got to face a stressful situation — such as an important meeting, an exam, or a presentation — the adage of “fake it ’til you make it” still applies. Block the negative thoughts by thinking the opposite: “I’m a great cook,” or “Everybody likes my cakes.” You can also stop thinking and start singing a song, repeat to yourself how good you are or how much people like you.
Ask questions about why you have that sabotaging thought. Where does it come from? Who told you that? What’s the science behind it? When did you learn it? Is the source reputable, actual, honest, or skilled? The more you question a limiting be- lief, the easier it’ll be to defeat it. Often, the answers to these questions reduce the importance of that belief. You realize that the source had no scientific basis or that the knowledge on which you based the thought is no longer correct because new science has emerged on that subject.
Ask, and you shall receive!
Once you’ve completed the RADSI process, you’re invited to welcome your new belief. Applaud yourself for your success, and revel in both that and your new belief. I feel a sense of relief every time I go through this process; it feels good, and I invite you to try it right now. Choose an area of your life that you want to improve and select the limiting thought that often comes up and keeps you from acting. Go through the RADSI process and see how transformed you’ll feel at the end of it.
When you let these emotions run their course without challenging them, they will turn into beliefs that are limiting your success. A positive thought will not be as powerful as a negative belief, so it’s better to start recognizing the difference between positive emotion and a limiting belief.
The next time you feel these negative thoughts and emotions are becoming limiting beliefs, start challenging them by asking yourself questions that would challenge their validity.
This is the only way to separate a positive thought from a limiting belief because creating empowering emotional states requires action, while challenging your emotional state requires thinking.