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Balancing Statements -

A Cognitive Behavioural Technique

The following exercise is based on "cognitive behavioural" coaching ideas for helping you to focus on and reframe negative thoughts in a healthier more balanced way. This can help to create a more positive self image for you and give you the confidence to act in practical positie ways.

If you experience the opposite distortion in that you have grandiose self beliefs which are not really justified, you can also use the balancing thoughts technique to moderate your excessive delusions of grandeur. Below however I focus on how you might use the technique if your tendency is to get down about yourself, your qualities, your achievements or your situation.

Please identify any typical negative descriptions or statements you make about yourself during the coming week and write them down in the left hand column of a table like that below. In the right hand column write down an alternative statement which balances the first statement by moderating it in a realistic manner or by giving a simple positive ending to it. An example is given. Feel free to do it in the way which seems most useful to you.

When you catch yourself applying the negative statement or something like it to yourself, refer back to the balancing statement and repeat it to yourself to focus your thoughts and frame of mind in a more balanced and positive way.

Negative Description of Self Realistic Balancing Statement to Use

Example: ‘I always sabotage my life’ – [Also indicate here the situation in which you applied this description to yourself]

‘I overreacted on this occasion. However last week I managed to detach myself and relax more. I will try to remember this and do better again next time.’




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