The Rational Self Analysis- a tool for cognitive restructuring.
This paper is an attempt made in terms of understanding the power of thoughts and its consequences. Most of us never realize that mind over matter is a solid statement. Research and various studies have always shown that the mind works on a simple liner “Your wish is my command” (Rhonda Byre’s the secret”)
This write-up is based on an interesting generic observation made in terms of behavioural pattern which is displayed by all of us. Individuals operate using certain frame of thoughts. These thoughts are certainly the by-product of various factors like experiences, upbringing, and the baggage from the formative years. These environmental factors lead to a crystalized thoughts or solidified perceptions which are cemented for a life-time. This is the root cause for our entire behavioural patterns in day to day transactions.
If the thought is positively framed it leads to a positive consequence. However it is not that easy to be always positive. Unfortunately what happen to most of us are the ANTECEDENTS which lead to BEHAVIOR and CONSEQUENCES.
Many a times a solidified perception leads to a “Self-defeating irrational beliefs” which in the long term can be harmful. It is no doubt a world of “Make or Break” and if one has to make it big then it is high time to think of re-alignment of thoughts or cognitive restructuring.
Often we tend to see individuals facing ego disturbance and emotional turbulence as a result of perceptions they have created for themselves. The best part is that they are not ready to see beyond the tunnel vision they have woven. Even for that matter many of the so-called intellectuals, knowledge workers, and highly acclaimed professionals also fall into this trap. They are so obsessed with their ideas and perceptions that they built a cocoon around them and expect others also to follow suit. This is where the hornets’ nest is stirred.
Some examples of self- defeating irrational beliefs are as follows:
v The world owes me contentment & happiness
v I must be able to feel comfortable all the time
v Events in my past are the cause of my problems
v The circumstances under which I live must be the way I want.
This kind of schema (Cognitive belief) is dangerous because it results in discomfort and disturbances. It also makes an individual prone towards “Low frustration tolerance (LFT)” and “Low discomfort tolerance (LDT) consequently leading to a high impact drama in life. Hence to deal with the cognitive factors, a simple and effective tool is used.
The very word cognitive restructuring deals with reframing the rigid thoughts by aligning in different perspective.
The science of Psychology has indeed identified yet another simple tool that can be used to combat with the issue. It is used to analyse one’s thought, belief, and views on oneself, world and future. It is a coping mechanism called “Rational Self Analysis Tool. The first discrete, intentionally therapeutic approach to CBT to be developed was Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), which was originated by Albert Ellis, Ph.D. in the mid-1950.
1. It helps in self-discovery/personal growth
2. It also helps in work in teams and groups effectively
3. It aids in enhancing relationships in family and workplace
Fig (1) RATIONAL- SELF-ANALYSIS- TOOL
The Past (Facts and Events)
Crystallized Perception (What we think about the facts and perception)
Thoughts & Emotions (How we feel as a result of our thoughts)
Fig (2) RATIONAL SELF CHANGE
Consider the following examples:
The employee might feel demotived after every appraisal cycle because he feels that there is some bias in the reviewer’s mind. Consequently the employee does not project the best. In this situation if he can opt the “Rational Self analysis tool” it can help him to introspect in a different manner.
Various studies have proven that “Pygmalion Effect or Self fulfilling prophecy” works positively. The research has also proved the importance of “Placebo effect” in the feild of medicine and health.
The second example is related to the interviews where some of the best candidates cannot crack the interviews and thus end up being apprehensive all the time. Now they form a cemented version and tend to carry the baggage of the previous experience. In such a situation trying to incorporate this model as an intervention can be helpful. The model can be used to do a bit of self analysis or self introspection and think differently.
Thus, this particular model helps in reframing the thoughts, creates a room for change. Extrapolating from the rigid feelings of “should, would, will, want, may” with the positive word CAN. It is very aptly described thus “ Wisdom is only partially taught and caught ; it lies to a large extent on one’s own power of thought.
To conclude with a reminder from the writings of Epictetus in The Enchiridion, “Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.” (Sic)
(To know more about the power of thoughts please refer to Dr.Emoto’s experiment on water.) (youtube dr.emoto’s experiment on water)
Eliss, A. (n.d.). Rational Emotive Therapy.
Pareek, U. (2007). Understanding Organizational Behavior. Oxford.