ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts)
Ant infestation? Can’t get to itch that scratch?
You know you need to do something about those pesky ants when your thoughts stop you writing from your heart.
· Mind reading- you assume you know what people, editors, publishers and readers think without having enough evidence
· Fortune telling- you predict the future negatively, things will get worse or there is a danger ahead, your book won’t sell and you’ll be starving
· Catastrophizing- you believe that what has happened or will happen will be so awful and unbearable that you won’t be able to stand it so you lock yourself away and procrastinate about writing
· Labelling- you give global negative traits to yourself and others including ‘Self-publishing.’ Discounting positive outcomes- Self-publishing could make your book a best seller on Amazon
· Negative filtering- you focus on the negative all the time and don’t often notice the positives of writing for fun, enjoyment and to get paid
· Over generalising- you see a global pattern of negatives based on a single incident Dichotomous thinking you view events or people in all or nothing. ”They turned my book away therefore I’m a useless piece of dog doo .”
· ‘Shoulds’- you see events in terms of how things should be, rather than simply focusing on what is. ”I will only write if I can get a book deal so there!’
· Personalising- you assume an unreasonable amount of the blame to yourself for negative events and fail to see that certain events are caused by. My mother said ”don’t be a show off or big myself up.” Oh, I better not be an author then…
· Blaming- you focus on the other person as the source of your negative feelings and you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself. ”I can’t possibly write I have a home and family to run, they would never put up with it.”
· Unfair comparisons- you interpret events in terms of standards that are unrealistic, you focus on others who do better than you and find yourself feeling inferior. ”I’m never going to be the next J.K Rowling.”
· Regret orientation- you focus on the idea that you could have done better in the past, rather than on what you can do better now. ”I’m too old to write now – look at me.”
· What if?- you keep asking a series of questions about “what if” something happens and you fail to be satisfied with any of the answers. ”What if I write and no one wants my book.”
· Emotional reasoning- You let your feelings guide your interpretation of reality. ”Me write – oh, no I could never do that it’s way too scary to write and publish a book. What would my parents, neighbours, husband think? ”
· Inability to disconfirm- you reject any evidence or arguments that might contradict your negative thoughts. ”No. My English teacher clearly said I would never amount to anything if I was staring out the window and swinging on my chair all day.”
· Judgement focus- you view yourself, others and events in terms of evaluations as good-bad or superior-inferior, rather than simply describing, accepting or understanding. You are continually measuring yourself and others according to uninformed standards and finding that you and others fall short. You are focused on the judgement of others as well as your own judgements of yourself. ”Nope, not doing that. People will judge me, they will think…”Heck you know this story I’m not even going to type it up here.
Don’t let those ANT’s in your pants or your head eat you alive.
ANT control to your rescue itch that scratch. !