06 January 2015

Changing Ourselves Through ABCDE Method

Chaning yourself for the better is as simple as ABCDE!
The previous post Changing others begins with Changing Self stresses that change must start with self. How to change ourselves is covered here. This is a layman view of the ABCDE method for thinking changes feelings and behaviour. For more details, read articles like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

A is the Activating Event or the what that happened.
B is our Belief and the our subjective interpretation of the event.
C is the Consequence of our reaction to the event.

A causes C, but indirectly through B.

If we don't like C, or if C is not the right response, then we much change B using D.

D is the Discovery and Disruption of our Belief Framework. We must find out the B, why we act C. Questioning B and replacing B with a better reasoning framework D. With D in place, when A happened again, we will response  better this time now with E, the better behavior and better outcome.

So, to change ourselves, we must pause and question, why we react that way? what do we belief in? Usually the B are wrong beliefs, wrong principles and wrong values .... in other words, B are the lies we belief in! To remove B, we must look for D, the true truth, the right principles, values and reasoning framework.

The KEY principle to controlling our emotions and making us a better person is Pause and Choose rather than to react impulsively. Choose to response in a positive way.

There are very interesting books to read, such as, Dinosaur Brains which provide a good insights of our typical reactions and beliefs, the B. Another one, Thinking, Fast and Slow: Daniel Kahneman, which is another view of looking at the samething, encourages us to move away from the auto-reactive impulsive system 1 thinking into the more purposeful and rational but slower system 2 thinking. I have only one thing to add, that is to replace our defective system 1 thinking by the system 2 thinking framework and principles as much as possible. Then even when we were forces to react quickly, our reaction will be correct, after a long time training in system 2 thinking.

Discovering B and replacing it with B is the Christians circle is called Inner Healing. Christians have the extra advantages of getting help from the Holy Spirit to discover the lies B, given the extra strength, comfort, security and acceptance of us inspite of our B, that we may boldly face the lies, even of ourselves!

This is not the end though. We need go one step higher of self-control. Even if our E is the right response and behavior, we must have the ability to control the time and where of our C. There is the right time, right place, and the right people to do C.  Self-control is a fruit, a maturity, of the Holy Spirit enpowered believers. In the Chinese Classics, that is 修身 and 修心. Developing the heart to control the body.  The book of Great Learning of Confucius School show us the eight steps. See Understanding The Great Learning DaXue in One Minute.

All the best wishes for your journey into a better in this New Year.

Remember, you can pause and choose your response instead of immediate reaction.
Why let other people run your life? Choose the life you want to live.

Lim Liat (c) 6 Jan 2015
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