ANTS! Quick – get the RAID

No matter what course you are teaching, often the positive or negative attitude which is integral to one’s thinking about the course can inhibit or enhance the quality and performance of the learning process. What follows are a series of Irrational beliefs or ANTS – automatic negative thinking. Why not set the tone for the class on day one and spray some RAID = Reframe one’s Attitude In a Day.

Have your students review each statement and reframe it as a positive belief – for the way I think, determines the way I feel (happy, anxious, positive, or defeated), and the way I feel, determines how I act, react, and consequently succeed or fail.  Each one of these negative thoughts is followed by a reframing of the negative thought into a positive thought

  1. “It is too difficult” – reframe – “many of the challenges for me are hard to do, but not too hard”
  2. “I might fail and that would be awful, and I couldn’t stand that” – reframe- “True I might fail, but failure isn’t the worst of all possible failures”
  3. “I will get even” – reframe- “Nonsense, I don’t want to imprison myself”
  1. “I will do it later” – reframe- “I better do it now because I will have other tasks to do later”
  2. “But I  really don’t feel like doing it” –  reframe- “I better do it anyway, once I get started it is usually easier to continue”
  1. “It is not like me” – reframe- “I will do what is better for me even if it is not like me”
  2. “Others may try to stop me or resist me” –  reframe- “Others have a right to try and discourage me, but I could tolerate it and move on”
  1. “I should not have to” –  reframe- “Just because I have not done it before doesn’t mean that I can’t start doing it now”
  2. “I have to know for sure” – reframe – “I will never have absolute certitude which is the pursuit of unhappiness”
  1. “It is probably more trouble than it is worth” – reframe –  “often my perception of a task is greater than the reality of it.”
  2. “The situation is bad” – reframe – “but I can make the most of a bad  situation for the better”
  1. “If I succeed than what?” – reframe – “Therein lies the challenge for me to forge ahead”
  2. “It is too scary”  – reframe – “There are some risks and chances involved, but there is no gain without possible pain”
  1. “What will other people think?” Reframe– “The opinion of others does not equal me as a person”
  2. “I can’t” – reframe- “I won’t know my potential until I try”
  1. “If I have to do it, I have to do it well, otherwise, why do it at all” – reframe – “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly”
  2. “I might; maybe I will; probably will; Yes, I will, but…” – reframe- “Knock off the stinkin thinkin, and make a full -fledged commitment now”
  3. “I am too busy” – reframe – “Better I rearrange my priorities and put myself first and others a close second rather than the other way around”
  4. “I have to know why I procrastinate before I stop doing so” – reframe – “Doing gets it done; knowledge is not the same as action; it is not what you know but what you do with what you have”


An adaptation from Think Straight! Feel Great! By Bill Borcherdt, 1989.




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