A 3-Step Framework to Separate Yourself from Identifying with Your Negative Thoughts

By Jimmy Warden

Life is hard when you identify with your negative thoughts.

You feel like you’re inadequate, untalented, unworthy. It’s as if nothing you do will ever be enough.

But what if you didn’t identify with those thoughts? Imagine the possibilities that would unfold.

There’s a three-step framework you can practice to separate yourself from identifying with your negative thoughts.

1.) Notice

The first step in separating yourself from your thoughts is noticing.

If you can’t notice your thoughts, you won’t be able to create separation. If you can notice your thoughts, you’ll be able to create separation.

A way that I notice my thoughts is by saying one of these two words to myself in my head:

  • Thinking
  • Noticing

These words serve as mental cues that I’m caught up in a personal narrative.

2.) Analyze

Once you can notice, you can analyze.

Analyzing thoughts helps you understand whether or not the thoughts you’re having are truths or lies.

There are three questions I ask myself to help me figure out the amount of truth in my thoughts:

  • Why am I having these thoughts?
  • Are they personal constructs?
  • Are they reality-based?

These questions help me understand when I’m becoming my own worst enemy because they pinpoint the differences between imposter syndrome and reality.

3.) Handle

After analyzing, all there’s left to do is to handle your thinking.

There are a couple of paths I travel after taking my thoughts into account, and it depends on how many are personal constructs and how many are reality-based.

Path 1: Handling personal constructs

  • Think more about why I’m thinking that way.
  • Take personal wins into account to create more evidence for what I’m doing well.

Path 2: Reality-based thoughts

  • Think about what’s in my control to change outcomes.
  • Take action according to the changes I want to make.

Try this framework out if you need strategies for coping with negative thoughts!

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