Epictetus: "It's not facts and events that upset man, but the view he takes of them."


Form summary
Form pieces in depth
Insight, rules,
   5 Rules For Rational Thinking
   Seeables, nonseeables ("about")

Possibly print for yourself, to use as a reference/guidance as you complete a belief analysis.

See an example of using the form included in Rational Self Analysis Form.- note that this form is the "usual form", but that I've also done a The ABCDEF Super-Form, Complete Version.  (For any "Word" form, download Microsoft Word Viewer, for free, if you cannot see the footnotes!)  You can create your own form just by following the processes in the boxes below.

Be specific, detailed and complete - or you'll be missing sufficient clarity to move forward!  And if are not complete about it, you will continue a bad habit of not being complete and not completing your thinking.

Write A, B, and C first!  (Note that A1 can bring up sets of B1 which creates C1, where C1 leads to B2 set of beliefs which has you feel C2 emotions, and so on, one feeding on the other.)

The Objective Of This:  To form the habit (automatic, effortless pattern) of thinking rationally, not letting the irrational and toxic continue for even a minute.  To do this, I must practice and repeat often, as with any new habit formation.  At least 4 times a day at first, for a month.  Note that some of this won't "feel right" until you get used to it (read Cognitive Dissonance).  A form of practice lies in imagining or visualizing experiences and thinking.  Do that twice a day, completely.

Use of another person:  Have the other person grade you for completion level, probably using a % level - and then you go back and complete it as much as you can before getting comments on the content from another. 

THE BASIC FORM - A mock-up, with more space in it, so you can actually use it as a form or as individual pages is at The ABCDEF Super-Form, Complete Version.  This includes links to pages explaining each section and how to use it in more depth. You can use the smaller section boxes below for reference when you are completing a form, as a guide to what to include.

These are the basic sections:

A.  What happened - Objective, observable

B.  What I said about it                                      

C1.  Consequential feelings                                
C2.  Consequential actions

G.   Insights
I've completed "boxes", below, explaining what is in each of the sections.

After the section boxes below:

The 5 Rules For Rational Thinking.  Glance at those
What is "Seeable" and "Nonseeable".  (A valuable distinction in discerning between what is real and what isn't.)
An alternative sequence that could be used.
Vital - Proper Use Of Words (A "must" in any derivation of effective languaging.

A. WHAT HAPPENED - Objective, observable  (Perceptions) (See the explanation of a What Happened exercise.)
Only facts, what is real, what is true
     What I actually did, described accurately
Outside: What a camera would observe
Inside: Feelings felt (i.e. sensations, chemicals that occurred) are real- and you would put them also in Section C; although you could say "I thought x", put those in section B.)

D. "DISPUTE" A - The Camera Check

Correct what is actually not factual, such as expressions, such as "in my gut" (instead, say I thought, adding any body feeling), it made feel. 
BSELF TALK Thoughts, such as beliefs; "evaluating" thoughts, such as good, bad; when practiced often, the self-talk tends to disappear from awareness, but it must be there, as it is impossible for it to be otherwise.

Types of thoughts:
     Danger, threat
     I'm bad

What is true?

I felt bad (I can see it through feeling it.) 
C1FEELINGS (emotions, as a consequence of B and their intensity from 1 to high of 10.) 
Emotions are logical, correct and appropriate for what you believe about what is going on (but which may not  be 'objective reality')**
The big error is believing that one must act on an emotional urge and that the belief-emotion set is a real, existing 'thing' rather than a self-created thing and just a biochemicalelectrical sensation.
You create your feelings, no one can make you have them ("make you" be mad, hurt, sad, etc.)

Big categories to use:  Mad, Sad, Glad, Scared
Derivatives of the big four:  Tense, nervous, etc.
Complex "emotions":  Thought(s) and the resultant feeling combined (Guilty = I did "bad" thing and I feel sad.) (Lonely - I'll never be loved, etc., plus scared)
Generality of "valence":  Bad, good, so-so (not feelings, they are thought evaluations of the feelings)
VITAL - PROPER USE OF WORDS - Use words correctly instead of sloppily

Lumping feelings with thoughts creates confusion, obfuscation (lack of clarity), and you'll not "see" accurately the distinction between feelings and thoughts.

Use "feel" only for feelings, not thoughts.
Don't use "Felt" instead of "I think" or "I believe".

If one says "he/she/it made me feel", one is doing false attribution of cause.  Change this to "My thought x caused me to feel y".  "I alone made myself feel the way I felt."

Luck, mysterious cause, etc. are not to be used as explanations of why something happened.  It must be from your actions and choices - even if it was only you being at the right place at the right time.

What did I make up about it? ("What I made up about it was ....")

Example: "I completely fell apart."  Unless you are in physical pieces, this is an untrue statement.

"My being rejected hurt me."  Not true.
Someone else might not "feel hurt" if they were "rejected".   Other than physical harm, someone else can't hurt you. 

Note that it is impossible to feel better ongoingly without first thinking better. Yes, you can divert from the feeling via chocolate cake, but that is not the same as feeling better at the base level.
(Emotions are emotions and are indisputable: you either feel them or you don't, period.)
Describe how you want to feel in that situation, though you can add in a sequence of how you wish to think in that situation (from D-B or your own creation as you go through this exercise.
Example: I  want to feel x  and to feel that way I would have to think y.

Must meet at least 3 of these:

1.  Based on objective, observable reality
2.  Protects your life (actually) if you act on it
3.  Gets you your goals
4.  Keeps you out of trouble with others
5.  Eliminates significant emotional conflict

It is you that must do the action and trying to get another to change or to do it for you is illconceived and/or passive, victim type behavior.

In the future, I will                                    based on the following rules and standards for my behavior:  

___ Schedule my imagining/visualizing sessions.
C2.  ACTIONS/BEHAVIORS (Chosen way of dealing with emotions or situation.  An emotion does not require a particular action; you choose the action; the emotion is only an urge not a command.  Feeling and actions are often grouped as consequences, but they often happen separately. For instance, "I felt sad, so I chose to eat chocolate because of my thought that chocolate would make me feel better."   Always use before stating the action, the sentence starter "I chose", so you'll avoid the idea that someone or something "made me do it" or "I had to do it."  Do not rationalize or justify your actions as anything other than what you chose.)

I chose to do the following:


Use the left hand side of a sheet of paper to write down what went on, leaving lots of extra space vertically when you think you'll need it for the disputing and correcting side of the sheet.

(Simply write it all down in the order that it occurred,as if you were filming it as it happened.  You would not abbreviate or leave anything out.  Sometimes you can write things down really fast, leaving extra spaces and then coming back to fill in the blanks.)

I was in a situation that involved...
I thought ...
I felt scared
And then I though about the though (or emotion) ...
And I felt ...
Then what I chose to do was 

"Gut thinking is the subtle form of magical thinking most normal people sometimes do, usually without realizing it. Because magical thinking is a naive or childish way to think..."

                                                    Maxie Maultsby, Jr., M.D. in Help Yourself To Happiness, p. 70
(See Intuition.)
Until you know that you do not know or know that it is possible that you do not know, you cannot make progress in life - you'll just be stuck.  You'll know that you are thinking that way simply by observing "stuckness" in certain things in life.  One way of knowing that you do not know is by looking at the results:  if you get an undesired result that has to mean that you lacked knowledge and that that lack of knowledge is the cause of the problem.  No problem occurs without a cause!!!!

A classic statement is "I know that rationally, but ..."   The truth is that the person saying that does not know it rationally, though the person may know an incomplete version of it or just know about something, but not really know it.  If a person is not operating from the truth and the rational, then the person does not really know it (enough to get the result) and does not really believe it (enough to operate from it and be confident of it).   See Insufficient Knowing.

You will have insights into your thinking and your life.  They can be lost or they can be retained.

It is worthwhile writing down the insight on a separate page (in a journal or inserted in a notebook or folder) and then writing about it:

Why it makes sense.
How it applies to your life and how you will live differently knowing it. 

Then add it to your affirmations to repeat for 21 days.
Must meet the five rules for rational thinking - see box below.  Must include all supporting beliefs, facts, evidence.  Must be true or at least possibly true.
(Corrected thinking that serves to achieve the goal and results in feeling good.) 
Look for opinions mistaken for facts. Somebody can't 'hurt' you or 'make you mad' or put you down.  You can evaluate the thoughts and state your evaluations here, such as "that is nonsense" or "that is rational". )
Sort out spurious, often selective "evidence" from actual fact.  Insert actual evidence.  Rely on real proof, not supposed proof.
Review the new corrected thoughts and write them down separately and then memorize them. 
Consider getting feedback (after you've done all you can; don't ask anybody else to do it for you, as you'll not exercise your thinking muscle).
Decisions: I can refuse to feel bad by thinking x.

D1. Dispute A - "Camera check"

E.  Effective new thinking 

F1.  Future desired emotion
F2.  Future desired action(s)

I.     Installation, implementation, completion 

The ABCDEF ("Rational Analysis") Process 

Using The ABCDEF Rational Analysis Super-Form 

The ABCDEF Super-Form, Complete Version:

Internet page version - See links on that page into

Word process document - To use directly and write on

PDF document


A. What Happened
B.  Self-talk
C.  Consequential feelings and actions
D.  Dispute A - Camera check 
E.  Effective new thinking
F.  Future desired emotions and actions
G.  Insights
I.   Implementation, installation,  completion  

Filled-in exampleRational Self Analysis Form  (1+ page)

Specific Beliefs and affirmations

Beliefs Contents/Links 

Affirmations And Empowering Conversations Contents/Links 

Specific emotions and issues:

See Emotion Mgmt Contents/Links