1. Assume the role of student: what you need to learn about is your own mental structure. You need to identify and classify individual thoughts [mostly ‘leakage’ through self talk] as negative thoughts, usually caused by cognitive errors or affirmative thoughts that support your goals and performance.
2. Assume the role of bookkeeper: What you need to do is create a t-account for each thought [debits on one side and credits on the other, with the specific thought above the line on the top] and compare the costs of certain thoughts against the benefits. This role can be escalated to that of an accountant: examining why a distressing thought would be upsetting if it were true – going a little deeper into the cognitive books.
3. Assume the role of journalist: Begin to keep a journal of thoughts. Who, what, when, where, why? Just having this information may help you to sort out the anticipatory promise of a thought.
4. Assume the role of detective: just the facts; examine the evidence. Can the thought be verified or not? Most of us give up the search for evidence at the first sign of confirming evidence; a detective will continue to seek until s/he finds disconfirming evidence as well.
5. Assume the role of an appraiser: Examine all aspect of your self: physically, personality, performance [mentally, sexually, etc.], projections, etc. After complete and objective appraisal, make a rating. Indicate clearly good and bad point, what is repairable and what is not.
6. Assume the role of a scientist: develop predictive hypotheses and then test them. Make sure you test all variables such as valance, intensity, impact, etc.
7. Assume the role of writer: Through semantics change – create new language to describe what you are thinking. Create a positive character who has it all under control.
8. Assume the role of explorer: Seek adventure in the ‘inner space’ of subjective experience. Go to the mountain of fear and the pastoral field of dreams. Experience yourself as different people, in different places, at different times, with different thoughts, and different conditions with different outcomes.
9. Assume the role of a Buddhist monk: Acquiesce. Or as ‘Buddhist’ Bill Murray says in the movies – ‘It just doesn’t matter’.