Broken Records: How To Stop A Negative Thought Pattern

Broken Records: How To Stop A Negative Thought Pattern
February 21, 2013 Leslie Juvin-Acker

Recently, a client  came to me about a new job in which she is in the process of applying. This client, who I’ll call Cher, has all of the necessary qualifications, the beneficial insider relationships, and the motivation to take on the position, but was grappling with the issue of salary. Cher wasn’t sure if the company would be willing to offer the salary and the benefits that she needed in order to care for her family and have the life of which she has dreamed.

This negative thought bothered her and created tension with her spouse who also is aware of the salary requirements their family needs to provide for their family. It was no surprise that the two of them clashed when it came to researching and planning their family’s financial needs and goals.

Cher came to me asking what she could do to get rid of this strife between her and her husband, the stress of worrying about whether or  not she could earn the money with the potential company, and the anxiety of having to turn down a great job all because of money.

When it came down to it, I asked her to break down what I call “Broken Records”. In this activity, we broke down the following areas:

1. The broken record (the negative thought)

2. The fear (or worst case scenario)

3. What she’s really trying to say

4. The small step she could take towards removing the broken record.

For Cher, the Broken Record was “The company is not going to offer the salary I need.”

The Fear was “I’m afraid I’ll have to turn down the great opportunity and get stuck in my present job which doesn’t pay enough.”

What she was really trying to say: “I don’t know how to convince the present company that I’m worth the salary I require.”

The negative thought pattern we identified has multiple layers: what we say to ourselves because of how we feel in an attempt to express what we honestly want to say. 

Cher identified the truth of her fears in order to break down her negative thought pattern. Together, we agreed that the small steps that she could take towards eliminating the negative thought pattern once and for all was to start by A) Asking an insider to the company what the salary range was for the position in question and B) Begin by determining her value proposition through another 4C Coaching activity called “I Have Value” so that she could confidently defend her reasons for asking for the higher salary.

By the end of this session, Cher was thrilled to have moved past an issue that had been bugging her for weeks. She realized that the negative thought, which was stimulated by a fear and lack of honesty, was bleeding over into other areas of her life such as her marriage and attitude towards money. By stopping this thought pattern, we could effectively improve her mood and with little effort, improve the other areas of her life.

If you are feeling stuck with a negative thought pattern, or broken record, take a few minutes to break them down. You’ll be surprised to find the answers are standing right in front of you and can help you stop the noise of a broken record and find peace from the issues you’re facing.