Disputing Irrational Beliefs (DIBs)
Ask yourself these three questions, in order, about this belief:
“Is there any evidence that my belief is true?” (Repeat as often as is necessary)
“What bad can happen to me if I keep that belief?”
“What good can happen to me if I keep my belief?”
This helps us separate from feelings and move into fact-based reality. We can feel uneasy about something without it being true—as long as we know that it isn’t real, the emotions that come up about it are simpler to manage.
If we find that the beliefs are false but still bring up a lot of emotion for us, this is a good time to dive into our self-care practices and the things that care for our Central Nervous System. It’s possible that the perception of these beliefs, before we determined them to be false, have activated our “fight, flight, freeze, and fawn” response in our CNS, and are therefore manifesting in our body. Remedy this by doing something relaxing—meditating, going for a sunny walk, unplugging from social media, etc.
Next time you find yourself running through all sorts of beliefs that begin impacting the way you show up in the world, try testing out their validity with DIBs. If they turn out to be false, then we know we can release them and care for the emotions they leave behind. If they turn out to be true, then we can begin taking action to remedy these thoughts in real life.
SMART Recovery. (n.d.) “3 Ways to Dispute Irrational Beliefs.” https://www.smartrecovery.org/are-you-a-loser