Exploring what I might do differently

On this website, I make regular comments about ‘how would you like it to be different….?’  In addition, I ask you to consider how that might be done bit-by-bit (this strategy can be termed ‘graded exposure’). This is particularly important way to work in the face of small defeats. Setting out on the scenic route means I have to step outside my Window of Tolerance (WOT). This enables me to set out on a journey, but I do not know what will happen on the way.

When I take that risk and just do it, it is easy to lose confidence and over-react to the unanticipated events. This can prompt me to adopt an extreme response such as catastrophising, rather than the Think, Judge and Act position.

A SAFE EXPERIMENT: to identify our ‘favourite’ beliefs and the preferred feelings we experience – often without noticing them!

Take a look at the picture right at the bottom of this page. It can represent your face. If it will not print off, find your own face picture or simply draw your own!

Makes brief notes arising from this small, safe experiment.

What do you believe about yourself; from this list, what messages stick out?


Core Beliefs

Write down just 2 or 3 key beliefs – positive or negative – on the face illustration contained below.

After that, consider, what ‘favourite’ feelings you may experience?  Here are a few that might ring a bell. Again, chose just 2 or 3 feelings that chime with you and write them on the ‘face’ diagram, below.

feelings words infographic

Finally, consider the sensations that you feel most often. Here are some examples:

Heat: boiling, warm, cool, cold etc.

Touch: light, heavy. clammy

Heaviness in some body parts, e.g. legs

Lightness or ‘emptiness’

Movement: vibration, shaking, wobbling, bubbling, rippling etc.

Itching: e.g. nose quivers and/or itches.


Make a note of 2 or 3 sensations that are current or common for you.

For those reading other parts of the website, will notice that you have completed a Body Scan. If this is new to you, read up the link and practise the art of Body Scanning with controlled breathing.


An ideal ...jpg

When the list is completed, take a short time to explore whether your lists surprise you, or are they much as you expected.

FURTHER EXPERIMENT: Take a break from your note-taking. Later, when you return to the picture, consider:

… do I still view these notes the same? If not, what has changed?

Is there anything I did that seems connected to the changes I now observe?

Is there anything I would like to change now; if so, how might I go about that?

How would I prefer things to be?

What might stop me doing  …….

What’s the something just a little bit different I can do?

Then design some ‘do-able’ things that flow from your ideas. As ever, make a note of the results you obtain and save your results for further review.

It may be difficult to identify small enough actions. Some feasible ‘lines’ might be to explore:

If necessary, you can tell me something about it and/or ask a question ……




Return to:


What is a nudge

Designing safe experiments

What are negative beliefs (or cognitions)

Categorising safe experiments

Pathways in therapy

What seems to help in therapy?

Can all this still apply if life feels not worthwhile?