The Ladder, like The Flip, helps with Effectiveness Habit #2: Feel Good. Then Act. To feel good, remove your attention from thoughts about what you do not want as they feel bad. Shift your attention to thoughts of what you want; they feel good.
The Ladder is just a series of Flips written out. Use it when the gap between how you now feel/think and how you want to feel/think is too large.
- At the bottom of a piece of paper, write a description of your current situation including how you feel.
- At the top of the paper, write a description of your desired situation and how you want to feel.
- Go back to the statement at the bottom of the page.
- Write a Flip just above. That is, write a thought that feels just a bit better than the one below it. This is a rung on the ladder.
- Repeat step 4 until you mentally get to the top statement. Obviously you can’t predict how many “rungs” will be in your ladder before you get to the top thought. You may have enough paper (yay!), too much (no problem!), or not enough (get some more!).
When you’re done, you’ll have closed the gap and be feeling better. A few of tips:
- As with The Flip, it can take 20 seconds or more of calm to see the next better feeling thought. Give yourself the time.
- Watch out for leaping too far up at once. It is tempting to write a statement that should or would feel better and is too much of a stretch. When we make these stretches, we are trying too hard to believe something that we just aren’t ready to believe yet. No worries if this happens to you. Just go back to a calm state and wait for a better feeling answer that you do believe.
- If you get stuck, try statements like these: “I like this process. I can see the progress.” or “Many others have done this; I’m sure it will work for me, too.” Though they may not fit logically, they feel good and help you move up the ladder.
- If you’re still stuck, set it aside and come back or share it with someone you trust to help you.
Try it and tell me how it works for you.