Worksheet: Challenge & Reframe Negative Thoughts

By completing this worksheet, you can challenge and reframe your negative thoughts into more balanced and realistic ones, which can improve your mood and reduce your distress.

Step 1: Identify the Negative Thought

Write down the negative thought that is causing you distress.

For example: “I’m never going to be good enough,” “Everyone is going to think I’m stupid,” or “I’m going to fail.”

Step 2: Identify the Evidence

List the evidence that supports and contradicts the negative thought.

For example:Evidence that supports the negative thought:

  • I’ve made mistakes in the past
  • I’ve received negative feedback before
  • Others have been more successful than me

Evidence that contradicts the negative thought:

  • I’ve also had successes and accomplishments
  • I’ve received positive feedback and recognition
  • Others have also experienced setbacks and failures

Step 3: Evaluate the Evidence

Evaluate the evidence for and against the negative thought. Ask yourself:

  • Is the evidence supporting the negative thought reliable and accurate?
  • Is the evidence contradicting the negative thought equally or more reliable and accurate?
  • Are there any alternative explanations or interpretations of the evidence?

Step 4: Reframe the Negative Thought

Based on your evaluation of the evidence, reframe the negative thought into a more balanced and realistic thought. For example:Negative thought: “I’m never going to be good enough”

Reframed thought: “I may not be perfect, but I have strengths and accomplishments that make me worthy and capable.”

Negative thought: “Everyone is going to think I’m stupid”

Reframed thought: “Some people may have negative opinions or judgments, but others may have positive or neutral ones, and I can’t control how others think or feel.”

Negative thought: “I’m going to fail”

Reframed thought: “I may face challenges or setbacks, but I have the skills and resources to learn and grow from them and improve my chances of success.”

Step 5: Practice and Evaluate

Practice using the reframed thought in situations where the negative thought would normally occur.

Evaluate the effectiveness of the reframed thought on your mood, behavior, and overall well-being. Repeat this process as needed for other negative thoughts that cause distress.