Seligman uses the ABC model in order to highlight how powerful our thoughts/beliefs/perceptions are. Our beliefs are the lens at which we view the world around us. When we experience a challenge it is our beliefs that then trigger a chain reaction. An event happens, we have a belief about it, this causes an emotional response and then a consequence an action we take based on how we view the situation.
We tend to blame the 'A' - Adversity for the 'C' - consequences, however it is actually our 'B' - beliefs that makes us feel the way we do. By using the ABCDE model we can see that it is our belief that hold the power and how we respond to it, not the adversity itself.
The ABC model.....
A - stands for adversity
B - for the beliefs you automatically have when it occurs
C - consequences of the belief - feelings, actions, behaviour
Once we know what our thoughts are in response to certain situations and what the outcome usually is we can then move on to the D and the E.......
D - dispute the belief - flip it, reframe it, use facts
E - energised - how much better you feel when you are able to shift negative reactions.
By effectively disputing the belief that follows an adversity, you can change the way you view situations and your interactions with others
Remember, this is an ongoing process that you may need to repeat often. When you find yourself facing a challenge, make an effort to follow these steps. Eventually, you will find it easier to identify and to challenge your negative thoughts. This process may also eventually help you replace your negative thoughts and approach challenges with resilience and optimism.