Although all habits are powerful, not all habits are positive. Star Qualities that we focused on in last week’s Wellness Wednesday contribute to our lives in healthy and beneficial ways, but Negative Mental Habits can take us down an unsatisfactory path.

Whereas Star Qualities or Positive Mental Habits are inner strengths, Negative Mental Habits are inner weaknesses that make life difficult.

However, once we recognize Negative Mental Habits that reside within us, we can choose to transform them into more productive habits. A way to accomplish this is to practice the Seesaw Rule.

The Seesaw Rule illustrates that when one person on the seesaw goes up, the other person goes down. The same is true about our habits. When a positive Star Quality goes up, a NMH goes down.


  • If your self-confidence goes up, your self-doubt goes down.
  • If your responsibility goes up, your irresponsibility goes down.
  • If your optimism goes up, your pessimism goes down.

Some of these include the following:

Self-doubt                   Apathetic                    Judgmental                 Angry              Pleaser

Close minded              Perfectionistic             Sarcastic                      Selfish             Boredom

Procrastination           Irresponsible               Unreliable                   Hopeless         Pessimistic

Worry                          Anxious                       Jealous                        Dishonest        Impatient

Disorganized               Disrespectful               Poor Listener               Righteous        Unforgiving

Identify a NMH: Select one of the Negative Mental Habits that you recognize in yourself and would like to minimize.

  • What is a Star Quality that would be the opposite of this NMH?
  • Then practice the Cue > Behavior > Reward process that was introduced last week:

What environmental cue alerts you to this Star Quality habit?

What behavior would you then manifest?

What is the reward or benefit that you experience from this habit?

Example: If disorganized was the NMH that you selected, then organized would be the Star

Quality habit you would want to develop. Apply the Cue > Behavior > Reward process to develop the habit of organization. As the Seesaw Rule moves organization up, being disorganized will go down.

You’ve now developed purposeful habit formation. Please help someone else do the same.

From Willow, Kevin, and Tom…who keep riding the seesaw.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training