This is the second post in our 9-part series about what lessons Looney Toons can teach you to lead a happier, more fulfilled life. View the introductory post- and first lesson- post here.

Rule #2: No outside force can harm the coyote – only his own ineptitude or the failure of the Acme products.

Failure of Acme products aside, often people “harm” themselves by things they do to themselves out of habit, or not knowing any other way to think.

Habits like negative self-talk are a prime example of self-harm that is preventable. Another one is thinking about some future event, and imagining a negative outcome. I see these patterns of thinking over and over in people that report anxiety: Negative self-talk and playing a bad movie of the future in their mind.

The good news is that negative self-talk can be turned from something that “just happens” into something you become conscious of when you do it. And then, with the tools that I teach, to change how you talk to yourself so that is more cheerleader than critic.

I like to believe that no matter what kind of presenting issue someone comes in to my office with, that there is nothing wrong with them. They are just doing something in their mind and emotions that is not useful. They are doing the best they know how at that time. And in our sessions, together we identify better ways to think about things that get them better results.

Nobody taught them how the “software” of their mind works – until they come into my office.