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The Williams LifeSkills System for Managing Stress and Anger

Making a Decision

The I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap
Williams LifeSkills has developed a method of helping you make the right decisions. It's called the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap, and it is designed to teach you how to effectively manage difficult situations.

Instructions: Take a moment to learn more about the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap from Dr. Redford Williams. Simply click the chart below to launch this explanation.





According to Dr. Virginia Williams, once you have answered your I A-M WORTH IT™ questions, you will need to determine what direction to follow. "Yes" answers indicate you need to take some sort of action, while any one "No" answer signals you need to try and change your reaction to something or someone by getting over it.

Does this all sound a little confusing? Don't worry—The I A-M WORTH IT™Roadmap will be thoroughly discussed throughout this unit.


 
 
Case Study Two: Frank and Lisa
When you learned about LifeSkill number one, Being Aware of thoughts and feelings, you met Martin and Martina. Their situation clearly demonstrated the importance of this skill. Well, for skill number two, Making a Decision, you will meet Frank and Lisa, whose situation exemplifies a common source of stress: paying bills.

Both Frank and Lisa are hardworking, busy, and occasionally stressed. They are trying to purchase a new home, which involves maintaining good credit by paying their bills on time. This is Lisa's main responsibility. The scene you will witness begins after the couple has returned home from work.

Instructions: Depending upon the speed of your Internet connection, you may choose one of two options on the interfacing below. For those with low speed, click the 56K Modem button to launch a series of images and dialogue of the Frank and Lisa scenario. For those with high Internet speed, click the T1/DSL/Cable button to launch a video clip of the Frank and Lisa scenario. After you have chosen your option, click the Play button to launch this event.
Worth noting:
In this situation, Lisa failed to pay the couple's bills like she promised. Frank realizes he's angry, but did he act appropriately? Let's review the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap and then go back and analyze Frank and Lisa's actions and behaviors.
Ask the Four Questions
When you're in a situation where you've determined you have negative thoughts and feelings—yet you're not sure whether or not to do something about it or if your ideas for taking action are suitable—it is time to use the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap.

Remember the chart you saw at the beginning of this section of the course? Well, here it is again, along with the all-important four questions of the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap for making good decisions. Ask yourself these questions after you have recorded the objective facts of the situation using the Log Entry Technique.

Instructions: Study the four questions of the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap. Then, click the bolded terms inside each of the questions below to see their placement on the I A-M WORTH IT™ chart.
What's next?
Now that you've seen and answered these questions, what do you do next? What do the "Yes" answers mean? How do you proceed if you answered "No" to any of the questions? Find out on the next page.
Help Guide for the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap
The following tips will help you when utilizing the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap:

Ask yourself, is the situation . . .

Important? (Is this matter important to me?)
  • You are the world's expert here!

    Appropriate? (Is what I am feeling and/or thinking appropriate?)
  • Are your negative thoughts and feelings appropriate to the objective facts of the situation?
  • If you are unsure, think about how you would answer this question if a friend or relative presented you with the same facts and asked you if his or her reaction was appropriate.

    Modifiable? (Is this situation modifiable in a positive way?)
  • Should you be able to change the situation? A traffic jam on a rainy day is not usually something you can alter. On the other hand, if your partner called one of your ideas "stupid," you can usually persuade him or her to stop making those types of remarks.
  • Sometimes, a situation from a log entry may not be modifiable this time, as the other person has already said or done whatever caused your negative feeling. However, you may be able to conclude that the next time you encounter this person, you should be able to get him or her to behave differently.

    Worth It? (Is taking action worth it?)
  • When you look at all aspects of the situation, is your taking action really worth it?
  • Consider your relationship with the other person(s), the feelings of the other person(s), and your own feelings and needs. Weigh the pros and cons carefully.

    To download a copy of these important tips, simply click the link below.
  • Click here to view the Help Guide.
    How to Proceed with "Yes" and "No" Answers
    Based on your answers to the I A-M WORTH IT™ questions, there is an easy "roadmap" to follow. Take a look at the chart below. It details what to do with "Yes" and "No" answers.
    Analyze this chart:
    As you can see, "Yes" answers always direct you to take action. You will learn how to use appropriate action skills later in this course. But, as soon as you answer "No" to any question, you must immediately stop and use the appropriate deflection skills, also presented later in this course.

    The following link allows you to print a wallet-sized version of the I A-M WORTH IT™ questions in a PDF format. By having this card in your wallet, you will always have the I A-M WORTH IT™ questions handy to use as a reference if a problem arises. After clicking the link below, go to the File menu and select Print.
    Click here to access the wallet-sized card.
    I A-M WORTH IT™ in Action
    Now that you're familiar with the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap, it's time to put it to use in the Frank and Lisa example. You will revisit Frank, who is now utilizing the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap to help his own situation with the unpaid bills.

    Instructions: After reading each question, click the Play button to see how Frank utilizes the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap. Following Frank's response, you will also see an evaluatory paragraph based on Frank's answers to the I A-M WORTH IT™ questions. In-between each question, click the Next button to keep moving forward.
    Try out the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap
    Remember, when you're in a situation involving negative thoughts and feelings—and you're not quite sure how to react—try using the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap.

    Instructions: Read each I A-M WORTH IT™ question below. Then, pass your mouse over the "Yes" and "No" buttons to see how I A-M WORTH IT™ channels each response. After each question, click the Next button at the bottom of the screen.
    Exercise One: Practicing I A-M WORTH IT™
    Instructions: Now, take some time to practice using the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap on the following Practical Application Worksheet.

    1. Refer back to the log entries you recorded in your notebook or on the provided forms.
    2. Choose three entries where you experienced negative thoughts and feelings.
    3. Ask yourself the four I A-M WORTH IT™ questions for those log entries.
    4. Use the Help Guide as you work through each log entry.

    To access the worksheet, simply click the link below.
    Click here to download the worksheet.
    I A-M WORTH IT™—Putting This LifeSkill to Work
    Take a moment to learn more about the effectiveness of the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap from Drs. Redford and Virginia Williams.

    Instructions: Click each image to learn more.
    Continued practice:
    During the next week, use the I A-M WORTH IT™ Roadmap questions when you are in distressing situations. Make log entries in your notebook of any such situations, and record your answers to the four I A-M WORTH IT™ questions. Even though this may seem awkward, it becomes easier. Be patient. Give it some time so that your I A-M WORTH IT™ questions become second nature. Then you will have mastered the most critical skill in managing stress: making a good decision, rather than reacting without thinking.

    You may record your log entries and question responses in your personal notebook, or you may use the following log entry form, accessible by clicking the link below. Go to the File menu and select Print to keep this document for your use. You may print as many copies as you need.
    Click here to view the form.
    Move Ahead
    Congratulations! You have reached the end of this unit and this module. Click the Forward Button to move on to the next module.