The 12 Dichotomy Storyboard

Like a movie, our behavior follows a storyboard. The RED – BLUE Storyboard lays out the plot and scenes of your life, before, during, and after the fact.

Every response we have in life can be explained via the storyboard. From the RED side or BLUE side and all combinations in between.

Is it really that simple?

Yes and No.
The storyboard can be used to help you understand why you respond the way you do and why others behave the way they do. If you want to change your response the storyboard is your toolkit for change. Making the choice to change is the hardest part. If you don’t have “the will” to change, then change will be difficult. We see this play out in others as we wonder why they can’t change. We know what is best for others. We even will be critical of their unwillingness to change, or why they can’t see how being different would benefit them.

Are we able to do the same for ourselves?

Not so much.
Because we are justified. We can readily see and explain our justification for the way we are, however we rarely can understand or even consider the justification of others.
Justifications emanate from our feelings and what we believe at a core (often subconscious) level. Much of what we believe at the core level isn’t even true. We see this in others, yet we don’t see it in ourselves?

Why is that?  Is it because of the elephant in the room?

The questions for you to consider lie in this storyboard.
The answers lie within you.

The 12 Dichotomy Storyboard

0. Do not change



Guilt (control)


8. Value-judging

Value-judging is a response that is judgmental of others. It is when you have a negative, disparaging or disapproving opinion about someone that is verbally and nonverbally expressed. It is being hypercritical, judgmental, making comparisons, and gossiping. Value-judging is conditional acceptance and not accepting people for just the way they are.

9. Self-centeredness

Self-centeredness is revealed when:

  • You incessantly use the word “I.”
  • You do a lot of telling and little asking.
  • You interrupt others.
  • You one-up or correct another’s story.
  • You are entitled.
  • You express your opinions and feelings as it relates to your displeasure about the actions and behavior of others.
10. Situational Ethics

Applying situational ethics is:

  • To explain, defend, and justify the exception that this particular situation permits.
  • That the end justifies the means.
  • That winning is of higher importance than being truthful.
  • Having flexible guidelines for yourself, and expect the absolutes to apply to everyone else.
11. Blame (Excuses, Victim, Unforgiving)

There are four primary ways we avoid having to take personal responsibility. They are:

  1. To blame.
  2. To make excuses.
  3. To be the victim.
  4. To be unforgiving.

The 4 shackle us in bondage.

12. Fear (Anxiety, Presumption)

Fear is our greatest motivator. The question for to you decide is “Do your fears originate from what you believe or is what you believe the result of your fears?”

Anxiety arises from fear-based beliefs, some of which are true and some of which are not.

Presumption arises from the mindset “I think I know, therfore I should tell you.”

1. Do not change



Guilt (control)


1. Approval

People on the approval (RED) side of the dichotomy will …

  • seek the approval of others.
  • worry about disapproval.
  • meet the expectations of others.
  • be a pleaser.

Receiving approval is at the core of their decision making process.


2. Praise

Praise reveals my favorable judgment of you.

  • It is the way I say “I approve” of what you do.
  • It is the recognition of what the person is “doing.”
  • It is conditional acceptance.
3. Self-Image

Self-image is how you want others to see you.

  • It is the mask you wear.
  • It is wanting to be identified by your swag, cars, toys, zip code, and clothing.
  • It is pretending to be someone you are not.
  • It is trying to impress your group of friends.
  • It is flaunting your success. 
4. Motivation

You are motivated to 

  • meet the expectations of parents, teachers, boss friends, and spouse.
  • to please others and avoid consequences.
  • to garner accolades, trophies, rewards, recognition and a paycheck.
  • to conform to the behavior of others.
    5. Conformity

    Conformity emmanates from a need for approval.

    • Is wanting to be praised.
    • Is meeting the expectation of others.
    • Is fitting in.
    6. Achievement

    Success is achieving the benchmarks that society has set and is realized when achievement meets society’s approval.

    Achievement and success is defined by:

    • your social status.
    • your titles, cars, zip code, and toys.
    • being recognized and acknowledged with praise, trophies, accolades, and promotions.
    • being measured by the “wall” of your achievements – your “doing.”


    7. Pride

    Being prideful is seeing yourself as better than others.

    • Is being arrogant.
    • Is being self-centered.
    • Is being self-righteous.
    • Is trying to be noticed.
    • Is taking the credit.
    • Is telling others about yourself.
    0. Do not change



    Guilt (control)


    1. Acceptance

    People on the acceptance (BLUE) side of the dichotomy …

    • do not succumb to peer pressure.
    • are comfortable in their own skin.
    • follow their core convictions.
    • are authentic.

    Their beliefs and values are at the core of their decision making process.

    2. Affirm

    Affirming acknowledges the character qualities behind the achievement.

    • Is to positively assert, support, or confirm a person’s character.
    • It is the recognition of who the person is “being.”
    • It is unconditional acceptance.
    3. Self-esteem

    Self-esteem is the respect you have for yourself.

    • It is being real and authentic.
    • It is wanting to be identified for the quality of your character.
    • It is being content with who you are.
    • It is being grounded in personally held convictions.
    • It is being comfortable in your own skin.
    4. Inspiration

    You are inspired when you are …

    • fulfilling your personally held core convictions.
    • internally driven to fulfill your dreams and goals.
    • fulfilling a cause greater than self and making a difference for others.
    • being autonomous, self-reliant, and self-directed.
    5. Authenticity

    Authenticity has its origin in personally held core convictions.

    • Is based in total unconditional acceptance.
    • Is being driven by intentions and goals.
    • Is being your own person.
    6. Character

    Exemplary character is knowing that:

    • Actions rooted in good character produce the best outcome, even when you can’t see how.
    • Being affirmed for your character (who you are “being”) is more important than being praised for your achievement.
    • Personal fulfillment, gratification, and gratefulness is indicative of “true success.”

    True Success is realized when personal benchmarks come to fruition by being a person of exemplary character.

    7. Humility

    Humility is not seeing yourself as better than another.

    • Is being modest
    • Is being other-centered
    • Is being respectful and righteous
    • Is being more interested in others
    • Is giving the credit for your success to others
    0. Do not change



    Guilt (control)


    8. Love

    Love is total unconditional acceptance (TUA).

    • By being patient, tolerant, and accepting people just the way they are.
    • By recognizing people’s unique personal history and being compassionate and understanding.
    • By finding ways to affirm the character traits you observe in others.
    • By having a forgiving heart.
    • By giving people a second chance over and over again.
    9. Other-Centeredness

    Other-centeredness is:

    • Making others most important in the moment.
    • Showing a genuine interest in things that are important to others, by asking questions and nodding in the affirmative.
    • Giving and expecting nothing in return.
    • Honoring others by putting them first.
    • “True success” is experienced when serving a cause greater than self.
    10. Content Ethics

    Applying content ethics is:

    • Being your word.
    • Obeying the rules and laws.
    • Doing the right thing no matter what, even when no one is looking.
    • Making a contribution to the greater good of our community.
    • Honoring the collective wisdom derived over the past 3500 years before we decide to change it.
    11. Personal Responsibility

    You avoid moral accountability when you blame, make excuses, have a victim mindset, and are unforgiving.

    A person who takes personal responsibility has a core belief that they have a choice in how they respond to everything that happens in their life.

    12. Faith

    Faith is having the courage to trust your personally held core convictions.

    Faith, courage and trust will overcome fears and challenges that cause you to see life as a series of opportunities instead of a series of problems.

    • Faith that actions rooted in good character will produce the best outcome even when you can’t see how.
    • Courage to persevere through all challenges and failures.
    • When facing challenges – Trust is believing that this too will pass.