In other words, there is a difference between thinking from the thought "I am a loser" and observing the thought "I am a loser".

- What is Mindfulness?

I wonder how much the articulated thought “I am a loser” occurs without an imaginary audience. Actually, insofar as you are aware of the thought “I am a loser”, there is already a bifurcated consciousness: there is an audience. The inner audience may nod in agreement, clap with enthusiasm, talk back to the stage, or perhaps engage in a distancing maneuver. The difference is between a receptive, engaged audience and an audience that observes without commitment to the narrative.

Perhaps it’s not so much “thoughts as audiences for other thoughts” but thoughts that react to other thoughts, keeping the chain going. Except when the reacting thought assumes the stance of observer, that pretty much shuts down the operation.