Unhelpful Patterns of Thinking

Positive thinking is important for success in all areas.  Avoid these negative patterns of thinking to avoid falling into a downward spiral of negativity.  All or Nothing Thinking: Black-and-white thinking. It sounds like, “If I don’t do this right, I’m a failure.”  Overgeneralization: Seeing a pattern based on a single event or being overly broad. It sounds like, “I never win” or “Nothing good ever happens to me.” Jumping to Conclusions: This can be two things. Thinking you know what others are thinking or thinking you can predict the future. Mental Filter: Noticing our failures, but not seeing our successes. Disqualifying the Positive: Discounting the good things that have happened or that you’ve done; thinking it doesn’t count. Emotional Reasoning: Assuming because we feel a certain way, what we think must be true. It sounds like, “I feel embarrassed so I must be an idiot.” Catastrophizing or Minimizing: Blowing things out of proportion or making them seem less important.  Should Statements: Using words like “should/must/ought” which make us feel guilty or like we’ve failed.

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