Irrational Beliefs – Part 4

Here are 3 irrational beliefs (cognitive distortions) that we need to watch out for and fix since they can lead to lower self-esteem and harm our everyday interactions.

 Always being right – When an individual often puts on a trial other people’s opinions and actions to prove that they are right. They struggle with the irrational belief that being wrong is unacceptable, and they go to any length to validate their argument.

What to do: Practice the Cost-Benefit Analysis Technique to list the advantages and disadvantages of this behavior. Ask yourself how it makes you feel and what you are gaining with an inappropriate attitude. This method examines the underlying motivation, which encourages you to be sensitive and attuned with your noble intentions. In other words, the practice improves emotional intelligence, which plays an important role in our interpersonal relationships.

Personalization involves taking everything personally or blaming yourself or someone else for an issue that was out of control, and a variety of factors played a role in it. This distortion also drives the person to compare himself to others to establish who is smart or attractive.

What to do:

  1. Stop recounting the problem repeatedly to yourself or others so that the toxic emotions are not reinforced—question what part you played in the issue’s outcome.
  2. Change the pattern, view error as an opportunity for self-improvement rather than failure—question what role you played in the problem’s outcome.
  3. Be mindful of your tendency to taking things personally and blaming others.
  4. Do recognize that everyone has their own struggles and life story.

Emotional Reasoning is when you are looking for external causes for your feelings. For instance: “I am anxious, so I must be in danger.” “I feel judged; this means that people are judging me.”

What to do:

  • Apply Double Standard Technique; instead of beating up on yourself mercilessly, pretend that you are talking to a friend with the same problem. Naturally, you will be more caring and practical. Try the same approach be a friend to yourself.
  • Practice Socratic Method: question to expose contradictions in your thoughts and ideas. Put yourself in the hot seat and find holes in your beliefs. Under pressure with critical thinking, reasoning, and logic, you will notice how a change in facts can change your perspective.

Hopefully, this piece and the previous posts have given you a solid understanding of irrational thoughts based on hidden assumptions that we can all experience at one time or another. Whether you are struggling with mental health or not, it helps evaluate our thinking patterns now and then. Yes, the introspection, either by tackling your own struggles or seeking out CBT Therapy, is extremely valuable. It helps us live a productive life by patching up the negativity and building resilience.

 

Artwork by Maja Borowicz

How to Improve Your Strategic Thinking

Alleviating fear of change and playing on what-if scenarios is what makes a great strategist. People change, realities change, perspectives change, preferences change, as Heraclitus famously said: “The only thing that is constant is the change.”

Visionaries don’t hold anything sacred. Indeed, they don’t classify concepts, people, or circumstances into bad or good files but look into the future and are torchbearers of progress without any sense of entitlement.

Great strategists live in the future; they consume, learn, and extract the essential to recognize the change wave. They assimilate the latest news across many industries that influence people’s social, financial interests, and behaviors. They can notice complicated cultural shifts and simplify the concepts. A good strategist builds a compelling narrative and generates excitement. Their rhetoric is founded in adaptation, remodeling, reshaping, a metamorphosis only what the future will look like.

Adopting this mindset is the most critical step in being a brilliant strategist. Develop the attitude; solutions will materialize.

How do you habituate this constructive view? 

1- Observe cultural transformation. For example, the institutions are no longer the authority. The emergence of peer to peer transactions in the financial industry to self-help and pursuit of individuality is the wave of change that will significantly affect the future.

2- Forget what has been and look into desirable possibilities. Ask yourself, what is my strongest point or the foundation of my brand that can solve many problems? Once identified, the additional assumptions will be removed and deliberately; our choices guide us to solutions reaching the desired possibility.

3- Observe actions. As our common truth changes, people’s attention and desires change. Pay attention to how people are spending their time and money. Building your thinking process around your observations leads to an effective strategy.

4- Develop a daily routine and incorporate technology resources for efficiency and an increase in productivity. Subscribe to daily analysis of your line of interests. Look into sub-culture news and controversial ideas that are infiltrating the mainstream conversation. Connect with people to share and gain different views and perspectives. Visit museums and galleries, follow influencers. As for efficiency, use apps to stream your social media, explore, and receive real-time news headlines.

On a final note, brushing past fixed ideas, listening attentively with an ability to understand and re-imagine the world are the keys to becoming a great strategist.

 

 

Featured image: by Meryl McMaster, a Canadian photographer whose best-known work explores her Indigenous heritage.