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

Work With Your Strengths To Experience The State Of Flow – Positive Vibes Series

Clearly, it is rewarding to work with your strengths, yet, the question is, how do you recognize your strengths? When it comes to assessing what you are good at, the understanding can become fuzzy. At this stage, you are at risk of underperforming or be conceited, which is different from being self-confident. Consequently, this state of confusion brings about indecisiveness, which is useful if you tend to it. How? Well:

  • Uncertainties and doubts raise questions
  • You will start filling self-analysis exercises
  • Spotting patterns that suggest your forte
  • You reach out to pragmatic family, friends, and colleagues to seek feedback
  • Taking note of what you have learned, you draw a self-portrait and create an action plan to make effective use of your strengths.

Notably, the activity should also include identifying your weaknesses. Upon reflection, recognizing your imperfections and improving on indeed become one of your most vital strengths. Make sure that this self-awareness inspires you and creates a commitment to self-improvement. However, the problem arises if you spend your energy trying to improve your weakness rather than exploring and practicing your strengths once you have uncovered them. J.K Rowling focused solely on her creative mind and writing skills instead of improving her lack of organizational skills. In an interview, she said: “I am one of the most disorganized people in the world and, as I later proved, the worst secretary ever.” For instance, in a sport setting, a soccer coach spots the core strength and ensures that the player is placed in a position to accentuate its power.

It is a known fact that when you use your strengths, you will be happier. The evidence lies in extensive research based on positive psychology interventions. The idea that brings your focus on using your “signature strengths” in a new way. A treatment method or “intentional activities aim to cultivate positive feelings, behaviors, or cognitions” (Sin and Lyubomirsky, 2009, p. 468). Hence, if you aim to progress while maintaining and boosting your mental state’s well-being, learn to leverage your strengths to reach your goals. And remember strength is characterized as a trait that:

  • Energizes you
  • Makes you stronger
  • Makes you thrive
  • It engages you
  • Fulfills you
  • Notably, it leads you to be in the zone or a flow state – a mental state that keeps you fully involved and feels with joy so that you are entirely absorbed in the activity.
Jean Michel Bihorel

Featured image by Bruno Birkhofer Photography 

How to foster advocates and loyalists?

Generally, people are more inclined to engage with brands that are truly invested in improving social issues. They establish a meaningful connection when the brand’s voice provokes a conversation, signals ethical standards or involves their audience into cause activism. According to 2017 Edelman Earned Brand Study: ” Fifty-seven percent of consumers around the world will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue”. This means that a brand can prompt haters or possibly harness advocates by manifesting a point of view, taking a political stand or starting a dialogue.

For that reason, tapping into the subconscious of the belief-driven audience fosters loyalists.  On that account, how to connect in a meaningful way?  By creating:

  • Personal and relatable contents
  • Provoking a conversation
  • Activating sustainable solutions
  • Engaging your audience in shaping the social movement

Remarkably, each and every referenced approach that offers “empathy”, will be rewarded by consumers.

“People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Be mindful and remember that Homo Sapiens appreciate being understood. For that matter, recognize the hurt, the desire, the need or the joy. Get to know your audience, send the message that “you get them” and initiate a memorable bonding. Your platform as an individual, profit or non-profit entity is not solely about growing your brand but how to make a difference.

Consider the shaping elements of good storytelling as a starting point:

  • What: is the topic, what has happened or will happen: be clear, focused and unveiled the matter. Be attentive, the spotlight should be on the issue not on your brand but your shared values.
  • Who: has been affected
  • Why: are you taking a stand: acknowledge the importance of the topic and the impact. Avoid mixed messages. Ask open-ended questions.
  • How: can you as a brand and belief-driven audience feed the beast, get involved and have an impact. How to convey your message: contextually or visually based?
  • When: the development speed of news, an issue or a talking point is critical in your communication
  • Where: does your audience absorb information?

The underlying emotion of empathy rooted in your brand’s voice and taking a position in life, strengthen your authority.  Individuals with great personal branding such as Tony Robbins interact with their audience with stirring personal stories and the ability to understand their feelings. Brands such as Procter & Gamble, UNICEF tackling social issues or J. Crew blog post “How to get (and dress for) the job you want” are all about making life better for others.

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Procter & Gamble’s thought-provoking ad called “The Talk” acknowledges biases and the challenges that black community experience as parents.

Or “thank you Mom, Winter Olympics 2018” video:

Unicef’s campaign, “It’s on all of us to stand up and speak out to #ENDviolence against children. Recognize it. Report it”, deeply disturbs and propels you to act upon.