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 Move Away from Blame Game and Take responsibility – Positive Vibes Series

Yes it is hard to accept change, yes you have been wounded, yes you have been ridiculed, yes you have cried your heart out from unjust, yes you have been let down, and yes you have been taken for granted.

Now, it is time to sanitize your thoughts, yes it is time to stop blaming yourself or others. 

Dylan Bolivar

It is time to change perspective and elevate your thinking to a place where the field is clear and no-one’s shadow or actions loom out of your whining and complaining mind. A place where you take responsibility to learn and move forward. This new outlook is like stepping into a hot shower after a long torturous physical labour. Tension is relieved, the aches are gone and you feel refreshed. 

Be aware that you cannot avoid getting emotionally hurt, wronged or exposed to natural disasters and by building high fences you would not be protected from future unwarranted or unforeseen circumstances instigated by outside forces.

On top of that, bear in mind that your commitment to growing in life means tossing away the self-evaluation infested with blame. The emotion is so debilitating to a point that you may even not see the quicksand that is pulling you brutally downward where you will cease to exist.

Johnson Tsang

Being a captain in your life’s command center needs a gigantic shift of mindset. An intelligent mind snaps out of victimhood, realizing that it needs to adjust the sails when the direction of the wind cannot be changed.

Captian Kirk – Start Trek

Even when the world seems to be against you, instead of getting stuck and hanging on to validation, move away from self-pity, sit back, take personal responsibility, observe, learn and find solutions. Taking responsibility is not to orbit in the realm of self-blame, but to take the following steps:

  • Do not set the destructive standard for yourself – In a difficult situation, do not personalize the issue by self-disparagement since many things that happened to you is not completely your lapse or shortcomings. 
  • Do not freeze up, make sense of the circumstance by asking fact-finding questions.
  • Develop resilience – the capability to learn and recover is dynamic and not a personality trait.

The benefits of shifting perspectives are boundless. Even if a nasty outcome unfolds from your decision, you will no longer confront it with blaming games. Rather, you choose to improve your own behaviour, reactions and your decision making progress so that next time you lessen the chances of it happening again. 

Learning from the past should positively transform your mindset. You start de-cluttering and evolving to be strong and dynamic. Still, unfortunate events bound to happen, anger, and resentment will slither and cloud your judgment steering your emotions towards victimhood and blame.

Nevertheless, if you have done your homework and every day took the time to self-reflect and practice, particularly learning to let go of what you cannot control and cultivating a non-judgmental attitude, next time in face of adversity, you decide, react and re-define the situation, then and only then you can progress. Remember keeping your zest for life upbeat is to have self-compassion and courage to trade helplessness with self-growth. 

Lastly, every time fear, worry or challenging situations lurk for your darkest moments, recognize that mistakes are natural so instead of stifling your potential just get back on the horse.

“Use your signature strengths and virtues in the service of something much larger than you are.” ~ Martin Seligman (2002, p. 263)