Overgeneralization: The belief that a single occurrence of an event correlates to future events playing out in a similar fashion – Blake Burge
Your mind can be your worst enemy. But it’s not your fault. Cognitive Distortions are to blame. Here are 10 to be aware of, learn from, and overcome: 🧵
All or nothing thinking: You see things in black & white. No shades of gray, no middle ground. You focus on extremes: Good or Bad Success or Failure Outstanding or Terrible See the problem? Reality lies in the middle. Remember: Nothing is ever as good (or bad) as it seems.
Overgeneralization: The belief that a single occurrence of an event correlates to future events playing out in a similar fashion. I got fired -> I’ll never keep a job I failed a test -> I always get bad grades. See how silly these sound? One misstep ≠ a broad pattern.
Mental filtering: A distortion where our brain focuses only on the negative aspects of a given situation… We “filter” out the positive. In relationships try this: Appreciate the positive attributes of your partner, rather than dwelling on things you dislike.
Mind Reading: Speaking of relationships… I’ve been guilty of this more times than I can count. Mind reading is when we jump to conclusions & assume we know what the other person is thinking. Bad idea. Don’t assume you know how someone feels… Ask, be quiet, listen.
Fortune Telling: Put away your crystal ball. Miss Cleo, you are not. This distortion manifests in our tendency to worry about what we think “might” happen. You don’t know the future. Stop thinking of all the reasons you “know” something won’t work and focus on why it will.
Heaven’s Reward: The belief that one’s hard work, sacrifice, & effort will result in a specific “just” reward. Here’s the truth. There are times when no matter what you do, the outcome you desire won’t happen. That’s ok. Often, the reward is the trip, not the destination.
“Should” Statements: I should be married I should be wealthier I should be in better shape… Stop worrying about who you should be, what you should do, and what you should have done. Odds are, you’re setting unrealistic standards. Where are you now? How can you improve?
Discounting the positive: Ever have trouble accepting a compliment? Pass off success as merely luck or circumstance? You’re discounting. The next time you receive an award, are praised for a job well done or are simply told you’re good at something… Maybe you actually are.
Catastrophizing: The greatest fear most people have is fear of the unknown. When we’re unsure what will happen, our mind begins to wander. Worry & doubt creep in. We begin to assume the worst. Trust the process. The odds that your worst fears will be realized are slim.
Always Right: This distortion happens when we place the need to be “right” above all else. We ignore the evidence, dig in our heels, and double down on our position. This is a fool’s game. Know what you don’t know. Admit when you’re wrong. Learn and move forward.