Irrational Thoughts

All too often we cause our misery by making mountains out of molehills.

1.Mistakes are never acceptable. If I make one, it means that I am incompetent. This is overly generalized. Would you expect your best friend or your child nto never make mistakes? When they do, do you think they are incompetent? People make mistakes. Next time you make a mistake. Remind yourself that you are only human. A mistake does not mean anything negative about you, it means…you goofed. Try to find somthing to learn from it, like how you can avoid making that mistake again. Remind yourself how many other things you are competent at.

2.When somebody disagrees with me, it is a personal attack against me. Okay, sometimes this is true, especially on the internet. Nevertheless, WHY are they attacking you? Most often people lash out at others because they feel insecure. The other possibility is that you are at least partly wrong (See above). Be open to other people’s point of view. You do not necessarily have to agree. When you disagree with someone, are you personally attacking them? My guess is no. So why do you think they are attacking you?

3.To be content in life, I must be liked by all people.
Not everyone is going to like you. Get over it. If you like yourself, then it really does not matter if other people like and validate you. Many people will not like you because they are insecure or they have “stuff.” Are you really going to let their “stuff” bring you down. Take a personal inventory. Are you a good and nice person? Do people have a legitimate reason not to like you? If so, then do something about it. If you require other people to tell you you are okay, then you need to work on liking you. Take a personal inventory of all of your strengths and good qualities. Keep a journal of good things you do each day. When you start feeling bad, review your journal. Be as creative as you would like.

4.My true value as an individual depends on what others think of me. (See 3 above)

5.If I am not involved in an intimate relationship, I am completely alone.
There is a huge difference between being alone and being lonely. Even when you are not in an intimate realtionship, you are not alone. Make a list of your friends and family who love you. People who cannot stand to be out of an intimate relationship do not like to spend time with themselves. They do not like themselves. Make a list of all of the qualities you look for in an intimate relationship. See how many of those needs you can provide for yourself or get met with your friends and family.

6.There is no grey area. Success is black and failure is white.
See 1 above. We all make mistakes and rarely do we succeed perfectly at something. I remember having recitals and giving speeches in which I goofed up. My teachers always told me that if I kept going, nobody would probably notice. They were right. The speech or recital or whatever was still a success, even if I was not perfect. Part of success too is knowing your limitations. Successful people know when they need to ask for help, or simply say “I don’t know.”

7.Nothing ever turns out the way you want it to.
Well, that is a defeatest attitude. List 5 things that have turned out the way you wanted. List 5 more that have not turned out how you expected, but it turned out okay. We do not always get our way, but if we focus on what we do not have or did not get, we will always be miserable. What do you have? What positive came out of it.

8.If the outcome was not perfect, it was a complete failure. (See 1 and 6 above.)

9.I am in absolute control of my life. If something bad happens, it is my fault.
You cannot control the weather. You cannot control other people. All you can control is how you react and what you do. Bad things happen to good people. The question is, do you let it destroy you, or do you figure out how to deal with it and move on. Take responsibility only for the things that you do have control over.

10.The past always repeats itself. If it was true then, it must be true now.
The definition of insanity is doing what you have always done and expecting different results. You have the ability to change how you deal with things now. Similar situations will arise. Use your past knowledge to help you deal with them better.

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