Becoming mindful of these common cognitive distortions will help you understand yourself and other people better, and improve your decision making. Taking something personally that may not be personal. Seeing events as consequences of your actions when there are other possibilities. Tips for not personalizing. Overestimating the likelihood that an action will have a negative outcome. More info in my book here. Biased attention toward signs of social rejection, and lack of attention to signs of social acceptance.
Remembering negatives from a social situation and not remembering positives. For example, remembering losing your place for a few seconds while giving a talk but not remembering the huge clap you got at the end. Believing an absence of a smiley-face in an email means someone is mad at you. The belief that achieving unrelentingly high standards is necessary to avoid a catastrophe.
For example, the belief that making any mistakes will lead to your colleagues thinking you're useless. Believing the same rules that apply to others should not apply to you. Justification and moral licensing.
10 Cognitive Distortions
Belief that self-criticism is an effective way to motivate yourself toward better future behavior. Recognizing feelings as causes of behavior, but not equally attending to how behavior influences thoughts and feelings. Using feelings as the basis of a judgment, when the objective evidence does not support your feelings. Therefore I should wash my again. Holding a fixed, false belief despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
3 Toxic Thinking Habits That Feed Your Insecurity
For example, blowing your own mistakes and flaws out of proportion and perceiving them as more significant than they are. Seeing things the way people around you view them.
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- 3 Toxic Thinking Habits That Feed Your Insecurity - Scientific American.
Research has shown that this often happens at an unconscious level. This is a type of lack of psychological flexibility. When someone makes an outlandish request first, then makes a smaller request, the initial outlandish request makes the smaller request seem more reasonable. Or, overestimating the value of your home when you put it on the market for sale because you overestimate the added value of renovations you've made.
Tips for overcoming the self-serving bias. For example, spending an hour doing a low ROI task and thinking "it's only an hour" and not considering the lost potential of spending that hour doing a high ROI task. The tendency to trust and value people who are like you, or who are in your circle, more than people from different backgrounds. Getting external feedback can help you become aware of things you didn't even know that you didn't know!
The belief that worry and overthinking will lead to problem solving insights. This can cause dread and anxiety, making you less satisfied with your situation and less productive. If you find that your glass is always half-empty, stop yourself and rethink the situation.
Learning to refocus your attention on the positive aspects of your job can make you happier overall and train your brain to skip the negativity. You got a C on a test. Everything is black and white. Nothing ever goes the way you want it to. This can poison your thinking and turn a negative scenario into a self-fulfilling prophecy. You got more right than you did wrong. In other situations, consider thinking of a similar scale. Focusing on the positives and the situation as a whole can help you maintain a healthy perspective.
You end up feeling overburdened and frazzled.
Making a broad, sweeping judgment based on one negative occurrence is called overgeneralization. Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes. If a person screws up once, make an effort to forget it and remind yourself of his or her positive qualities. Thinking you know how someone feels without them telling you is often an example of jumping to conclusions — making a conclusion without actual evidence. Assuming something negative can affect your whole outlook on your job and each day.
This happens each time you let a perceived slight affect your mood. Focus on your positive interactions with that person, and make a concerted effort to be kind and professional. You made a mistake at work or in school recently, and the more you think about it, the bigger it seems. People who catastrophize also known as magnifying or minimizing may start thinking about the worst-case scenario in any situation.
Try to gain some perspective by thinking of reasonable consequences of your mistake or of the consequences others have faced for a similar mistake. If you have trouble putting things in perspective yourself, ask a trusted friend for his or her opinion. Seeking outside advice can be great for combating many cognitive distortions. You often feel like your coworkers or classmates are taking shots at you when they say something negative or that they are always trying to be better than you.
This makes you anxious and keeps you from focusing on your work sometimes. This often causes people to frequently compare themselves to others and feel like others are always reacting to something they personally did. If you know when to watch out for this distortion, you can learn to control it better.
10 Cognitive Distortions
You can ask him to clarify some of his instructions. This makes you resentful of the company and makes you work less hard. Use the situation as a learning experience. Think about her positive traits instead of her negative ones, and let her promotion make you a harder worker so that you might be the next one on that list.
From Genius to Madness
You received feedback on your group project and your teacher wants you to redo most of it. You feel like one of your teammates was the one who chose the wrong direction for the project and feel like she should be the one to fix it. The cognitive distortion of blaming can cause us to unjustly blame others or ourselves for problems that arise. It hurts the team morale and efficiency. Take responsibility for what you did to contribute to the situation.