Common Cognitive Distortions That Are Holding You Back

cognitive distortions goals mindset personal growth progress Apr 10, 2024

Hey Friends, 

Cognitive distortions - what exactly are they? 🧠 In a nutshell, cognitive distortions are ways our mind convinces us of something that isn't true. They're like the mischievous imps of our thought processes, and they can hold us back from achieving our full potential.

So, without further ado, let's explore 6 of the most common cognitive distortions and some handy questions you can ask yourself to recognize them. 🕵️‍♀️

  1. All-or-Nothing Thinking (aka Black-and-White Thinking) 🏁: This distortion has us believing that things are either perfect or a total disaster. Ask yourself: "Am I viewing this situation in absolutes? Can I see the shades of gray?"
  2. Overgeneralization 🌐: Here, we assume that a single negative event is part of an endless pattern of defeat. Question: "Am I drawing sweeping conclusions from a single event? What evidence do I have for that?"                                           
  3. Jumping to Conclusions 🦘: This includes mind-reading (making assumptions about what people are thinking) and fortune-telling (predicting a negative outcome). Ponder: "Am I assuming the worst without sufficient evidence? What alternative explanations or outcomes might there be?" 
  4. Magnification and Minimization 🔍: This distortion involves blowing things out of proportion (magnification) or downplaying their importance (minimization). Reflect: "Am I making a mountain out of a molehill or a molehill out of a mountain? How can I view this situation more realistically?"
  5. Emotional Reasoning 😢: With emotional reasoning, we believe our emotions reflect reality. Ask: "Am I basing my thoughts on how I feel? Are my feelings an accurate representation of the situation?"
  6. Should Statements 🚦: These are rigid rules about how we or others "should" behave, often leading to guilt and frustration. Inquire: "Am I holding myself or others to unrealistic expectations? Can I let go of these 'shoulds'?"                                   

Remember that recognizing and challenging cognitive distortions takes practice. Be kind to yourself and patient in the process.                                         


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