It took some time to realize how important it is to not to follow what other people say about myself. The reason it was very difficult is because I had negative thoughts that hindered my goals. I always focused on what other people think about me and that was the end all for my goals. I also had negative thoughts about myself that was not true about myself. Everybody have goals and everybody wants to be successful. There are cognitive distortions that are in our mind every single day that we must face and must overcome.
Jumping to conclusions: This cognitive distortion maybe one of the most well-known for people. The thought of knowing what someone may say. Even though you do not know what the person is thinking. It is a distortion that can be very hurtful for people because the person assumes they know the outcome of the situation when the person has no idea of the outcome.
Solution: Ask this question to yourself. Can you predict the future? Do you know everyone’s intentions in life? Ask those questions before the thought occurs. The believe of jumping into conclusions can hinder one’s goals in life. Be patient and let the situation occur before jumping into the conclusion. Afterwards make a decision with the situation.
Side note: If there is a situation that can be physically dangerous and you feel it is best not to do it, then go with those feelings. If it is a situation that could be beneficial to you (ex: accomplishing goals), then do not jump into conclusions.
Mental Filter: Have you ever felt so hurt from a situation that your positive mindset is narrowed to a small funnel? That is what mental filtering does, it reduces your positive beliefs into sometime so small that the person cannot think any different.
Solution: Mental filters are one of the most difficult cognitive distortions to overcome. It is not an easy process because it usually happens when a terrible event happens. Examples would be a terrible argument, loss of a job, loss of a love one, etc. The first way overcome this is to understand your social support. Talking about your feelings can be healing for a person that has a negative view on things. Using “I” statements and expressing those feelings, not only help people understand your feelings, but it is something that no one can take from you.
Overgeneralization: It is a difficult to start a goal when past events overshadow what you want in life. An example would a situation where a married couple had situation where the husband lied to the wife about her place he was supposed to go too. Tomorrow the husband said he was going to the same event from last week. The wife believes her husband will always lie to her about where he is going because of a past event.
Solution: Overcoming overgeneralization is not an easy thing to do. It is difficult and many people have a hard time overseeing this issue. The people that have the hardest time with it are people that have been hurt from someone and their trust is damaged from it. It does not always have to be someone else, but it can also be your self-defeating thoughts. The best way to resolve this issue is to change the negative generalization into positive ones. The example with the husband is a very good listener and a good father. Tell the person or yourself those positive thoughts and it can help change the negative generalization of the person or your own negative thoughts.
Conclusion: Negative thoughts can destroy relationship and people’s goals in life. The negative thoughts can hinder a person to reach beyond their limitations in life. However, once a person understands that switching the mindset from negative to positive thoughts and using different wording like “I” statements. It can help people reach their potential in life.