Distorted Thinking

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Introduction : Distorted Thinking
Our thoughts greatly influence our results. Do you know how to frame your thinking in order to achieve the best results possible?
In this lesson, you’ll learn about what distorts our thinking. We’ll also explore how you can make the most of what you know to control your results.
Read the case study below.
Case Study: Angelique’s Thinking
Angelique had been working as an administrative assistant with the school district for five years. She was laid off from work, along with several other employees, because the school districts were trying to save classroom teaching positions and had to find some savings by letting other staff go. Angelique felt bummed out, worried, angry, and guilty, and she became quite depressed.
She kept thinking to herself, “I’m a born loser. I can’t do anything right. I’ll never find another job. I’m letting my family down.”
Distorted Thinking
Most bad feelings come from illogical thoughts, even though they seem perfectly correct when you think about them. When you uncover the lies that make up these distorted thoughts, you can change the way you feel.
Here are some ways that Angelique’s thinking was distorted:
All or nothing thinking: She’s looking at herself in black and white categories, because she sees herself as a total loser.
Overgeneralization: She’s lost her job but is generalizing to her entire self.
Mental filter: She’s dwelling on this bad event and letting it discolor her entire view of life, much like a drop of ink can discolor a whole glass of water.
Discounting the positives: She’s overlooking her many good qualities.
Magnification or minimization: She’s blowing this negative event out of proportion.
Emotional reasoning: Angelique reasons from how she feels. She feels like a born loser, so she believes she really is one.
“Should” statements: She may have the belief that she should always be successful at things and never fail. She may also believe that if she is a good person and tries hard, life should always go smoothly.
Labeling: She’s labeling herself as a born loser instead of trying to learn from the situation or thinking about the best way to find a new job.
Blame: She’s automatically blaming herself for getting laid off. In fact, lots of people were laid off due to budget changes. Angelique’s employment record has been excellent.