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Cognitive distortions or reality and counteracting them



So, here we go. Here is my process below to counter act my erroneous thinking with new rational, reality based affirmations.

a] "I am worthless, inadequate, unlovable and deficient."

WHY is this True? -all my past actions demonstrate this.

-but I also have had a lot of success. there is two thing here. first, am I willing to quantify all of my past failures, versus, all of my past successes and see which wins? Second, are these actions actually quantifiable? If I was to list them all and classify them rationally, according to my values, but, more importantly, according to WHAT IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE, if I was to know that...which would essentially mean that I am...GOD [!!!] But, clearly, I am not god, so It is not my purpose to evaluate what is humanly possible to do for me on this earth...

Hmm, this is a though one. I am struggling! So what's the reality then?

- the reality is that you have tremendous qualities, and some defect too. The reality is that you are built to survive on this planet. So I guess, I am adequate. At least one good thing! If I am adequate, then it means I am worthwhile. If I am adequate, it means I am lovable. Now, it is not because I do not 'see' how I am loved all the time that I am not lovable. If I am adequate, then it means that I am not deficient. I may have some deficiencies, but I am not completely deficient.

- So, again, how much more deficiencies o I have than positive qualities? And is this ultimately important?

Tough one I tell you... I'll have to come back to this one.


b] the environment is overwhelming, presenting insuperable obstacles that cannot be overcome.

- I have demonstrate in [a] that I am built to survive, therefore nothing in my environment is ultimately overwhelming by nature. It is just that sometimes, I don't see which tool to use to overcome certain obstacles in the moment. But when I examine the situation calmly, I see solutions. They may not be easy, and therefore do not appear ideal at all times, as I can't predict the future, but there are solutions.

- but what about a incurable disease? Hmm, well, yah, the only solution here is to really, really, REALLY be sure it's incurable first of all. And, also, I would still have the choice at this point to live my life as well as I can til the end... And, in all circumstances in my life, we're not talking about that so things are surmountable for the most part. But, I will die one day. And it is scary, but it's part of life.

c] the future is hopeless, doomed.

-Again, in [a] I have found that I am built to survive. I can find solutions, they may not be easy but it is doable.

and then, there are all the different distortion mechanisms:

a] All or nothing thinking - e.g., it is perfect or a total failure. The problem here is that thinking this way provokes very strong emotional response. When you evaluate that you are great [well, you feel fantastic], but most frequently, the reality is that when you make a mistake, you feel that you are a total failure! With this in mind, it seems pointless to make any effort to prevent a relapse.

Often, I see how I think in this way.

b] Overgeneralization - single negative event coupled with "always" or "never." Very similar to the all or nothing thinking...

c] Mental filter - discounting the positives and dwelling on the negatives. This is a very difficult one to eradicate I find.

c.1] Magnification - Exaggerate the importance of one's liabilities, and minimize the importance of one's assets. Same thing as the mental filter, only applied to self.

d] Jumping to conclusions

d.1] Mind reading - The belief that you know what other people are thinking - e.g., "She thinks I'm a... [insert insult here]"

d.2] Fortune telling - The belief that you can predict the future - e.g., "She is going to [insert negative outcome here] "

e] Emotional reasoning: assume emotions reflect reality

e.1] "I am terrified to go, so it must be dangerous."

e.2] "I feel angry therefore I must be being treated unfairly."

e.3] "I feel so inferior, therefore I must be inadequate somehow."

f] Personalization and blame - attributing responsibility totally to persons.

g] Should statements (Musterbation)

g.1] Directed against self leads to guilt and frustration

g.2] Directed against others leads to anger and frustration

h] Labeling - you are not what you do.

h.1] I did such and such, this only PROVES that I am worthless, an idiot, rotten, mean, lack ability or character...

h.2] In reality, when examined deaply, the only real conclusion that can be drawn rationally is that humans do, sometimes foolish actions, but it there is no such thing as a 'fool'.


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