“Remember it is the mistake or failure that leads us to the best version. How we handle the mistake is what defines who we are, not the mistake itself.”
We all make mistakes on a daily basis. We trip, stumble, forget, and fall, it’s a factor of life that we accept and learn from. However, we often overlook the stumbles we make in our thinking. We commonly repeat our thinking mistakes, getting caught in a negative cycle of thoughts we don’t even notice. You may have fallen victim to some of the common thinking styles highlighted here.
When we make a mistake, sometimes we feel like everyone’s watching. The brain then defaults to a negative thought pattern. A story is created that enforces the negative, i.e… they think less of you for making a mistake or he/she doesn’t like me. This process of “mind-reading” and assuming what others think of us can be incredibly damaging to relationships and self-esteem. This common thinking mistake leads to feelings of inadequacy and creates a distance from those around us that impedes healthy and open communication. In other words, it is fuel for your inner critic. The voice in your head that tells you, you are not good enough. Instead of assuming what others think of you, pull out the facts. Facts are statements that have no judgment in them. How can you check your beliefs to find out if they are accurate? How much of what you are telling yourself is your inner critic working to hold you hostage? Continually correct the assumption or negative thought with facts, a reframe and a positive thought.
All or Nothing Thinking
Another common mistake is the all or nothing extreme thinking. This thinking exaggerates the negatives to where the positives are reduced to virtually nothing. All or nothing thinking likens the smallest error to the end of the world. This sort of thinking saps the motivation out of individuals with even the smallest setback. This constant decimation of inspiration can lower self-esteem and confidence as well. These thinkers need to learn to reframe their perspectives and understand the ups and downs of life don’t mean life as they know it is ending. Making a list of what the positives are in specific situations will help the brain shift. This will be a stretch for those that live in the extremes but with practice it can become a habit that decreases stress and increases problem solving.
Comparison Mode of Thinking
Another dangerous mistake in our thoughts is the comparison mode of thinking. We constantly liken and compare ourselves to others, and we seem to only find our shortcomings. In comparison there is a winner and a loser or a greater and a less than. The constant comparisons are dangerous to our self-esteem and confidence. These thinkers should stop to consider that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, including themselves. Comparison will be the theft of all joy, it’s essential that we find contentment in who we are. If your fingerprint is like no other individual in the world, how is trying to compare yourself to another going to benefit you? List out your strengths and work to capitalize on those.
Do you think maybe you’ve been thinking about thinking all wrong? Remember it is the mistake or failure that leads us to the best version. How we handle the mistake is what defines who we are, not the mistake itself.
Changing these common thinking mistakes is the formula for a less stressful and more fulfilling life. At Brain Basics we utilize tools around Energy Leadership and Emotional Intelligence to create a clear picture of your thought process and what influences you. Working with a Brain Basic’s coach you will gain a new level of awareness empowering your personal growth, maximizing your success at work and at home. Connect with us today to learn more.