Hi, Max here from The Coaching Room. Thanks for checking part 2 of this article out. If you haven’t read part one, you can read it here. Once you’ve read it, I hope that you will have a deeper understanding of how your self-talk and cognitive distortions can shape your reality and some life hacks that you can take to improve the quality of your life and level of emotional intelligence, if you choose to.
In this article, I’ll be talking about how you can use the some of the most common cognitive distortions as a checklist of the thinking patterns you may hold in the back of your mind, the problems the distorted thinking can create as well as the solution for an empowering response.
Imposing semantic limits on oneself and others as if there is some rule that constrains us from doing something, limiting ideas of what is possible and stunting the ideas of potential.
“I just can’t do it, it won’t work for me. That’s not okay for you to say that, that is unacceptable behavior”
Instead, think possibly, free from constraints – what stops me? Do I have permission? Can’t – is it physical or psychological?
The mental attitude of rejecting and/or putting down by disqualifying possible solutions, successes or possibilities. This limits small wins to be celebrated and approximates of success and solutions from being recognized and developed.
“What I did doesn’t count, it wasn’t good enough, it could have been better”
Instead, think appreciatively. What can I count? In what way? Do I have permission to make mistakes?
8. Emotionalizing – wishful thinking
Taking council of one’s emotions as an infallible source for reality which impairs the healthy use of emotions.
“If I’m feeling an emotion it must be real and now I need to act upon that feeling. If I want something, I should have it. My wishing will make it real. I feel pretty lucky, it must mean I should go and buy a lotto ticket because it’s finally going to be my week”
Instead, think observationally, step back and observe. Witness senses, facts and activities without making judgment. This increases choices and options without using emotions to color experiences.
Assuming that a name or label can accurately and adequately describe something or someone, selling a person short by putting into a box and assuming that’s all the person is, hiding reality in a label and then identifying with that label to be a true reflection.
“I’m a failure, that person is fat, those people are idiots. He’s a bully. She’s a victim”
Instead, use map territory or reality testing thinking for more accurate mapping – firstly, is it just a label or word? What am I referring to? In what way is it bad or undesireable?
Perceiving circumstances and actions of others as targeted toward yourself, perceiving the world through the egocentric filter that everything or most things is about you.
“Because she was angry, I must have done something wrong to upset her. People seem to always be angry at me, I’ve got the worst luck”
Instead, think objectively. Step back and take an objective perspective – what does it look like from a neutral observer? Could this be about the source rather than me?
11. Shoulding – demandingness
Shoulding and musterbating through the use of the words “should” or “must” to pressure yourself and others to conform to rules, eliminating the sense of choice and leashing one to a sense of dreadful duty.
“I should really go to the gym, I have to go because I made a commitment, and you must come with me.”
Instead, use choice thinking – should? Must? Have to? Why? Who says? What is the rule? Change to “want, choose to, prefer”. This prevents addiction and the build up nof pressure by keeping wants and desires healthy.
When we are cognitively “wrong” our perceptions are foggy rather than clear. Mental and emotional pain arises not because we are emotionally sick, but because we’re cognitively distorted. We are simply operating from an old and outdated map, maps which simply do not enable us to navigate the territory very well. Running these cognitive distorts are an indicator that we have not outgrown our childish thinking patterns that distort and leash our potentials.
If you are interested in personal development and would like to know more about Neuro Lingustic Programming, we run NLP courses where we will cover in depth how you can use NLP and cognitive distortions, not to fix you (because you’re not broken) but to expand your awareness so that you can make choices that are healthy for you - choices that are from a place of emotional intelligence (EQ) for a happier existence and work life balance.
So, stop talking yourselves into a terrible future by using this simple NLP technique.
- Identify an activity where you are not getting the results that you want.
- Identify the cognitive distortions that create difficulties or limitations as you take a step back and look at it objectively.
- In what way may it have undermined your sense of well-being, or has it served you well?
- Update the cognitive distortions with empowering thinking patterns.
Will we see you in the room?