Can we distort our own experiences and negatively affect our growth and mindset?
The truth is, the language we use in our every day life, right down to what has been spoken over us impacts how we subconsciously process and experience our world.
We attempt to capture thoughts, ideas and to describe what we see around us using words. Inevitably, things get "lost in translation.” This phenomenon has been happening since the days of Cain and Abel!
We lose information through "Generalizations,” a "Deletion of information“ and what is referred as a "Cognitive Distortion."
A Distortion is where some aspects of ideas and experiences are given more weight and focus than others. We all do this both consciously and unconsciously, and how we do this provides revelation to our underlying beliefs about ourselves, others and the world around us. 💡
Here is a list of the Top 10 Cognitive Distortions:
Which of these do you do?
* Note these areas below that you might like to discuss with your coach or therapist:
All or Nothing Thinking: Seeing things as black-or-white, right-or-wrong with nothing in-between. You might think:
• “Essentially, if I'm not perfect then I'm a failure.”
• I didn't finish writing that paper so it was a complete waste of time.
• There's no point in playing if I'm not 100% in shape.
• They didn't show - they’re completely unreliable!
2. Overgeneralization: Using words like always, or never in relation to a single event or experience.
• I'll never get that promotion - She always does that…
3. Minimizing or Magnifying
( Also Catastrophizing )
Seeing things as dramatically more or less important than they actually are. Often creating a "catastrophe" that follows.
• Because my boss publicly thanked her she'll get that promotion, not me (even though I had a great performance review and just won an industry award. )
• I forgot that email! That means my boss won't trust me again, I won't get that raise and my wife will leave me.
Using "should", "need to", "must", "ought to" to motivate oneself, then feeling guilty when you don't follow through (or you can project anger and resentment when someone else doesn't follow through).
• I should have got the painting done this weekend.
• They ought to have been more considerate of my feelings, they should know that would upset me.
5. Labelling: Attaching a negative label to yourself or others following a single event.
• I didn't stand up to my co-worker, I'm such a wimp! What an idiot, he couldn't even see that coming!
6. Jumping to Conclusions:
1) Mind-Reading: Making negative assumptions about how people see you without evidence or factual support.
Your friend is preoccupied and you don't bother to find out why. You're thinking:
• She thinks I'm exaggerating again or He still hasn't forgiven me for telling Sharon about his illness.
2) Fortune Telling: Making negative predictions about the future without evidence or factual support
• I won't be able to sell my house and I'll be stuck here (even though housing market is good.)
• No-one will understand. I won't be invited back again (even though they are supportive friends.)
7. Discounting the Positive: Not acknowledging the positive. Saying anyone could have done it or implying or insisting that your positive actions, qualities or achievements don't really count…
• That doesn't count, anyone could have done it.
• I've only cut back from smoking 40 cigarettes a day to 10. It doesn't count because I've not fully given them up yet.
8. Blame & Personalization: Blaming yourself when you weren't entirely responsible or blaming other people and denying your role in the situation
• If only I was younger, I would have got the job
• If only I hadn't said that, they wouldn't have…
• If only she hadn't yelled at me, I wouldn't have been angry and wouldn't have had that car accident.
9. Emotional Reasoning:
This can be a big one in my experience!
” I feel, therefore I am.” Assuming that a feeling is true - without digging deeper to see if this is accurate.
• I feel such an idiot (it must be true.)
I feel guilty (I must have done something wrong.)
• I feel really bad for yelling at my ____( fill in the blank ), I must be selfish and inconsiderate.
10. Mental Filter: Allowing (dwelling on) one negative detail or fact to spoil our enjoyment, happiness, hope, etc.
• You have a great evening and dinner at a restaurant with friends, but your chicken was undercooked and that spoiled
the whole evening.
Does any of this resonate with you? 🙋🏻♀️ Cognitive Distortions do not mean there is something wrong with you. Often it’s from traumatic experience, generational curses, and imperfect people..raising imperfect people.
Quite frankly, we are all doing the best that we can, with what we have.
What we must realize that sometimes there is a spiritual component also! Do you know the battle of good vs. evil that exists in the world? Know that there are fallen angels, and an enemy of your soul whose chief objective as a "thief is to steal, kill, ( your gifting, your peace, and joy) and destroy.." John 10:10
Bringing awareness and seeking the clarity of truth in a world of deception to is the first step to changing into a growth mindset! Awakening your spirit so that it can come alive is also necessary as there is nothing more powerful than the human spirit empowered by the Holy Spirit!
Then, getting in the habit of daily declarations about the truth of who you are, WHO'S you are. You will most definitely see results when your renew your mind with the truth of scripture. As Romans 12:2 says " do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.."
It was the best decision I ever made.
It still is. Every day I choose Him.