“It’s my bad luck” ”It’s the same old story again!”, “I keep on making the same mistakes!” Many of us keeps on repeating the same statements every day, convinced that it’s either completely our fault or we are not to blame. Seeing the world in black and white reflects our unsupportive thinking patterns. What is more, noticing these patterns is difficult without a careful analysis of the difficulties you experience.
Humans have the need to create and use simplified interpretations of the reality. When we get a lot of information from the surrounding environment relying on patterns allows us to face the circumstances we found ourselves in, thus economizing cognitive resources and energy. Usually they are useful but if we do not verify them on a regular basis and lean on them too much, it is easy to fall into mental traps. Very often we do not even realize that we should change something because our habits are so old that we feel too comfortable, even if our measure of reality is not precise.
It is worth to review our beliefs from time to time. How to do this?
Start with the assessment of your emotions.
False beliefs impact our emotional state and motivation. Think whether lately you have been feeling tension, frustration, you are sad and helpless, it is difficult for you to get down to work or you feel internally blocked. If you feel any of these emotions this may mean that you are stuck in a loop of dysfunctional thinking patterns and it is difficult to move on.
The second step is to describe the situation which has impacted your bad mood lately. Write down the thoughts and beliefs connected to it which come to your mind.
Next, check the facts. Think whether what you wrote at the last stage is an opinion or a fact. Now choose only those fragments which are opinions, i.e. beliefs.
Finally, verify your beliefs. Assess whether and if yes to what extent:
- Are they reflected in the reality?
- Do they help you to achieve your goals?
- Do they help you feel as you want to feel?
- Do the benefits from maintaining this belief compensate the costs?
- Do they bring you closer to other people?
- Are you benefiting from them in any way?
If at least two answers are “no” regards your belief, than this means that this belief is weakening your efficiency and it is time to change it into one that will bring you a piece of mind and satisfaction. Remember to overview them after some time again and test their effectiveness. Good luck!