Book a call

The Trifecta of Self-Sabotage: Three Reality-Bending Thought Mistakes to Avoid

Aug 19, 2023

This is what humans do all the time. They bend reality in their minds (subconsciously, of course) and because of that, their decision making process isn't operating on full capacity.

People do these three things on the regular, so don't feel like the Lone Ranger if you find yourself having thought errors also.  Here we go - short and sweet!

Life is an intricate tapestry of experiences and emotions, but how we perceive and interpret those moments can drastically impact our well-being. While there's no universal recipe for happiness, steering clear of certain thought mistakes can help us maintain a more realistic and positive outlook. In this blog post, we'll explore three reality-bending thought mistakes that can ruin your day or even set you on a path to sabotaging your life. Let's delve into these pitfalls and discover how to avoid them.

1. Making Assumptions: The Danger of Jumping to Conclusions

Assumptions are like blindfolded leaps into the unknown. They're judgments we make without concrete evidence, relying instead on our preconceived notions. Jumping to conclusions can lead to misunderstandings, strained relationships, and unnecessary stress.

Example: Sarah assumes that her friend Emma is upset with her because she didn't respond to her text message immediately. Without checking in with Emma, Sarah starts imagining scenarios where she might have done something wrong, causing unnecessary anxiety.

How to avoid (create an alternate reality): Communicate openly. Instead of assuming, ask questions and seek clarification. Remember that your assumptions are often influenced by your own perceptions and biases, which might not align with reality. Also, in the case of Sarah, she could as easily assumed that her friend Emma is busy and will for sure get back to her when she has more free time.

2. Imagining Stories in Your Head: The Art of Fictional Catastrophizing

Do you ever catch yourself creating ridiculous stories in your head? We make them up constantly. It's difficult not to because of the nature of the brain and thought.

Our minds are incredible storytellers, weaving narratives from the threads of our thoughts. However, when these stories take a negative turn and spiral into worst-case scenarios, they can wreak havoc on our emotional well-being.

Example: Mark believes that his recent mistake at work will lead to him getting fired. He imagines himself unemployed, struggling to pay bills, and losing his home, despite no evidence supporting this extreme outcome.

How to avoid (create an alternate reality): Practice mindfulness. Catch yourself when your thoughts drift into catastrophic territory. Consider the evidence and alternate possibilities. Focus on the present moment and avoid indulging in overly dramatic narratives.

3. Believing Things That Aren't True: The Trap of False Beliefs

Our minds can be easily tricked into accepting falsehoods as facts. Believing things that aren't true can shape our behaviors and decisions in detrimental ways, leading us away from our goals and desires.

Example: Martha believes she's inherently bad at public speaking because she stumbled during her first presentation years ago. This false belief prevents her from pursuing leadership positions that require communication skills.

How to avoid (create an alternate reality): Engage in critical thinking. Challenge your beliefs by seeking evidence and questioning their origin. Seek feedback from others and be open to growth and change. Remember that past experiences don't necessarily dictate future outcomes.

Conclusion: Navigating the Labyrinth of Thought

Our thoughts hold immense power over our emotions and actions. By recognizing and steering clear of these reality-bending thought mistakes – making assumptions, imagining stories, and believing falsehoods – we can enhance our emotional well-being and cultivate a more positive perspective on life.

Cultivating self-awareness, practicing mindfulness, and valuing evidence-based thinking can help us navigate the maze of our thoughts and make more constructive choices. Remember, the journey toward a fulfilling and joyful life starts with the thoughts we choose to entertain.

If you haven't already downloaded my Top 3 Questions to Ask During Any Transition, get those here!  

And, if you know you want to experience 1:1 coaching without a big investment, click the image to book your one hour call with me.  Your investment:  1 hour of your time.  That's it.  Looking forward to helping you!