Since I write a lot about how thoughts are influencing us and that we should counter them, I thought I should give some example. Below can be found the most typical so called “errors” we do from time to time and a potential adaptive response.
- Thought: If he doesn’t call me back in the next hour, he probably hates me.
Response: Maybe he is busy with some urgent things he has to do. Maybe he wasn’t in the room when I called and he might not look at the phone in the next hour. I remember that yesterday sent me some cute texts and that’s a sign that he doesn’t hate me.
- Thought: I’ll be so upset, I won’t be able to do anything.
Response: Actually, I don’t know how upset I would be. Maybe that doesn’t matter that much. I faced worse things in my life and I always moved forward so far. I can live with the outcome. My life is more important than this so I’ll do what I need to do.
- Thought: I handled this situation great, but it doesn’t mean I’m competent. I just got lucky.
Response: It was a pretty tough situation and not lots of people could handle it the way I did. This proves that I am more powerful that I thought I was. I’ve learnt so much from this that I am stronger than before. I did the work and I cannot find any reasons luck had something to do with it.
- Thought: If I have mediocre results it means I’m a failure and if I have great results it doesn’t mean I’m great.
Response: The fact that I am here proves that I’m good at what I do. If I have mediocre results it’s because I did not prepared hard enough. I’m not what I do in this particular situation. The results are based on the work I’ve put for this so far and it doesn’t mean I am in that way.
- Thought: I screwed up this one thing so I’m a failure.
Response: I did good so many things that I know I’m better that this (insert some good examples here). I’m not defined by one thing. I’m only a human and it’s normal to make mistakes. That’s how we learn. I’m not defined by this one thing.
- Thought: I know they think low about me even though they don’t show it.
Response: Actually, I don’t know that. They might also believe that I think low about them and I know I’m not, but they don’t have evidence about it just as I don’t have about them. They probably have their own problems to think about.
- Thought: The cashier gave me a nasty look because it’s something wrong about me.
Response: She probably has other problems than me. The costumer before me was pretty rude and probably that’s why the cashier seems upset. She might also be upset because she had a rough night or she might have some problems at home.
What do you think about these responses and how do you respond to your negative thoughts?