By Marcel Schwantes - Principal and founder, Leadership From the Core
Pay attention to what comes out of your mouth. The language you use affects how you experience your world, and how others experience you. Inevitably, things get "lost in translation."
If you're familiar with cognitive distortion or cognitive bias, these psychology terms teach us that there are subtle ways that our mind can convince us of something that isn't really true. These inaccurate thoughts are usually used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions, thus holding us back.
We all do this, both consciously and unconsciously, and how we do it provides pointers to our underlying beliefs about ourselves, our peers, partners and colleagues, and the immediate world around us.
This could spell trouble. Which of these do you do? Check the areas below and be courageous enough to ask a trusted peer for perspective. Is it a problem?
Top 10 Cognitive Distortions
1. All or nothing thinking:
Seeing things as black-or-white, right-or-wrong, with nothing in between. Essentially, "if I'm not perfect then I'm a failure." Examples:
Using words like "always" or "never" in relation to a single event or experience.
3. Minimizing or magnifying (also, catastrophizing):
Seeing things as dramatically more or less important than they actually are--which can often create a "catastrophe" that follows. Examples of such inner dialogue:
4. Using words like "should," "need to," "must," and "ought to" as motivation:
You may have a tendency to use such words to motivate yourself, then you feel guilty when you don't follow through (or get angry and resentful when someone else doesn't follow through). Examples of your inner dialogue:
Attaching a negative label to yourself or others following a single event.
6. Jumping to conclusions (mind-reading or fortune telling):
Making negative predictions about the future without evidence or factual support. Example:
7. Discounting the positive:
Not acknowledging the positive. Saying anyone could have done it or insisting that your positive actions, qualities, or achievements don't count. Like:
8. Blame and personalization:
Blaming yourself when you weren't entirely responsible or blaming other people and denying your role in the situation. Examples:
9. Emotional reasoning:
I feel, therefore I am. Assuming that a feeling is true-- without digging deeper to see if this is accurate. Like:
10. Mental filter:
Allowing (dwelling on) one negative detail or fact to spoil your enjoyment, happiness, hope, etc. Example: