Sometimes I wish that I had a little elegant watch with a small screen. Every time I would think in a way that interferes my performance and success, a little message would appear on the display. “Watch out! System error! Area impacted: Your thinking! Can’t proceed further!”
It can be difficult to recognise your thoughts when they sabotage your performance. Psychologists have identified 15 thinking errors that frequently contribute to stress and hinder successful problem solving. And if you are looking for your dream job, these can be even more detrimental. It can be helpful to learn to identify them and learn to practise how to modify these errors. Today I picked 7 common thinking errors for you.
Do you recognise any of these thoughts in your daily life and career?
- Jumping to conclusions? Do you predict the outcome or a scenario by using insufficient evidence?
- Fortune-telling? Predicting the outcome instead of experimenting with it?
- Mind reading? Do you assume from people’s behaviour that they are either thinking or reacting negatively towards you?
- Assuming that I cannot do anything to alter the situation or blaming? Instead of taking any personal responsibility, the blame is directed to others or circumstances?
- Concentrating on your weaknesses and neglecting your strengths? Are you discounting the positive or reframing anything positive as unimportant?
- Thinking in all-or-nothing terms? Do you view things in absolute, extreme terms without any shades of grey?
- Magnification or “awfulising”? Have you got a tendency to think, magnify or awfulise an outcome of the events out of proportion?
Wouldn’t it be great to press “re-set button” when thinking errors occur?
The vast majority of thinking errors are activated by an event or situation that has or is causing you stress. By improving your thinking skills, you can challenge your perceptions about events and your thinking errors, therefore reduce your stress. The first step to mastering your thinking skills is the identification of your thinking errors. Once you discover and note down your thinking error, you are more likely to do something about it.
Thinking errors exercise:
- Think about your day at work or your job search.
- Think about the challenging or stressful situations that you experienced.
- Can you recognise any of these errors in your thinking?
- Notice your thinking more during the next few days and when you catch a thinking error, note it down.