Confident Thinking - Part Two

The first three 'warped thinking' approaches are Mental Filter, Discounting the Positive, and All or Nothing Thinking. 

1. Mental filter.  Filtering out the positives in life and focusing on the negative e.g. you give a presentation and receive great feedback from several people, and one negative comment from one person.  You immediately forget the positive compliments and dwell on and stress over the one negative comment.

How to overcome this:

a) Practice noticing the positive things that happen and are said

b) At the end of each day write down 3 good things about your day (what they are and why they feel good).  For most people your mood will feel noticeably better within 2 weeks 

2. Discounting the positive.  Belittling your positive achievements, discounting your successes e.g. you've got through a number of tasks in your busy day but you still find yourself thinking "I've not really achieved anything today", or you work hard to achieve something but when you are complimented on your achievement you respond "Anyone could have done it" or "Oh, it's nothing".

How to overcome this:

a) If people give you a compliment rather than replying with, for example, "yes, but I could have done better / more", respond with a simple "thank you"

b) Ask what you would say to yourself if you were your own best friend

3. All or nothing thinking.  Seeing things as only good or bad, right or wrong, success/perfection or complete failure  e.g. you have a hard task to achieve but because you don't feel able to achieve it all you decide it's not worth starting, or you join a new group and because you felt that one of the conversations you had went over your head you decide you are hopeless and do not go again.

How to overcome this:

a) Ask yourself what the 'middle route' is e.g. could you undertake the task a little bit at a time

b) Check out what you have achieved and what was good about that, then give yourself credit for it

Bonus Tip In any of these situations, decide what thoughts would be more helpful to you and how you would feel and act if you thought that way.  This can open up a new, more positive and confident way of thinking. 

In the next article I'll be exploring some more thinking styles which can sabotage self-confidence and giving you pointers for how you can challenge and overcome them.

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