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8 Destructive Thought Patterns And How To Change Them

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We all follow certain habits which orchestrate our daily life. But just like behavioral habits, thought patterns can be destructive. Once broken and rearranged, they can form new lines of thought, helping you to actually enjoy your life.

Here are 8 common destructive thinking patterns with tips to help you change them and lead a happier, fulfilling life:

1You look for problems when there are none

You see problems everywhere. Where others see something good, you see a potential for disappointment and frustration. Your mind is practically conditioned to see problems. Sometimes, you might just realize that while thinking, you’re actually looking for a problem in a situation where there are none.

How to battle this tendency? When you start thinking about potential problems, just ask yourself – why should I care? Most often you’ll realize that in the long-run, you’re seeing a minor set-back, not a real problem that should occupy your mind for days. Even if you’re used to constantly looking for solutions, it doesn’t mean that you should always try to spot problems to solve. Most of the minor issues solve themselves over time anyway.

“A problem is only a problem if you refuse to look for a solution. If you don’t take action to fix it then it will remain a problem.” – Catherine Pulsifer

2You make conclusions without back-up facts

This sounds innocent, but might turn into a highly destructive thought pattern which can potentially disconnect your from reality. If you tend to make many conclusions without any evidence to back them up, your perspective on the world will be highly limited.

And a restricted mindset will never push you forward in life, but allow you to settle mentally and believe that you understand the world perfectly. This is basically how you close the door to future growth, so be prepared to question your own conclusions and search for more evidential support, every time.

 

3You like your comfort zone a little too much

If you’re stuck to your mindset and refuse to change the direction in your thoughts, a positive change will be out of your reach. Life is about facing the unknown and learning from this encounter over and over again. Blocking yourself from accessing the scary and uncomfortable, you’re effectively sabotaging your personal growth.

What to do about it? Examine your comfort zone and then try to take a small step out of it. You’ll slowly make change less frightening and allow yourself to become more comfortable. Stretching your comfort zone, you should go back to those times when you broke out of it – took a chance or did something crazy and had the time of your life. New is fun and exciting and you won’t encounter it when locked in your comfort zone.

“Your comfort zone is not a place that you want to remain in. Dare, Discover, be all that you can be.” – Catherine Pulsifer

4You see the world in black and white

Life is messy and never follows rules. And yet, many people see things in black and white. If you’re right, someone else must be wrong. Things are this way or that way, without any exceptions. In reality this attitude only equips you with a poorer vision of the world, muddling your thinking and making you increasingly inflexible.

In order to break that thought barrier, you need to strive to understand others by changing your point of view. Pay attention to your own thought patterns and dare to question yourself once you spot this habit. Instead of focusing on one negative thought, try to find an exception to and you’ll realize that you simply weren’t seeing the bigger picture before.

 

5You invest time in making excuses

You know what you have to do to change your life, you know you want it and that you’ve got it all to do it. And yet, you stick to good old excuses helping you to move exactly nowhere and definitely not forward. Stop inventing excuses and confront yourself with the truth – if you want something, you should just go for it. Why waste time if you’ve got only one life to live?

 

6You believe that what you feel right now is how you’ll always feel

This is a serious destructive thought pattern we all experience from time to time. If you catch yourself feeling bad and thinking that this is a permanent situation, you’re on the right track to changing your habit.

First, you should realize that nobody can predict the future (not even your aunt’s favorite fortune-teller). You cannot know how you’ll feel in 30 minutes, so just use your time to discipline yourself and realize that your mind isn’t always the best source of suggestions when confronting reality.

 

7You’re envious of the success of others

Envy can be like a tiny monster that makes your life miserable, filling it to the brim with negativity and suffering. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on yourself to see how you’ve grown and what you’ve achieved. Be grateful for what you’ve got and simply get involved in your own life – spend your time living and exploring, not analyzing what others have that you don’t.

 

8You just think too much

If you’re a chronic over thinker, you’ll often find yourself incapable of taking action, paralyzed by your in-depth analysis which often blows things out of proportion. Over thinking is the first step to finding negativity in the world around you. Stop thinking and start living. Be present and minimize over thinking by exchanging views with other people. Don’t let your thoughts control you – own them.

Realign yourself with the present and let go of thoughts that run around in circles inside your mind. Breathe in and consider changing thinking patterns that make you miserable. Gaining control over your life is possible, but don’t expect it to happen overnight. Changing the way you think is an excellent first step.

Which thought pattern is holding you back the most? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Carol Williams is part of the team behind Navel Oranges - one of Florida Fruit Shippers' departments. She combines her interest in psychology with her passion for writing. Through her writing she encourages people to think positivel

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

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The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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