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Smash Those Irrational Beliefs

Many of us lead limited lives, never reaching our full potential because of irrational beliefs. Somewhere during the course of our early life, we have picked up these beliefs and made them our own.

But we can change the way we think about ourselves. We can actively replace these self-limiting beliefs with a whole new set of ideas that, in time, will help us to accept ourselves and lead more fulfilling lives. Most, if not all irrational beliefs are lies, and replacing them with the truth can help us see the world and ourselves in a far more realistic light. This makes for less stress, anxiety, and depression. And more happiness and contentment!

Here is a list of some of the most common irrational beliefs that people experience together with examples of more rational beliefs that were can replace them with:

Irrational belief:
I must have love and approval from all the important people in my life.

Truth:
I love and accept myself. I don’t need approval from others to be happy. If I do get it, it’s an added bonus.

Irrational belief:
I must do everything perfectly, or at least be a master in at least one area of my life.

Truth:
If I do the best that I can most times, that is good enough. I don’t have to be perfect. And doing something in a less than perfect way is far better than never attempting it at all.

Irrational belief:
A person or situation is making me angry, depressed, sad, drink, talk drugs.

Truth:
I am in control of the thoughts that I have that are making me angry, depressed, etc. It may be valid to feel angry, but it is my thoughts that are causing my feelings, not the person or the situation. I am in control, not them/it.

Irrational belief:
The way I feel today is influenced by what happened to me in the past. Therefore I will always feel this way.

Truth:
The past influences my present as much as I allow it to do so. My thoughts about the past affect my present and my future, but I have ultimate control over the thoughts that I choose to think.

Irrational belief:
My life should be a happy one without any major problems or worries. I am angry, disappointed and/or depressed when things go wrong.

Truth:
Unfortunate events can happen at any time, to any one. No-one is immune from life’s traumas, including me. I can draw inspiration from knowing that whatever I am suffering, others have gone through before me.

Irrational belief:
I must worry about difficult situations in my life and think of all the dire circumstances that could happen as a result.

Truth:
Worrying serves no useful purpose. I will use my energy more productively by thinking of ways to improve the situation and call on outside resources to assist me if necessary. Worrying is like sitting on a rocking chair: there’s a lot of effort happening but no real movement.

Irrational belief:
I must blame or punish people who hurt me. It is my duty to make them see that they have done the wrong thing by me.

Truth:
People will wittingly or unwittingly hurt me throughout the course of my life. There is no law preventing them from doing so. But I do not need to get caught up in revenge. I accept that people will do the wrong thing from time to time. I do as well. This is human infallibility and I can learn to accept it.

Irrational belief:
It is better for me to avoid doing difficult things in life, especially things that challenge me emotionally, as it is better to avoid these events than to risk failure, embarrassment or rejection.

Truth:
Life is for living to the full. If we are never fearful, or embarrassed or afraid, we have never truly lived. All the best things in life: loving another person, giving birth, learning new skills, consoling a desolate friend , are all inherently “scary” in some way, and yet, at the end of the day, are also the biggest prizes in life.


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