- 2 MINUTE READ -
REASONS TO LISTEN FOR THINKING TRAPS
- Tolerate uncertainty
- Make better decisions
- Reduce stress
A thinking trap is a bad mental habit. It's bad because it's a distortion. It's misleading. It causes you to misperceive reality. It's a habit because you repeat that way of thinking.
If you're human, you have bad habits. You might bite your nails. Maybe you procrastinate. Maybe you're always late. These are bad behavioral habits.
You also have bad mental habits. Maybe you jump to conclusions, always assume the worse or only see what you want to see. These are natural human instincts. They're also bad mental habits!
You're not always aware of your bad behavioral habits. It's up to your friends and family to call them out.
You're not aware of bad mental habits, either. But it's harder for people to call them out. We don't share many thoughts and the thoughts we do have are largely subconscious. That's why you need your inner-coach.
Your inner-voice has bad habits. It speaks too soon. It makes things up. It disregards facts. It thinks emotionally. Sometimes it outright lies to you.
Some common thinking traps -
- Fortune telling - thinking you know what's going to happen
- Mind reading - thinking you know what someone else is thinking
- Catastrophic thinking - always assuming the worse
- Overestimating - exaggerating the likelihood of a bad outcome
- Confirmation bias - only looking for things that support your beliefs
That's not to say that you shouldn't trust your instincts. You just need to be willing to question your instincts. Whether it's a thinking break or a worry break, your inner-coach has to be in control.
A good coach breaks bad habits.
They give the player immediate negative feedback and then they role model the right behavior. They do that over and over until the bad habit is broken and the good habit is formed.
That's what your inner-coach needs to do. When your inner-voice demonstrates a thinking trap, your inner-coach needs to call it out. Breaking a bad habits starts with being aware of the bad habit.