Thoughts That Sabotage Us: This Is How They Act In Our Minds

Who has not at some point in their life had a thought like “I’m not going to be able to pass that exam”, “I’m never going to get a good job”, “I’m worthless”, “I’m sure I don’t like me”. tablemate” or “I will never find a partner”? These types of thoughts are known, in psychology, under the name of irrational beliefs.

These thoughts can sometimes appear in isolation, but They become a problem when they are repeated and so constant that they limit and block the person in certain facets and activities of daily life. For example: in the workplace, when establishing social relationships, speaking in public or even when caring for children.

Thus, the worst thing about these beliefs is not only the fact that they are irrational, but that they act by blocking us, like thoughts that sabotage and limit us.

    The limiting thoughts

    Since we came into the world, through the education we receive and the relationships established, we develop a way of thinking and we create some thought patterns in relation to the experiences and situations lived. Through these schemes we are going to interpret the information received from each situation we experience, being for us an objective interpretation based on reality. However, the simple fact of having certain thought patterns and not others means that we always experience what happens to us subjectively.

    That doesn’t mean that our way of thinking is totally “detached” from reality, of course. Some of our beliefs, despite not perfectly corresponding to reality, are realistic enough to work for us. However, others are largely irrational.

    These irrational beliefs are misinterpretations of what is happening around us. They are negative and automatic thoughts that are out of our control, it is as if our mind was boycotting us. It is these thoughts that can lead us to develop dysfunctional moods and generate great discomfort, without being aware of it, since for us our thoughts are reality.

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      The magnetism of thoughts that sabotage

      Curiously, although limiting thoughts are based on irrational beliefs, that does not mean that we end up rejecting them when we see that they do not fit reality. This is because, by believing in them, they become, in part, a reality.

      In fact, the discomfort generated by these beliefs, as well as the tendency to attribute success to luck and failures to our attributes, make That no matter what happens, let’s continue believing in these irrational ideas.which in turn makes us more likely to fail or fail to reach our goals due to fear and anxiety.

      An example

      From a specific stimulus a thought will be activated, and from this a chain of events will be generated. Thought generates emotion and the emotion will give rise to behavior.

      For example, let’s think about a person who is riding the subway when suddenly the subway stops in the tunnel due to a breakdown and the passengers spend more than thirty minutes locked in the car. Once this episode is over, this person will get on the subway again the next day to go to work.

      Once inside the car, constant negative and automatic thoughts begin to occur, such as “I’m sure the subway will stop again today,” “if it stops again it gives me something,” “I can’t stand being stuck here and on top of so much.” people”.

      These thoughts begin to generate great discomfort in him, he begins to feel that he is short of air, that he cannot breathe, his heart is racing, symptoms which make him worry more and that these “self-boycotting thoughts” increase at times, becoming a circle that is unstoppable for the person.

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      The man decides that the best idea would be to get off the car at the next stop, even if it is not his. Once off, he feels much better and the thoughts diminish. This is avoidance behavior.seeing in this example to what extent these thoughts can be limiting.

        Learned helplessness

        If we get used to feeding this type of irrational beliefs, we fall into the trap; limiting thoughts end up dominating usThat is, we lose control over them and they become a real time bomb for us. We let ourselves be totally carried away by them. Because? Because for us it is our reality, it is what we have learned to interpret from a given situation.

        And our brain always goes further until turning said situation into something catastrophic and without a solution. When we are at this point we can act in a passive way, that is, we see that there is nothing to do. In psychology, this is known as learned helplessness.; The person becomes inhibited in certain situations due to the feeling he has of not being able to do anything and does not respond even though there are opportunities to change the situation which he avoids.

        This can happen, for example, in the case of a type of cognitive error known as thought divination, for example, someone will have thought more than once “why am I going to study if I always fail this subject?” There is a real possibility that the person can do something about this situation, perhaps he needs to study or work harder than with other subjects, but his thought is that he will never be able to pass it.

        This idea will have appeared from previous experiences where he has been able to fail several times, probably appearing the cognitive distortion of the catastrophic type “I will never pass this subject, I will go to September, but in September I will not pass either and in the end I will never be able to graduate.” This passive position that we adopt in the face of the situation can lead us to deep sadness and even develop depressive feelings, so you can see the force that our thoughts can have on ourselves.

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          To do? Possible solutions

          It is important that little by little learn to identify your own cognitive distortions and the emotions that are triggered by these thoughts. If you detect them, you will have a greater ability to control them and prevent them from limiting and dominating you in different areas of our life.

          Writing about these thoughts and feelings is also very beneficial. It helps us externalize and put our discomfort outside of ourselves, allows us to give it a form and a meaning and for a moment we can cut that circle that feeds itself over and over again.

          If these types of thoughts constantly assault you, it is because something is not right within you: perhaps you have damaged self-esteem or you have been going through a difficult situation for some time that you do not know how to deal with. Pay attention to the signals and alarms that your mind and body set in motion and they may be warning you that it is time to ask for help. We can help you.