Frances Farmer

Perception vs. Reality: Which Will Win?

In Advice on February 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Advice to Counter Distorted Thinking

Filtering:

This focusing on only the negative in your life is self-destructive and illogical; things are never as bad as they seem, remember that. Recognize when this pattern on thought invades your mind and realize the positive aspects of your life as well.

Polarized Thinking:

There is always a grey area; there is always more than one answer.

Overgeneralization

Although bad things have happened in your past, they are in your past for a reason. The past has no bearing on the future. The only way the past can affect the future is if you keep reliving the events in your mind. Put an end to the torture and embrace the here and now.

Mind Reading

Making assumptions is foolish and is based on how you see the world, which is undoubtedly very different from anyone else’s perception. Assumptions are only correct some of the time. Therefore, assumptions are based on false logic and should not be trusted.

 Catastrophizing

The possibilities for any given situation are literally infinite, so why not focus on the positive instead of wallowing in the negative?

Personalization:

 Accept this fact: nothing others do is because of you. Comparing yourself to others is futile because you will never, ever be them; however, no one will ever be you either, so relish in the fact of being uniquely you.

Control Fallacies:

 Every situation that you come across can be seen as an opportunity to practice traits that you lack such as courage, positivity, openness, etc. Also, the feelings of people around you is out of your control. You can be a positive light, but that does not guarantee that it will transfer to others just as you spreading negative energy doesn’t necessarily effect other people.

Fallacy of Fairness:

 Any given concept will have countless different definitions, not just the dictionary definition, but how people interpret those definitions as well. The idea of  fairness is no exception. There is no universal standard of “fairness.” People are naturally prone to have different opinions on the same concept and this fact should be accepted.

Blaming:

 Nothing in this world is always or never true. Something can’t always be your fault and vice versa. It takes critical and logical thinking to decipher whether you truly are to blame for a situation or not and, even then, there are bound to be multiple factors involved besides you.

Should

There is no standard set of laws in this world. Of course the laws are going to change as you go from country to country. The same is true for your mind; as you go from experience to experience, the ideas in your mind should change as you gain new insight.

Emotional Reasoning

Our feelings are sporadic and rarely make sense to the person experiencing them, so why label and attach negative meaning to them? Feelings shouldn’t be dependent on any event, idea, or person. If you want to be happy, then be happy. It really is that simple. We just tend to over-complicate things.

Fallacy of Change:

 Some things are out of human control, such as other’s actions, feelings, and ideas. No matter how hard you try, there is no guarantee that someone will listen. They have a different set of beliefs influencing their actions and feelings, which are not contingent upon you. Instead of trying to change people, look for people with the same interests and beliefs as you. And your happiness should not be dependent upon anyone but yourself.

Global Labeling:

 The world has more qualities than we have words for. There is no way one or two labels could be enough to encompass the extreme complexity of the world we live in, the people who inhabit it, and the events that occur here. Any judgements we have should be constantly changing since there is simply so much to take in.

Being Right:

 There is no way you can always be right. Losing that attitude will set you free from many negative emotions.

Heaven’s Reward Fallacy

This Earth doesn’t owe you anything. It may sound harsh, but life is what you make it and no one else. Reward yourself. Live freely. Don’t restrict yourself.

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