6 Cognitive Distortions That Are The Cause Of Your Anxiety
As you likely know, limiting beliefs are frequently blocks to using the Law of Attraction to manifest what you desire.
This is partly because these limiting beliefs lead to the universe receiving conflicting messages from you, suggesting that you both want and don’t want to manifest your intentions. Meanwhile, limiting beliefs also create general underlying feelings of stress and anxiety, which can stop you from getting into the positive and passionate frame of mind required to manifest effectively.
Learning about the most common cognitive distortions will help you fight back against your limiting beliefs, paving the way to using the Law of Attraction to its full potential.
(P.S. If you want more tips on how to stop worrying, read this article here for some self-help strategies and an interactive self-assessment flowchart).
1. All-Or-Nothing Thinking
When you look at things in a “black and white” way—ignoring the shades of grey that constitute a middle ground—you immediately distort your reality in a major way. For example, you’re falling into this trap if you obsess over the twin extremes of perfection and failure, and this can seriously stall your manifestation progress.
Say you’re looking for love and have a date that isn’t satisfying—viewing this a sign that you’ve “failed” at finding love can completely undermine your intention to meet a soul mate. When you catch yourself distorting reality by thinking in a black and white way, deliberately challenge yourself to see the shades of grey.
Look out for words like “always”, “never”, “everything” and “nothing”—excessive use of these are sure signs that you’ll benefit from exploring a middle ground.
A related form of cognitive distortion is that of overgeneralization. This occurs when, for example, you don’t get a job after an interview and you tell yourself that this means you just won’t get a job.
This type of distortion is very common in people who expect the Law of Attraction to work for them overnight, and who are looking for quick clues that they shouldn’t bother holding on to hope.
When you have a negative experience, give yourself time to write down the reasons why this doesn’t mean you’ll keep on having the same experience.
In the case of the job example, you might note that you’ve had successful job interviews in the past, that many of your high-flying friends have failed to get at least several jobs they applied for, and that there are aspects of this particular job that suggest it may not have been the path to your dream career anyway.
3. The Negative Mental Filter
This type of distortion encourages you to see the dark side of every situation, ignoring the more positive elements—you can see everything that went wrong, but nothing that went right. Part of working with the Law of Attraction involves drawing lessons from life’s difficulties, and knowing that challenges actually teach us things that eventually lead to us getting what we want.
However, to learn lessons, you need to be able see that there are good and not-so-good aspects to all experiences. If this is something you know you struggle with, try keeping a balanced journal—difficult aspects of a situation on one side, and positive aspects on the other.
You may be surprised by the power of the positive column, and by the number of items that appear in it when you set your mind to the task!
4. Diminishing The Positives
Try to see your role in good things that happen to you, rather than putting them all down to luck or identifying them all as undeserved. If a work presentation goes well, that’s because of your skill and preparation, not because the audience is unintelligent or too lenient!
Meanwhile, if a good person comes into your life, that’s because you’re attracting good things from the universe. Carefully redirect your thoughts when you catch yourself downplaying the positives in life.
When you hear about something that sounds negative, it’s common to distort that information into the worst possible type of negative outcome (e.g. hearing a turbulence announcement and assuming your plane will crash).
When it comes to manifestation, guide your mind away from worst case scenarios and challenge yourself to dream up the best case scenarios.
6. “Shoulds” And “ Should-Nots”
This distortion is often strongly tied to early life experiences, when authority figures may have held you to strict standards and suggested that your value hinged on whether you stuck to specific rules.
Those who are first learning about the Law of Attraction often make the mistake of setting and intention linked to what they think they should want—not what they really want—and of course they’re then left doubting the efficacy of manifestation when they don’t get the thing they aimed for (or don’t like it when they do get it).
When setting intentions, ask yourself what you truly want and what you really love—“should” and “should not” doesn’t ever have to come into it!