In cognitive-behavioral therapy, a lot of emphasis is placed on helping individuals identify their thinking patterns. This includes identifying automatic thoughts in every day situations, as well as core beliefs one has about themselves and the world around them. This is because we know just how much our thoughts influence, not only our emotions, but also our actions.
Consider the following example:
You have been invited to a social gathering by a close friend where there will be some familiar friends, as well as new faces. Consider how you might feel and act if you were telling yourself: “The last time I was with these guys, I made a complete fool of myself making stupid jokes. I’m just not good around new people – I never know what to say.”
“I’m a little embarrassed about the jokes I made at Jim’s last party – but these guys are my friends and no one seemed offended by my jokes at the time. I haven’t seen these guys in while, this will be a good chance to catch up and maybe even meet new people.”
While the second thought pattern might not make one completely comfortable in a social gathering, it is a more helpful way to view the situation.
Check out the following article for more information on the role of limiting beliefs and some potentially helpful tips to manage limiting beliefs.
- Kara Meyer, Ph.D.
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