Food For Thought: 5 Common Thought Derailers

Food For Thought: 5 Common Thought Derailers

>> Profile's Senior Learning and Development Specialist Natalie Papini highlights the importance of our thoughts and how what we think plays into our Profile journey.

In my last blog, we talked about re-thinking the concept of failure. Along with redefining failure, it can be useful to examine how the things we think help and/or hurt us on our journey. How often do you perceive a thought you have as the be-all-end-all truth? It can be difficult to get into the habit of challenging your thoughts and your perception of truth, but in actuality, your thoughts are simply ideas. They are merely perceptions that you have formed as a result of your life experiences. Not all thoughts are 100% true. Thoughts can fall somewhere on a spectrum from completely true, somewhat true, or false.

Below are five common thoughts that can prevent you from getting what you want (if you let them). Underneath each thought is a brief statement of what it is and how it might sound in your head.

Though Derailer #1: Overgeneralizations

Making far-reaching conclusions from one or a few events.

You may tell yourself:
“I felt uncoordinated when I went to the gym on Tuesday. I am always so uncoordinated.”
“I didn’t lose weight this week. I’ll never lose all this weight.”

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Though Derailer #2: Black and White Rigidity

Taking a perspective with only two options when there’s also middle ground gray areas that you fail to consider.

You may tell yourself:
“Either I’m completely on plan or I’m completely off plan- there is no in between.”
“Either I reach my goal weight and succeed or I don’t and I fail.”
“I always cave when alcohol is presented to me.”

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Though Derailer #3: Negative Prediction
Expecting negative outcomes without any evidence to support your prediction.

You may tell yourself:
“I realize that I will be obese forever, and if my weight does change it will probably only be marginally.”

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Though Derailer #4: Overly Positive Prediction

Expecting unrealistically positive outcomes without thinking about other possible outcomes.

You may tell yourself:
“I will eat pizza on the weekends and still probably lose weight each week.”
“I can guess-timate my fat servings instead of measuring it. I’ll still lose weight.”

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Though Derailer #5: Emotional Reasoning

Basing your view of situations, yourself, or others on the way you feel.

You may tell yourself:
“I feel like a failure for having regained weight. I am a failure.”
“I’m frustrated that my weight loss isn’t as fast as I had hoped. Losing weight is frustrating.”

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Which of these, if any, have you thought to yourself while going through your Profile journey? What evidence or experiences do you have that show a particular thought is not completely true all of the time? If someone you loved had this same thought, what would you say to them?

Frank Outlaw once said: “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” By challenging faulty thinking, you are simultaneously challenging faulty beliefs and transforming your dialogue to help you get to where you want to go. The most important tool you have to facilitate or hinder long-term change lives in the six inches between your ears. During your journey, your greatest advocate is you – but you’re not in this alone. Check in with your Profile coach to discuss how you can change your thoughts to get where you want to go and be who you want to be.

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