Challenge Self-Defeating Thoughts

I was really shocked to discover that my thoughts are not always true and my feelings are not always the best gauge of my life situation. I spent decades assuming that my thoughts and feelings were pointing me to my “truth”. I was wrong. Here are some common inaccurate thoughts:

* I cannot cope with ______ unless I use/do/have _________.

* When I ______, I am more creative and productive.

* My friends would not like me if they knew the real me.

* I cannot relax/sleep/function without _____.

* I know that I have missed some family functions but kids are resilient, they will get over it.

* I am not hurting anyone but myself.

* My loved ones just do not understand.

* I can stop ________ whenever I want. I plan on changing when life settles down.

It is possible that our life is unsatisfactory because we are living with unaddressed, inaccurate, and self-defeating thoughts. Compulsive thoughts create heightened anxiety and depression. It is crucial to realize that we are unaware that our thinking is distorted. We will need to look outside our mind palace for answers that are fundamentally beyond our brain’s capacity to grasp without outside intervention.

Don’t assume that you know it all.

Run to God! Run from evil!

Your body will glow with health,

your very bones will vibrate with life!

~ Proverbs 3:7-8, The Message

I like to ask myself the following question on a daily basis: what if I am wrong about _______? As I discover that I am wrong, I find new opportunities to change, seek help, and walk humbly with my God and others! Try it! It is so much easier than having to be right and strong all the time!


Anyone ever swore to themselves that when they grew up they would not be “like them”?  How are you doing with that promise to yourself?

Sometimes we are unconscious of how much we imitate early role models for relationships.  Sarcasm.  Passive-aggressive comments. Abuse in various forms.  These various forms of disrespect may be carried over into our own lives without us noticing.

Suppose we grow up in a family with a history of physical abuse.  We vow to never, ever perpetuate that cycle onto our children.  We follow through.  We imagine that our children are so grateful that we didn’t beat them with a stick or withhold food as punishment.

But what if we tend to shame them with demands for better performance?  What if we are withdrawn and not available for them on a daily basis?  What if we are so needy and insecure that we ask them to think more about our own emotional nurturance than we ever think about theirs?

From our lens, we have improved the model; from their frame of reference, they are still not getting what they need to thrive.

Self-evaluation is tricky; let’s seek help by getting feedback from others (particularly folks who have some wisdom and distance from our family system so they can be both detached and objective).