Here’s the hypothetical…
You just finished writing a short story for a contest; or a report for your boss; or a school paper on Why Climate Change is Really Really Happening. You barely make the deadline, but you make it. Then you celebrate. You mentally pat yourself on the back. You buy a double latte, a fudge brownie, maybe some Twinkies. And you settle down to read the copy of what you submitted.
You bang your head in the palm of your hand and rush out and buy a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy ice cream and devour it with a spoon.
I’m a failure, you moan between mouthfuls.
That’s jumping ahead in the list of thinking distortions, to number seven: name-calling.
Let’s stick to one distortion at a time.
You handed it in, right? You spent five, ten, forty hours rewriting the darn thing. You did the best you could with the knowledge and experience that you currently have.
So put down the spoon.
Stop reading the copy.
Take a walk.
And when your mother or your boss or your teacher congratulates you—well done! Great job! You did it!–when you get a high-five and a thumbs-up and an A-plus don’t say…yeah, but it could have been perfect. So-and-so would have done it better.
That’s thinking distortion number three: Rejecting the Positive.
And number six: Expecting Perfection.
And number eleven: Comparing Worth.
And…well, be mindful of the games your mind can play.