Cognitive Distortions 1 

I have been doing @hillarymcbride's anxiety course, and I've found it quite helpful. But i'm in the middle of session 8 on cognitive distortions and I'm really hung up on something that I was hoping someone might be able to help me with. I really identified with really most of the distortions she mentioned. My problem is When talking about "shoulds" and asking the question "really, why?" or "who says?" I am really good at coming up with answers that reinforce the "should"

Cognitive Distortions 2 

@hillarymcbride says in the video "there no consequences" outside of confronting your own shame in not meeting those "shoulds" and sometimes this is true. My problem is I combine the "should" distortion with the "fortune telling" distortion and extrapolate out all the potential negative consequences of not being a perfect mom, for example.

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Cognitive Distortions 3 

@hillarymcbride
This is further reinforced my my tendency to "overgeneralize." (I not only identify with all these distortions, I combine them.) I am actually frequently right about my predictions. But I have trouble not turning that into thinking I'm always right about them. And I make enough of them that it would be hard to NEVER be right.

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Cognitive Distortions 4 

@hillarymcbride
I *am* unnecessarily hard on myself. I *do* feel guilty about shou;lds that no one ever told me to do. But I am *also* super frustrated by the ACTUAL imperfections of the world, my family, myself, and I really want to fix everything, to make it better. No one can tell me that the world is perfect or that I have no onus to help make the world that I want and have me believe it. How do I cultivate perspective while honestly seeing the imperfection?

Cognitive Distortions 5 

@hillarymcbride
One concrete example is "I shouldn't yell at my kids when I am frustrated or angry" "Why not?" "Because it makes them feel crappy, and then they take it out on each other (and on me) and it creates disharmony in our home" And I know from experience that shit "always" rolls downhill. But I also know that feeling crappy about yelling at them doesn't help me not yell at them...

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Cognitive Distortions 

@brandice I resonate with a lot of this. I will say that all of the “should"ing I do to everyone else is the overflow of how much more I do it to myself. When I boil over and yell at others, I’m really just angry with myself. And what I’m angry at is that I haven’t found a way to be perfect yet, to meet these impossible standards. My expert predictions failed me and some kind of pain happened to me or a loved one because of it. I failed. I’m a failure.

Cognitive Distortions 

@brandice The critical voices in my head are all too gleeful to point out my failures as if this is proof that I need to try even harder, before they find out what a fuckup I am. And this produces a constant level of anxiety and stress.

And so the first place to start is in being more gentle with yourself, extending grace to yourself. It sounds hokey and lame and it’s the hardest thing you will ever do. And it’s worth it.

Cognitive Distortions 

@mattwiebe
Yes, yes, yes. All of this. The bully is inside my own brain and it overflows into me trying to control others so that they will make the world be how I want it to be. And when I have self-compassion, that compassion overflows into compassion to others. It.Is.SO.Hard! I keep believing that if I do everything right I will save myself and those around me from pain/hardship. And it's just not true.

Cognitive Distortions 

@brandice Not true, but oh so tempting! A perverse way of feeling in control, even if it means you’re responsible for things that you aren’t.

The practice of non-judgementally coming back to my breath in mindfulness has been a great training ground for learning self-compassion amidst constant “failure.”

You got this.

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