Do you beat yourself up when you make a mistake but you’re not so generous with complimenting yourself for a job well done?
Are you in habit of being hard on yourself if you let something slip, but tend to ignore all the other things that you did do right?
If that is the case, then you probably have the problem of cognitive distortion. In this state, you perceive reality in a distorted way; your response to wins and losses is disproportionate. You become fixated on the failures, making them bigger than they are. On the other hand, you tend to downplay your wins.
There is a difference between modest and having distorted thinking. The former is approach to humility, the latter refers to problem with the way we perceive ourselves. It then requires cognitive therapy from the Psychologist in Lahore, as it can otherwise lead to mental health problems, not to mention the implications for your life otherwise.
The phenomenon of magnification and minimization
Your subjectivities tend to shape your thinking, that then affects your experiences. Our brain is in the habit of quickly sifting through information, and this is where our perspective comes in. You can also label it as the subconscious thinking, as these thoughts may not fall into the realm of intentional thinking.
So, when your brain is given the filter that you are no good, it will process the information accordingly. This then gives rise to problems like magnification, in which the bad side of things like slight faltering or any mistake is blown out of proportion.
It then has direct impact on your self-esteem; you start to deem yourself as an idiot, an incompetent person etc. Such negative thoughts then occupy your perception of self.
On the other hand, you tend to partake in minimization, in which you tend to lessen the impact of your wins. You do not consider them worthy anyways, and thus you do not think of them as achievements. Any strides that you make are dismissed. In a nutshell, you belittle your wins, yourself.
Different types of distortions
Distortions manifest in different forms, which may make identifying them slightly trickier. Following the are salient types of distortions:
Black and white thinking
In this case, you are in all or nothing mode. For you, things fall into neat binaries, failing then to account for the human element. You are either perfect, or you are horrible. However, much like real life, not everything is black and white; there are plenty of grey elements in life.
People with this thinking distortion, the problem blowing things out of proportions. It is always the worst-case scenario in this thinking.
With this type of distortion, people tend to project their thinking on other people, and work on their assumption of what the other person is thinking. The presence of evidence is generally inconsequential.
Quick to assume
Being quick to assume, especially the worst-case scenario is also one of the forms of distortions. In this, people jump to conclusions based on the scenarios in their head. Reality is secondary with this mindset.
It is time to change
Living with distortions can be extremely hard. It takes immense mental toll. Here are some things that you can do to change your thinking:
Be kinder to yourself
Stop going Simon Cowell on yourself. Be nicer to yourself through the losses and be humble through the wins. This may take a lot of practice, since many a times, its years of mental abuse that then manifests in the form of verbal self-flagellation.
Sometimes, you can get perspective by counting your wins and your blessings. Write things that you have accomplished and be grateful for them.
If it’s too big a challenge to surmount on your own, get help from your Psychologist in Karachi.