1.    All or nothing thinking

Sometimes called “black and white thinking” – “If I’m not perfect, I have failed” or “Either I do it ‘right’ or not do it at all.”


2.   Mental Filter

Only paying attention to certain types of evidence.  – “Noticing our failures but not seeing our successes.


3.   Jumping to Conclusions (2 + 2 = 5)

There are two key types of jumping to conclusions:

  • Mind Reading – imagining we know what others are thinking
  • Fortune Telling – predicting the future


4.   Emotional Reasoning

Assuming that because we feel a certain way what we think must be “TRUE.”  “I feel embarrassed so I must be an idiot.”


5.   Labeling

Assigning labels to ourselves and/or other people. – “I’m a loser.”  “I’m completely useless.”  “They’re such idiots.”


6.   Over-Generalizing

Seeing a pattern based upon a single event, or being overly broad in the conclusions we draw.


7.   Disqualifying the Positive

Discounting the good things that have happened or that you have done for some reason or another. –  “That doesn’t count.”


8.   Magnification (Castastrophizing or Awfulizing) and Minimizing (Just get over it.)

Blowing things out of proportion (Castastrophizing).

Inappropriately shrinking something to make it seem less important (Just get over it).


9.   Should and Must

Using critical words like “should; must; ought or have to,” which make us feel guilty when we have not done anything wrong.  Or using these words make us feel like we have failed in some way.  (If we apply “should, must, ought, or have to” to other people, the results are frustrating and/or destructive.)


10.   Personalization (This is my fault or it’s about me.)

Blaming yourself or taking responsibility for something that wasn’t completely your fault at all.  Conversely, blaming others for something that was your fault.