One of my best pieces of advice comes from Cher. Yes, CHER. Icon, actress, singer, drinker from the Fountain of Youth, and philosopher??? (Maybe that last one’s a stretch.)

At the risk of dating myself (and probably many of you) Cher’s classic line in Moonstruck provides me with a Mindset calibration that challenges me to “Snap out of It!” Whatever IT may be at the time.

Our final Thought Partner Friday of January Mindset Month has us looking at cognitive distortions that wreak havoc on our thoughts, productivity and ability to show up as our best selves at home and work.

Simply put, cognitive distortions are common, sometimes habitual patterns of thinking, that are generally inaccurate and negatively biased, done consciously or subconsciously. Key words being: common and habitual. So habitual that we don’t see them distorting our reality, and more importantly, we don’t recognize the damage these patterns cause to our psyche (without the help of our Thought Partner, that is) and therefore we don’t push ourselves to change them. So…. Snap out of it!

Below are 5 Common Cognitive Distortions that affect our mindset, outlook, productivity and ability to lead and work cohesively with our teams.

What resonates with you?

1. All or Nothing Thinking: Seeing things as black-or-white, right-or-wrong with nothing in between. Essentially, if I’m not perfect then I’m a failure.

  • I never presented my research so it was a complete waste of time.
  • They didn’t show to the meeting; they’re completely unreliable!

2. Minimizing or Magnifying (Also “Catastrophizing”): Seeing things as dramatically more or less important than they actually are. Often creating a “catastrophe” that follows.

  • Because my boss publicly thanked her, she’ll get the promotion (even though I had a great performance review and just won an industry award and I’m a total rock star).
  • I failed to recognize the efforts of my team on the call today! That means they don’t think I value them, they think I’m a terrible leader and will look for new jobs where their leader embodies a culture of appreciation. And they will start their job search tomorrow.

3. Jumping to Conclusions:

  • 1) Mind-Reading: Making negative assumptions about how people see you without evidence or factual support.
    • Your friend appears not to be listening and you don’t bother to find out why. You’re thinking: She thinks I’m exaggerating again or
    • He still hasn’t forgiven me for disagreeing with him on our last call.
  • 2) Fortune Telling: Making negative predictions about the future without evidence or factual support.
    • I won’t be able to sell my house and I’ll be stuck here (even though the housing market is exploding).
    • The Board will not understand our revenue dip. They’ll replace me (even though 2020 was a rough year, we’ve turned a profit every year I’ve been in the role, and they have always supported me).

4. Discounting the Positive: Not acknowledging the positive. Saying anyone could have done it or insisting that your positive actions, qualities or achievements don’t count…

  • That doesn’t count, anyone could have done it.
  • I’m only exercising twice a week. It doesn’t count because I’m not doing it five days a week.

5. Mental Filter: Allowing (often dwelling on) one negative detail or fact to spoil your enjoyment, happiness, feeling of accomplishment, etc…

  • You have a great evening at a restaurant with friends, but your chicken was undercooked and that spoiled the whole night.
  • Twenty-three people evaluated your presentation as EXCELLENT, but two marked it GOOD (not even VERY GOOD) and you could have done a significantly better job connecting with the audience. [That might be mine]

Are one of these cognitive distortions habitually torturing your mind?

Challenge yourself to focus on one this coming week to… SNAP OUT OF IT!

(Next month we’re going to explore one of Janet Jackson’s favorite topics…CONTROOOOOL and delegation).