The way that we act on a daily basis is directly related to our core beliefs. If you believe in what Mahatma Gandhi said then you believe that your beliefs turn into thoughts which turn into your words which turn into your actions which in turn morph into our habits over time. Habitual living comprises on average 80-90% of an individual’s day. This means that the way you act on a daily basis is a direct result of the habits that you have cultivated. Remember that habits are intertwined with our beliefs and that they form on the basis of our belief systems. Now what if those beliefs that our habits are based on are actually irrational?
What does it mean to have an irrational belief? It is first important to define the word belief. According to Google, the definition is as follows: “Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.” Irrational means not logical or unreasonable so an irrational belief is something one accepts as true that in reality is not logical or correct. These beliefs can lead to much unhappiness that the individual is not even aware of. Here is a list of 10 of the most common irrational beliefs according to Psychotherepist and Psychologist, Albert Ellis, Ph.D. Along with the irrational beliefs is a more realistic way to look at things.
More Rational Way Of Thinking
|Feeling the need for approval from all you find significant||Even the people who do approve of you will be turned off by certain behaviors of yours sometimes|
|The idea that you must be unfailingly competent in all that you attempt||It should be noted that humans are quite imperfect creatures and that we all have general human limitations. It only makes sense that you will not excel in some places.|
|The idea that when people act obnoxiously or unfairly, they are bad people||People sometimes act in an inappropriate or antisocial ways and it would be beneficial for them to change some of their habits|
|The idea that things are terrible and awful when you are treated unfairly or you are frustrated||This is belief is often known as the “spoiled brat” syndrome. Nothing will ever be as perfect as you would like it. Instead, try to improve your conditions to get closer to what you want|
|The idea that you have little ability to control your feelings and that external forces determine how you feel||You are the only one with the ability to control your feelings. You decide how you interpret external forces before you even form an opinion.|
|If something is dangerous or fearsome, you must occupy your mind with it to escape from it||You will never escape all of life’s dangers because then you are not fully experiencing life. Try to reduce risk rather than prevent it.|
|It is easier to avoid self-responsibilities and life difficulties rather than undertaking more rewarding forms of self-discipline||Short-term success usually ends up being harder in the long run. Use self-discipline to do things right the first time and you will enjoy not cleaning up a mess later on down the road.|
|The past is all important and since it affected your life at one point, it always will affect you||The past is gone and will never be back. Some things in your past may have changed how you acted for a while but there is no need for the bad habits developed to be set in stone forever.|
|You must have perfect control over everything in your life||Instead the world is filled with all sorts of probability and chance. It is still possible to enjoy life despite this fact.|
|The idea that you can achieve maximum happiness by achieved by inertia and inaction||The only way to truly reach maximum happiness is to face some challenges and conquer them. We are happiest when actively engaged in creative pursuits.|
Irrational beliefs are often formed at a young age. Although children are great observers, they are not great interpreters. The way a child processes a situation may be and is most likely different from what is actually going on. After misunderstanding a situation, they can then go on to form rationalizations based on this new information they have just come across and eventually develop faulty beliefs. These are the beliefs that carry over into their words, actions and habits which will possibly stay with them for a good majority of their life.
Being educated and becoming aware of the fact that almost everybody has some sort of irrational belief in their mind will start the process of creating a happier life. Having beliefs that are not true only lead to unhappiness because much that is experienced is disappointment. If you ever feel like you are not as happy as you should be, question your beliefs. Do not be scared to admit that you have flaws. As stated in the table, humans are incredibly imperfect creatures and even the most experienced professionals in every area of life make mistakes. We only get this life so why not live a happy one? The tools are out there to give you the happiest life possible and I hope you take it upon yourself to find them.
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