Filters of our reality: The Monotonites
self-limiting beliefs and filters: part 2
Sometimes our mind plays tricks on us and tries to convince us of things that aren’t really true. These distorted perceptions usually reinforce our negative emotions and thinking patterns. We use them to justify our ideas, but all they actually end up doing is making us feel bad about ourselves. Negative thoughts take up a lot of energy. I’ve said it before, what we focus on expands…
Since last week I’ve been providing a quick summary of a few key themes, which I’ve divided into 4 groups: Doomers, Monotinites, Persuasionists, and Victims. This will give you a general idea of some of the hindering filtering patterns that happen unconsciously in your brain. The good news is that with practice, and coaching, you can learn to become aware of them and respond to them in a more resourceful way!
Here are a few of the Monotonites’ distorted filters we have… The ones who eliminate or distort the nuanced colours of life’s experience.
Do you recognise any of them? or have you been made aware of this behaviour by someone else? Don’t forget to write down your findings in your notebook!
You have globally generalized one or more traits, and assign them to yourself and others. You remove the context of a specific situation and apply a universal unhealthy label.
Example: “The Dutch are so….”; “I’m a bad mom”; “She’s a bad mom”
Writing off positives
You believe that the positive things you, or other people, do is trivial. You play down the positive situations; experiences; or things you or others do. You may only see the negative parts of a situation; play down the experience to neutralise it; or attribute any success to the role you are supposed to be filling. Sometimes this means ignoring or discounting compliments or positive feedback you receive.
Example: “don’t worry about it, it was super easy”; “That’s what friends are supposed to do – so I make sure I’m available whenever she needs it” “I’m your friends, that’s what friends do”; “It’s nothing, it’s super easy for me”
You assume you know exactly what people think, without actually having any evidence. Instead of asking for input, you fill in the gaps yourself, and jump to conclusions about how others perceive you.
Example: “She’s always completely bored at everything I say”
You come to a global general conclusion based on a single incident or detail. You expect the same result, over and over again, as if it were a never-ending, unstoppable, cycle.
Example: “I can’t learn Dutch, I had French at school and I was terrible”; “I suck at climbing, I tried it last year”; “I fainted during a presentation at high school, I will never attempt public speaking again”
Your perception of life is based on your feelings. Whatever you feel becomes the ultimate truth. You don’t see emotions as a source of feedback and information, but as pure reality.
Example: “I feel loneliness, so my marriage must be failing”; “I can feel it, so it must be true”
You believe that everything people do or say around you, is somehow connected to you. Especially in negative situations, where you must have caused things to unfold in that way. You believe that somehow you directly affect the moods, atmosphere, experience, actions, and behaviour, of others around you.
Example: “If only I had said what I was afraid to say, then he might have stayed”; “She’s been so down since she came to visit, I hope I didn’t put my foot in my mouth and upset her”
Black and White
You think in a polarized way, everything is either/or; this way or that way; black or white. There is no grey; no middle ground. You place people, things and situations into categories, without allowing space for complexity or nuance – which is inherent to people and the situations they create. Small events or failures can become huge, as there are only two possible outcomes.
Example: “I’m a complete and utter idiot, I messed up my presentation, I’ll lose my job”; “You kissed a girl, so you’re a lesbian now”; “Women before me, fought for me to have these rights, so I have to live up to it and have it all”
Have fun on your exploration, it can be a little confronting, but awareness is the first step to freedom. Don’t forget to share your insights and experiences with me here: @itsladylicious.
© Juel McNeilly
Featured Blog photograph: if anyone knows who the photographer is, please let me know so I can credit them.
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