Beck Refresh Day #26: Recognize Thinking Mistakes
Thursday, January 12, 2017
I think the first line of this chapter is one of the most important sentences in this book:
"It's important to realize that thoughts are just ideas, not necessarily truths."
Dr. Beck says it's important to understand that any given thought may be true, partially true or totally false. And it's important to stop and assess our thoughts before acting on them to see whether they are the product of errors in thinking. She lays with out nine types of errors in thinking including All or Nothing Thinking, Negative Fortune Telling, Overly Positive Fortune Telling, Emotional Reasoning, Self Deluded Thinking and Justification and more.
I've engaged in more of these than I like to admit but I think my biggest downfall has been a reliance on Overly Positive Fortune Telling and Justification. For as long as I have been on Spark, I have done really well for awhile and and then I start to slip. And this is how it happens. "I've done so well, I tell myself. It will be ok for me to have this treat, this cookie, cupcake, bag of chips, order of fries." That's overly positive fortune telling (and justification too, I think). Or "It won't matter if I take a second helping, I'll make up for it tomorrow by eating less or exercising more." Well, we can see how well that's worked out!
Each excuse or sabotaging thought falls into one or another of these types of mistakes in the way I am thinking about my efforts. And if I can see before I fall into the trap, I can stop making the same mistakes over and over again.
I think the best thing I can say about my efforts at this point is that I am persistent. I keep coming back and I keep trying. Before the end of the year, I would like to be able to say that I have become skilled at maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Without slipping back into old habits, without making excuses. That would feel good and I am determined to do it.
I'm planning to sign up for two races this year, a 10K in April and a half marathon in October. By that time, I'll be a lot lighter and running will be easier.
Today was a pretty good day. I didn't stick exactly to my plan, I made salad dressing with orange infused olive oil because I forgot I was out of low fat vinaigrette. It was delicious and I cut out my snack of grapes to make up for it. I ate everything slowly and enjoyed every bite. I went for a 2.5 mile run and I read my Advantages cards twice. I gave myself credit for most of my healthy practices. And I will go back over all the sabotaging thoughts I listed yesterday and analyze what errors in thinking they represent. I'm beginning to accept that unless I get this part of the puzzle right, I'm not going to be successful. Or, let me rephrase that: when I get this part of the puzzle right, when I'm able to identify mistakes in the way I think about this effort and turn them around, I will be successful!