Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career
CBT Jealousy Depression Relationships Conflict Self-efficacy Happiness Goal-setting Motivation Wellness Sport Psych

Popular Articles

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

Popular Audios

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles

Cognitive Diary Example

Index

Previous        Next

print

The following is an example to help learn how to identify and change irrational thinking. It is best to read the articles defining the irrational styles of thinking prior to trying to identifying the styles in the example. It uses the format of the COGNITIVE DIARY CBT SELF-HELP app. Read: Understanding and Using the Cognitive Diary.

Passed Over for Promotion

EVENT: Once again, someone else was promoted at work even though I have been there longer.

EMOTIONS: upset, annoyed

DISTRESS RATING: 4—somewhat upset

THOUGHTS: “I am so unlucky. Nothing good ever happens for me. He probably has connections. And it is so unfair. I've worked here longer so they should promote me. Why should I even bother trying?”

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE IRRATIONAL THINKING IN THIS EXAMPLE? There are at least 3 irrational beliefs.

HOW CAN YOU CHANGE THE THINKING? What is another way of thinking about the situation that won't cause the feelings of upset and annoyed?

The Cognitive Diary CBT Self-Help app helps you to determine some ways to challenge the irrational thinking. Once you have done that, it is important to read the rational challenges frequently until they automatically come to mind rather than the irrational thinking.

ANSWER:

Irrational Beliefs:
1) External Control. The belief that luck is involved with getting a promotion indicates this person is likely to have the irrational belief of External Control which is believing that luck, not effort, is involved in achieving success. In this case, he believes promotions are based on luck or "who you know."

The biggest problem with this way of thinking is that it usually indicates a general approach to life. Therefore, if this person believes that luck is based on success, he is not likely to make a great deal of effort which creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure due to being unlucky or not having "connections."

2) Shoulds. The statement that the method of promotions is "unfair" is the belief that things "should" be fair. The problem with this thinking is that the individual believes that it should be fair according to his definition of length of time at the job. Someone else might define fairness as the quality of the work they do.

Again, this belief indicates that this individual is unlikely to make a great deal of effort at work which is likely to continue to influence future promotion decisions. Even the fact that his distress rating is fairly low for this situation indicates that he doesn't put a great deal of effort into even caring about changing the situation and has a more apathetic attitude.

3) Blaming. In addition, he blames others for his lack of success rather than recognizing that success is based on effort in his work environment. He is looking for external excuses rather than taking personal responsibility. Recognizing this is often difficult for someone who is an externalizer because they have to accurately acknowledge their personal flaws and failures which they have made a practice to avoid. It often takes an outside source to point this out but they still need to listen rather than dismiss the idea.

How Can This Thinking Be Changed?
“I need to listen to my boss and recognize that others were promoted because they put more effort into the job than I do and they are contributing more to the success of the company. It has nothing to do with luck or who they know. I have the opportunity for success as well if I make the effort."

Previous        Next



print

Share a Situation to be Used For Future Examples.
Please provide it in the format used above: describe event, feelings, and how you were thinking in the situation. Any comments or information you share may be used for future articles or examples.  However, identifying information will not be used:


Message.  Provide an example of a situtation you have had so suggestions can be provided on this site regarding how to identify irrational thinking and challenge it. It is important to provide details regarding the thoughts you had about the situation.
NO PERSONAL REPLIES WILL BE PROVIDED.

Enter email address (optional) to contact you if we need further info.
Your email address will not be shared or used in any way other than how you specify:

Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank



Recent Articles

Analyzing Your Moods, Symptoms, and Events with Excel At Life's Mood Log

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

Newest Audios

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training