[Continuing my series on some of David Burns cognitive distortions. It helps me to really see them for what they are and how I apply them to my thinking.]

It has a bunch of “conclusions” written on it, that you would jump to!

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Jumping to conclusions–it’s the Andrew Lloyd Weber of distortions in my opinion. Loud, dominating, powerful, and massively appealing. Two particularly sinister varieties:

Mind reading: assuming you have the inside knowledge of the thoughts and intents inside someone else’s head.

•Women get a bad rap for this one, often unjustifiably so. All it takes is one look and you can go crazy on the read-into-it spiral: “His eyebrow went up when I said that, omigosh he’s totally offended stupid me and my big mouth so harsh doesn’t he appreciate all I do–hey don’t judge me!” Guys do it too though.

Fortune telling: exaggerating how things will turn out before they happen.

It’s kind of like the slippery slope fallacy, but it’s a lot more self-sabotaging than that. And it is a very efficient courage-killer.

How my life might have been different if a few of those times that I thought, “I’m going to!…no wait I’ll look like an idiot…and get in trouble…” I had just done/said it. Well, don’t dwell on the past.

As I study the bright turning points of history, the births of genius, and the movers and shakers past and present, I realize that they fear all the same stuff too but don’t take the time to think about it.

I cut myself off from opportunities over and over. I chase a ghost on a breeze of a train of thought that isn’t even plausible half the time, let alone probable. Instead, I want to open the sail and let the breeze carry me more until I’m “falling, with style.”

I don’t know where “there” will be, but at least it gives me a chance to get out of “here.”

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