12 Toxic Thought Patterns

This list of Toxic Thought Patterns was recently shared with me and I thought it was worthy of sharing here. These seem like simple things and my first thought when looking at it was, “How elementary.” But sometimes it’s the elementary things we need reminded about. This is a great list for self-reflection.

  1. Can you see any of these thought patterns active in your thinking?
  2. If yes, what could you do differently to counter these toxic thought patterns?

12 Toxic Thought Patterns

1. Needing Approval

People must approve of me at all times. When people don’t approve of me, I work hard to win their approval.

2. Making Mistakes

I must be thoroughly competent at all the skills I learn at the moment when I learn them. Making mistakes is embarrassing and I won’t accept anything less than perfection.

3. Changing Others

If other people behave unfairly or in an obnoxious manner, it is my duty to point out the error of their ways and change them.

4. Catastrophic Thinking

When I am treated unfairly, when I get frustrated, when I get rejected or face a disappointment, I have to view things as awful, horrible, and catastrophic.

5. I’m not Responsible

My emotional misery and bad luck come from external pressures or factors that I have little or no ability to change.

6. Worry and Fear

If something seems dangerous or difficult, I must preoccupy myself with it and make myself anxious about it.

7. Avoidance

It’s easier to avoid facing difficulties and self-responsibilities than to do something about them.

8. The Past

My past remains all-important, and because something strongly influenced my life, it has to keep determining my feelings and behavior today.

9. Unrealistic Expectations

People and things should turn out better than they do, and I must fix them.

10. Competition

My worth is measured by competitive situations.

11. Source of Problems

The people and conditions in my life are the sources of my problems.

12. Negativity

Certain occurrences or events are negative by nature.