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Identifying Negative Thoughts and Addressing Them

Identifying Negative Thoughts and Addressing Them

Identifying Negative Thoughts and Addressing Them

As we step into the journey of adulthood, negative thoughts surface in our minds which results in self-doubt and impact on our confidence and ability in our academic studies. It is impossible for anyone not to have any negative thoughts because our brains are wired to think negatively. However, the extent of having negative thoughts is experienced more frequently for pessimists as compared to optimists.

I am going to share with you some of the common types of negative thoughts and I am pretty sure it will resonate with you.


1. All In or All Out

This type of negative thought assume things are either all good or all bad. For example, if you get an A for the subject, you are on top of the world. If you get a F for another subject, you think that it is the end of the world. Let’s challenge this type of negative thought using this example. If you get an A, there is also the likelihood that you rest on your laurels and may slack off in future. If you get a F, you can work hard and there is only room for improvement! So, things aren’t all good or all bad.


2. Just the Bad

This type of negative thought gets people to see the glass as half empty rather than half filled. For example, if one scores 90 marks for a test, instead of feeling happy about it, he sees the bad side of things and will instead lament on missing out 10 marks to get a perfect score.


3. Labeling

This type of negative thought involves attaching a negative label to yourself or someone else resulting in reducing your motivation in the process of doing so. For example, one who did badly just once for his exams will conclude that he is stupid and therefore feels dejected and gives up on his studies.


4. Palm Reader

This type of negative thought predicts the worst outcome with limited or no data. For example, one will predict that he will do badly for his O levels with no data to back up the prediction.


5. Cannot Be My Fault

This refers to people who externalize their own issues to others and blame others for their mistakes. For example, if one doesn’t do well for his exam, he blames it on the teacher’s unclear explanations or his parents for asking him not to study too hard. In any case, it is never his fault.


To address these negative thoughts, simply do a fact or fiction exercise. Anytime, you have a negative thought, ask yourself if it is true or false and it needs to be validated with evidence. More often than not, one will realise most of the negative thoughts aren’t true.

Exercise your negative thoughts and you will be able to achieve much more in your studies!

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