Here is the first of my posts about cognitive distortions – I’ll be adding more as time goes on. There are 13 on the list; some of them I do all the time, some only sometimes and a couple I don’t really do at all.
All or nothing thinking – You see things in black and white categories. If performance fall short of perfect, you see yourself and others as failures.
This one definitely applies to me, although only in my own performance – not in others (strangely?)
I have one rule for myself and one for everyone else. Everyone else just has to do their best, whereas I have to be perfect.
A good example of this is that when I’m doing work I feel like if it’s not going to be perfect (worth a 1st) then there’s no point in doing it. Also, when I get my grades back, if it’s short of perfect I feel like a complete failure.
I do seem to be quite an all or nothing person. Sometimes this can be good, because it means I never give a half-arsed attempt at anything, but it can back fire because whatever I do will never be good enough for myself. It can also mean that I don’t want to attempt things because I know that if I don’t do it well enough I will feel like a failure.
It’s either perfect or a failure.
Would love to hear about other people’s experiences with all or nothing thinking. What do you do? How do you overcome these thoughts?