How to Use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Transform Your Limiting Beliefs

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a very popular form of psychological therapy that has largely replaced psychotherapy and plain behavioral therapy in clinical settings. This model of psychology is often used to treat anxiety and mental health problems and it has been proven very effective in doing this.

But interestingly it has uses much beyond that, which we will look at next week. Make sure to keep your eyes on your inbox because this is some pretty powerful stuff!

CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach used to treat mental illness.

Specifically, it works by looking at the contents of the thoughts and then trying to change those. Someone who has a fear of heights for instance is likely to have lots of negative thoughts like ‘I’m going to fall’ or ‘it isn’t safe’ and this will only make their problem worse. CBT looks to change that and thus improve mental health.

There are two ways that they do this:

Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a form of meditation where you ‘watch’ thoughts go by. Here you will not try to ‘calm your mind’ or anything like that: you are literally just going to close your eyes and see what thoughts come to you. When you’re finished, make a note of these and you can identify ones that might be causing trouble.

calm daylight evening grass
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Cognitive Restructuring: This is the point in which you are going to change those negative thoughts for positive ones. So if you think you’re in danger on top of the roof, you will be trying to replace those thoughts with things like ‘this place was built with safety in mind’ and ‘I’m in complete control’.

Cognitive Restructuring and Luck

So to use this in the context of improving positivity, confidence, and luck, you first need to use some mindfulness to try and identify some of the negative thoughts you might be having which could be impacting on how lucky you feel you are and how successful. Maybe you think things like ‘bad things always happen to me’. Once you’re aware of these thoughts, you’ll be one step closer to dealing with them.

man wearing hoodie and black pants climbing up pile of rocks
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Once you’ve made a note of your negative beliefs you can then use some more strategies to use cognitive restructuring. One is something call ‘thought challenging’ where you critically analyze a thought to ask yourself whether it’s truly valid.

Sit down and actually assess the content of that negative thought.

How likely is it really that you would jump or fall from that height? Or that it hasn’t been safety tested to near exhaustion?

What other beliefs are holding you back?

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