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Learning How to Avoid Thinking Fumbles


As we rumble along at home and at work, there are all sorts of good and bad habits that we move in and out of. Eating too much or starting to exercise more can be fairly obvious events.

But what about thinking errors?

Those errors occur in our heads, and we may not even realize we are making them as we automatically let them take charge. We all have our own ways of seeing things, but recognizing and understanding them can be valuable.

Forbes recently referred to David Burns, M.D. and his theories as they ticked off a list of thinking fumbles to avoid.

One is all or nothing thinking, that sees everything as black or white, never allowing for gray, where most events actually exist.

Overgeneralizing is another. It can lead to some really bad assumptions. If you decide you are just not creative enough, because one project went down in flames, you really ought to give yourself more room and take a wait and see attitude. Down the road you might surprise yourself with some great creative bursts if you don’t shut down early by overgeneralizing.

Assuming we can mind read might also lead to trouble, as we think we know just what everyone is thinking. That can be dangerous if we base new actions on things that are really only guesses.

Or leaning toward catastrophe can cause us to lose sleep when one small criticism just keeps building until it seems like a big deal. If these thinking processes sound familiar you might consider ways to check them out.

Test Out Your Thinking

I have found a great way to do a self check on my thoughts is to share them with co-workers or family members. Surprisingly what they see and what they think sometimes give me a whole new set of impressions and it helps me get a better overall picture, before making final calls.

Keep A Running Journal

Another way to self check works well with a notebook where you jot down conclusions at meetings or in other situations. Later you can see how everything played out. When events match your thoughts your thinking may have been right on target. If not, you know what to watch for next time.

Whatever monitoring that you do of your thinking, lets you learn more for future calls. I have seen some major events go south, and other rather dubious ones move ahead, all because some thinking fumbles were made along the way.

We all need to keep thinking and sometimes self correct.


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