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GO Month: Mental Clutter - J

Let's celebrate Get Organized (GO) Month by ridding ourselves of mental clutter from A to Z!

To celebrate Get Organized (GO) Month I'm doing a series of posts on the mental clutter that can be just as pervasive as physical clutter. For each letter, I'll talk about a mental stumbling block that often impacts our well-being.

Let's focus on J ... Jumping to Conclusions

The act of jumping to conclusions is a classic cognitive distortion (faulty thinking style) that we all seem to employ at one time or another. There are two types of this kind of stinkin' thinkin.'

This first is Mind Reading. You think that people are thinking poorly of you even if there's no evidence of it. You can end up in a bad cycle pretty quickly if you think this way - you react to people as if they're bashing you and then people really do start to think you suck. Ie: My coworkers think I can't handle the project because my desk is such a mess and my files aren't in order!

The second type is Fortune Telling. This is where you automatically assume things will turn out badly even if there's nothing to support this belief. Cue another bad cycle coming on - you think bad things will happen therefore you act accordingly and then you set yourself up for a poor outcome. Ie: I'm not going to be able to get this apartment cleaned up and then my landlord will kick me out!

Ways to combat this thinking include:

  • When you find yourself mind reading or fortune-telling, remind yourself that you are jumping to conclusions

  • Take note of when you are predicting the worst will happen to see if you can note patterns in your thinking

  • Balance out your negative thoughts with thinking the best-case scenario instead, as most likely the result will be somewhere in the middle

  • Do a fact or opinion challenge and write down your current thoughts and honestly evaluate them as to whether they're facts or opinions

  • Conduct a survey: consult with a close group of friends/family/colleagues to get their perspective on the situation

"You jump to conclusion, what an illusion to assume you know without facts.

Even a coin has two sides to the equation."

Wam Zed

Here's to freeing ourselves from the mental clutter of jumping to conclusions!

Please share with someone who needs a clearer mindset.

featured image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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