I love discovering thought distortions. Yes they’re evil and destructive, but I love when I discover one. Instead of discouragement, I have found their discovery and elimination to be of life-changing encouragement.
Thought distortions reside in your self-talk. We all have an active inner narrative constantly framing the view of ourselves and the world around us. If the narrative is faulty, it becomes a bad inner GPS device that sounds like it knows what it’s doing, but is leading you off course or just going around in circles.
One tricky distortion for me was if I just get more information it will solve my problems. We live in an age of overwhelming information.
There are thousands of self-help diet books and low-carb websites, yet I’m still overweight! Mostly because of the caring-sounding distortion that says well, you seem to be blowing your diet today; it’s okay, just start again tomorrow (sounds almost encouraging, but wait for it) and since you’re going to start tomorrow, might as well have the last two doughnuts!
The clear thinking would be the moment I become aware I’m blowing my “healthy eating,” I stop, forgive myself, and resume the healthy life. So how to reprogram the inner-narrative?
Sometimes there are echoes of the past that have to be eliminated (bad inner GPS configuration from such things as trauma). Sometimes it takes persistence in exercising new, healthy thought patterns to replace deep-rooted negative ones. But elimination and replacement take determination and commitment. It goes hand-in-hand with clear thinking and motivation. I can’t blame the diet books for not working as I’m sitting on my couch with book in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other.
In Luke 11:35, Jesus gives a warning “Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness.” If the light I’m navigating my life decisions by is actually faulty, so will be my decisions. That’s why it’s so exciting to discover and eliminate thought distortions. It’s all part of the exciting journey.