12 Common Irrational Beliefs

thinking

Dr. Albert Ellis was a practitioner of rational emotive behavior therapy. During his time as a therapist, he identified 12 irrational beliefs that many people have. Ellis’ definition of an irrational belief is that:

  • It distorts reality
  • It is illogical
  • It prevents you from reaching your goals
  • It leads to unhealthy emotions
  • It leads to self-defeating behavior

1

“The idea that it is a dire necessity for an adult human being to be loved or approved by virtually every significant other person in his community.”

2

“The idea that one should be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving in all possible respects if one is to consider oneself worthwhile.”

3

“The idea that certain people are bad, wicked, or villainous and that they should be severely blamed and punished for their villainy.”

4

“The idea that it is awful and catastrophic when things are not the way one would very much like them to be.”

5

“The idea that human unhappiness is externally caused and that people have little or no ability to control their sorrows and disturbances.”

6

“The idea that if something is or may be dangerous or fearsome one should be terribly concerned about it and should keep dwelling on the possibility of its occurring.”

7

“The idea that it is easier to avoid than to face certain life difficulties and self-responsibilities.”

8

“The idea that one should be dependent on others and needs someone stronger than oneself on whom to rely.”

9

“The idea that one’s past history is an all-important determiner of one’s present behavior and that because something once strongly affected one’s life, it should indefinitely have a similar effect.”

10

“The idea that one should become quite upset over other people’s problems and disturbances.”

11

“The idea that there is invariably a right, precise, and perfect solution to human problems and that It is catastrophic if this perfect solution is not found.”

12

“The idea that you can give people (including yourself) a global rating as a human and that their general worth depends upon the goodness of their performances.”

Image: vassilis galopoulos – Source: REBT Network
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