a psychologist's reflections on mental health studies for inspiration and hope
12 Common Irrational Beliefs
12 Common Irrational Beliefs

12 Common Irrational Beliefs

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


“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.”


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


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


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


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


“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.”


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


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


“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.”


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


“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.”


“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.”

Source: REBT Network

You cannot copy content of this page