How to Change Destructive Thinking Patterns - EmployeeConnect HRIS
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thinking pattern

How to Change Destructive Thinking Patterns

It can indeed be challenging to focus on anything good when bad things keep taking place in your life. However, the good part is that it is possible to train your mind to focus only on the positive things in your life, instead of pondering on the negative. This is not an article on positive thinking. This article discusses how you can change the way you think by changing your destructive thinking patterns. Analyse for yourself if you happen to use any of these thinking patterns in your day to day life.

Let’s take a look at some of the common negative thinking patterns.

Common Destructive Thinking Patterns


  1. Everything is Bad in my Life:

A lot of people tend to have this thinking pattern where they feel they cannot trust anyone and nothing good will ever happen to them. For instance: “I won’t get this job. The interviewer also did not seem to like me. In fact, I did not like them anyway.”

  1. Conclusion Without Any Evidence

Some individuals tend to jump to conclusions without any evidence to support their conclusions. This is indeed a negative thinking pattern, as it will limit you in viewing the actual reality. For instance: “I saw this guy near the child in the park yesterday. He must be the kidnapper.”

  1. Nothing Good will Ever Happen to Me

People with this thinking pattern draw the conclusion on their own based on generalization that nothing good will ever happen to them. This kind of thinking pattern is deep-seated in the sub-conscious. It is the inability to consider and believe that they are worthy of receiving or experiencing anything good in life. For instance: “I will never be financially stable. I was never stable previously, so there is no way that I can hope to be stable in future as well. I might as carry on with this miserable job, as it at least pays off my bills and the mortgage.”

  1. I Know it All

This is a negative psychic thinking pattern. People with this thinking pattern presume that they know exactly what other people are thinking about them. They also presume that people always have something bad to speak about them. For instance: “She thinks I am ugly. I will try to avoid speaking to her.

  1. Procrastinating

This thinking pattern is also known as the “should, would, could” thinking pattern. People with this thinking pattern already know what they need to do in order to change their life. They are quite cable and they are aware of it. However, they would take steps based on “if only”….For instance: “I know I am smart enough to pursue the degree. I could go to the university anytime and I would, but right now I am just too occupied with other things. So, I shall apply next year.”

  1. Emotionally Driven

People with this thinking pattern are controlled by their emotions. Their emotions control what they are thinking and perceive their reality of what their vision is. For instance: “I feel not capable of doing this task, so I must be incapable.”

  1. Self Blaming

These people have a thinking pattern that everything is their fault. These individuals see themselves as the cause behind everything bad that has taken place in their lives so far. For instance: “It is my fault that he left me for someone else.” These kinds of individuals do not take credit or responsibility for all the good things that take place in their lives.

  1. Considering Everyone Else as Incapable

These types of individuals are of the thinking pattern that everyone else is wrong. They consider everyone else as incapable of doing anything correctly and they think that their way is the only and the best way to do it. For instance: “He can’t do it, I know. Keep this for me. I shall fix it once I am back from work.”

The above-mentioned thinking patterns are some of the common thinking patterns that we come across in our everyday lives. We may be even using some of these patterns ourselves.

Changing Destructive Thinking Patterns


Step 1: Recognize the issue. The problem lies in the fact that there are a lot of individuals who just do not think there is an issue. So they do not feel the need to change. If you wish to change these destructive thinking patterns you first need to acknowledge that there is a need and you need to recognise what changes need to be made. It all starts with how you perceive life.

Everyone perceives life differently. Hence, everyone’s perception of reality is bound to be different. While this may sound like a weird concept to some individuals, but think about it for some time, it may change the way you perceive the world.

Since everyone’s perception of the world is different, it all comes down to the thinking patterns that they use in their day to day lives. If you perceive that life is wonderful, you will only tend to notice the wonderful things in your life. The complete opposite will be the case if you tend to think that your life is miserable. If you change your thoughts, you can literally change the world that you live in. However, for that, you first need to identify your destructive thinking pattern.

Step 2: Be aware of when you tend to use these destructive thinking patterns. Every individual may apply different thinking patterns based on what they are doing in their lives. For instance, you may be using a positive thinking pattern at work, as you are quite good at what you do. But you may be using a destructive thinking pattern in your personal life when it comes to matters of the heart. Being aware of your own destructive thinking patterns can help you to change that pattern. Now that you are aware of the fact when you tend to use the destructive thinking pattern, this is the right time to change it.

Step 3: Replace the bad with the good. This is something that you obviously cannot do immediately.  You need to give some time to allow your old thinking pattern to die consciously and slowly and introduce the new improved thinking pattern. People want a quick fix solution, but life is not like that and you cannot change these patterns in a day. The best thing is to let it take its own course and slowly replace it with a thinking pattern which is better for you. Start by working on more than one destructive thinking pattern at a time.

In order to change your thinking pattern, you need to first recognise the pattern, Be aware of when you tend to use the pattern, slowly change and introduce the new thinking pattern and keep on working on all your destructive thinking patterns


Byron Conway

Content Coordinator at EmployeeConnect