Slingshot Method

12 Illogical Thought Processes Create Mental Anguish!

As a coach, these are the 12 most common mental anguish provoking thought processes our coaches see clients struggle with. Use this list to find the ones that are causing you the most pain!

1. Mind Reading: Saying things like “He doesn’t like me!” or “I just know she’s going to fire me” Ask yourself, do you have any solid evidence of that?

Trust me if you truly do possess the ability to read minds, that skill would could be put to far better use than torturing yourself.

2. If-then statements Cause and Effect: If I don’t get that position, then I can going to be left behind professionally.

Again, stick to the facts and live the moment you are in. Opportunity is around every corner. Creating all this pressure simply creates a negative aura.

3. Complex Equivalence: Attaching a significant meaning to something.

    -If I don’t pass my exam, my life is ruined!

Uh, have you heard of re-test? If you don’t pass the exam, it means you need to hunker down and put in some more study time. That’s it. So doable!

4. Lost Performative: Making value judgments around something being good, bad.

I blew that presentation. I was not on my A-game all week.

Attaching negative labels and judgments during emotional moments fuels anguish and as the old adage goes, “Nothing is ever as bad or as good as it seems.

There’s simple more natural balance in most things.

5. Presuppositions: An implicit assumption about something.

Just because at first glance a thing appears one way doesn’t mean that it is. Stop being so quick to impost biased judgements. Slow down. Truth rises to the surface.

6. Universal Qualifiers: That something a certain thing is true for everything.


   -A person can achieve anything if they put their mind to it. 

   -Trust your instincts and you’ll always make the right choices.

   -You’ll never know until you try.


If you want to impart mental anguish on another human who needs your support, then by all means say one of these three insensitive and untrue glib comments.

7. Necessity: I must do a certain thing to achieve a certain outcome.

   -I need to study at least 8-hours to perform well during an exam.

Replace hard and fast rules with intention and a plan. Subjecting your mindset to impossible to achieve, unrealistic standards is the ultimate joy suck. Stop it now!

8. Possibility / Impossibility: Do you believe that something is possible or not?

For injecting the power of positivity, choose possible over impossible every time. Shoot for the possibilities target!

9. Toward vs. Away: Are you moving to the goal or away from the goal.

So many of us are like magnets allowing a negative churning mindset to repel us from what we want most. This is the false power of imposter syndrome and it’s strong! Focus on the activity of goal achievement instead. That’s the best momentum builder.

10. Internal vs. External: How small of you to be so full of me and vice versa!

I once coached a professional who got into coaching because she caused herself so much anguish by surfing social media and judging herself harshly by the digital standards she accepted as reality. When she couldn’t take the suffering it caused her she put herself on an extreme digital diet until her willpower ran out and then cycle began again.

11. Universal vs. Specific: As far as specifics go, they are often underutilized.

Whenever possible choose specifics. Do you move forward using universal ideas, or your own specific ideas?

12. Once vs. Several: Extreme views like, Every time I try, I always fail. Versus choosing to see any failure as a unique event is fuel for an anguished mind.

Coaches know, awareness is the first step to changing any habit or “stinkin thinkin” that is causing pain. Commit to noting which of these ridiculous thought patterns is causing you the most discomfort. When you catch yourself, pivot to empowered thinking and build your mind command muscle! If you need some help and we all do sometimes, reach out!