Untwist your thinking by “putting your thoughts on trial”. This is a very useful CBT technique where we actually look for evidence that DOES and DOES NOT support our negative thought. Writing this out can help to shed some light on how truthful and/or helpful the thought is.
Take for example you did poorly on a test, and you were saying to yourself “I always fail and now I’ll never get into the profession I want.” Evidence you might want to look at would be how many times have you failed in the past? How many times have you passed tests? Does this test mean that you’ll fail the entire course? How much is this test worth of your entire mark? Does it really have an impact on whether or not you complete the course/graduate and fulfill your future ambitions? In six months will you still believe this thought to be true? What about in one year? What about in five years? Is it true that people who are successful in their professions have never failed or done poorly on tests?
Try out the Thought Record/Examining the Evidence worksheet in the Resources section when you get hooked by your next negative thought. It can be challenging when you first start to find evidence that isn’t based on your emotions. But try to stick to the facts just like a lawyer or a detective. And see how looking at these facts might change your perspective even a little bit!