With the best intentions in mind, your family and others can (directly or indirectly) indoctrinate you to accept very irrational ideas which cause emotional problems. The people who promote these ideas in your life have usually lived by such ideas or felt that by living in such a manner, their lives would have been better.
These irrational ideas aren’t always stated directly. These principles can creep into your life as a product of misinterpretation or drawing inaccurate conclusions from many of life’s messages.
The “unhidden secret” to living a happy life is to accept the reality of human limitations and live within the boundary of that finite truth.
For example, a parent may want you to be loved and accepted by your peers, or a teacher may have trouble explaining how important it is to be well-liked for conflict-free teamwork. They may go overboard and tell you that in order to succeed in life, you should strive to be loved by everyone. The idea could come into your life in a more subtle manner. By making assumptions about how others make friends, you may have begun to believe that in order to increase your popularity, you should try to be liked by everyone.
These irrational ideas may be so deeply embedded into your psyche that you might not recognize the thought as your own—but you may recognize the behavioral pattern of the irrational thought. This shows how the irrational idea has become part of your subconscious and guided your behavior, leading to harmful life choices and causing emotional problems.
The following articles in this series are some of the most common irrational ideas as well as rational alternatives. These rational alternatives promote emotional well-being which can heal (or prevent) the damage from living with these irrational ideas.
For a happy and emotionally healthy life, contact CrossRoads for counseling at 317-842-8881 if you are in the Central Indiana area. This series was inspired by and sourced from “A Guide to Rational Living” by Albert Ellis and Robert Harper.
To go directly to an article in the series, select one of these links:
Irrational Idea 1: Constantly Seeking Approval from Others
Irrational Idea 2: Feelings of Inadequacy
Irrational Idea 3: Judging Others and Yourself
Irrational Idea 4: Everything is a Catastrophe
Irrational Idea 5: Blame External Causes for Your Unhappiness
Irrational Idea 6: Constant fear of Uncontrollable Circumstances
Irrational Idea 7: Working Hard at Not Working
Irrational Idea 8: Relying Too Much on Others
Irrational Idea 9: You are Marked by Your Past
Irrational Idea 10: Life Without Perfection is a Disaster