Applied Psychology - Ellis’ Irrational Beliefs

In addition to my work revising the Personal MBA recommended reading list, I’m in the process of educating myself about personal coaching. While reading a book about executive coaching, I came across a set of eleven mental models from the realm of psychotherapy that I thought you’d enjoy.

Albert Ellis’ Irrational Beliefs are eleven indications you’re being completely unreasonable with yourself. By recognizing them, you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary worrying, insecurity, and heartache.

Here they are:

  • It is a dire necessity for adult humans to be loved or approved by virtually every significant other person in their community.

  • One absolutely must be competent, adequate and achieving in all important respects or else one is an inadequate, worthless person.

  • People absolutely must act considerately and fairly and they are damnable villains if they do not. They are their bad acts.

  • It is awful and terrible when things are not the way one would very much like them to be.

  • Emotional disturbance is mainly ly caused and people have little or no ability to increase or decrease their dysfunctional feelings and behaviors.

  • If something is or may be dangerous or fearsome, then one should be constantly and excessively concerned about it and should keep dwelling on the possibility of it occurring.

  • One cannot and must not face life’s responsibilities and difficulties and it is easier to avoid them.

  • One must be quite dependent on others and need them and you cannot mainly run one’s own life.

  • One’s past history is an all-important determiner of one’s present behavior and because something once strongly affected one’s life, it should indefinitely have a similar effect.

  • Other people’s disturbances are horrible and one must feel upset about them.

  • There is invariably a right, precise and perfect solution to human problems and it is awful if this perfect solution is not found.

I certainly recognize myself in a few of those beliefs, particularly #2.

Where are you being unreasonable with yourself?

Read more essays by Josh Kaufman →

Published: April 27, 2007Last updated: April 27, 2007

Books by Josh Kaufman