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Unhelpful Thinking Patterns 6/11 - Mountains & Molehills

Updated: May 9


isual Metaphor: Mole in Molehill with Mount Fuji Background - Illustrating Cognitive Distortion of Mountains and Molehills


This is the sixth part of a series looking at common unhelpful thinking habits. These are patterns of thinking that our minds can slip into as a way of coping with challenging situations.


You can read more about this in my earlier post here.


Mastering Self-Perception: Revealing the Spotlight Effect


This thinking pattern is characterised by inflating the positive attributes of others around us whilst minimising our own positive attributes, or perhaps maximising the potential for threat in a situation and minimising the potential for positive outcome.


Repeated thinking in this manner can cause emotional distress and is detrimental to our well-being; particularly where we are minimising our own positive attributes, because we risk the danger of straying from being humble into the territory of low self-esteem.


Balancing Perspectives: Reflecting on Alternatives for Emotional Well-being


Using the questions from my previous post, you can start to reflect on the situations and explore whether there are alternative, more balanced perspectives that will be more helpful and supportive rather than damaging to self-esteem.


The Power of Recollection: Building Self-Esteem Through Positive Attribute Recognition


Another helpful exercise is to make a list of positive attributes that you find attractive in others, then go through this list and try to recall examples of times when you have demonstrated these.


It won't be easy because our minds seem to naturally resist recognising positive things about ourselves, which is why it helps to start out thinking about other people and only then reflecting on yourself.


Once you have done this, try keeping a journal for two weeks to record on a daily basis three different examples where you have demonstrated examples of qualities from the list - write down exactly what you did to illustrate which positive quality you are demonstrating.


After the two weeks have passed, reflect on whether you notice any difference to how you are feeling and how your outlook compares to before you started.


Kindness Amidst Self-Reflection: Embracing Forgiveness for Growth


And as always don’t forget to show kindness to yourself! It can be especially difficult to do this when doing the exercise above if we haven't already sorted out our inner critics discussed in my earlier post!


As I mentioned above, this post is part of a series about the unhelpful thinking habits that we can fall into. You can find the other posts here:



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