How to change self-defeating beliefs

Cognitive therapy is a form of psychotherapy that mimics the idea that our thoughts and beliefs contribute to our mental health. Cognitive therapy aims to change the negative thinking patterns and beliefs that lead to personal unhappiness. It is theorized that mood disorders and anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and depression, are greatly affected by negative thoughts and false beliefs.

Your personal values, opinions and attitudes constitute your belief system. Self-defeating thoughts are any negative views you have about yourself and the world around you. These opinions are also known as false or false beliefs and can affect your self-esteem, your feelings about your personal abilities, and your relationship with others.

Self-defeating beliefs are categorized as your negative views of yourself or your beliefs about relationships with others. Either of these two self-defeating beliefs can cause your anxiety and panic symptoms. The following describes a summary of self-defeating beliefs that are common among people who struggle with panic disorder, panic attacks, and agoraphobia.


Generally considered a positive attribute, perfectionism can actually put you into a situation of procrastination and failure. Perfectionism describes the belief that one person is never good enough. For example, you may think that any small mistakes you make or your imperfections will make you a less valuable person. You may postpone the completion of the task, worrying that you will never be able to complete the task as you wish. People with perfectionist self-defeating beliefs often think that others will not accept their true identity.

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Perfectionism affects your entire belief system and is often revealed through your personal self-talk and reflection. For example, “should state” is a negative thinking pattern usually associated with perfectionism. An example is the belief that you “should be able to control your anxiety.” Perfectionism also often appears in the form of negative self-labeling, such as believing that you “must be crazy” because of a panic attack. This kind of self-criticism will only destroy your self-worth, and will undermine your efforts to cope with the situation.

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Perfectionist false beliefs can greatly affect a person’s interpersonal relationship and decide to tell others about their panic disorder. For example, perfectionism may make you believe that others will not accept your situation. Perfectionism also affects you in the workplace, because you may think that if you show any degree of anxiety or vulnerability, your colleagues will slander your work or avoid you. This belief increases loneliness and isolation, which is very common for people with panic disorder.

Needs to be realized

Many people have personal goals that they hope to achieve. These goals usually revolve around topics such as health, relationships, or careers. Achieving your goals should bring you a certain degree of pride and accomplishment. However, many anxious and/or depressed people mistakenly believe that their achievements constitute their self-worth. You may think that your personal value can only be achieved through your wealth, status, wisdom or achievements. People who fall into this self-defeating belief system rarely feel satisfied with themselves or with life.

Constant need for approval

Most people want to be liked by others. However, when one’s self-esteem is linked to the approval of others, this desire can be self-defeating. Constantly needing the approval of others can make a person feel hurt, anxious, or angry. The fact is, no matter who you are, not everyone will like you. Remember, whether everyone agrees or agrees with you, you are a valuable person.

Those who measure their own worth by how much others like them can easily feel upset about any form of criticism or disagreement. Simple suggestions from other people will make them feel hostile and defensive. The irony is that wanting to be recognized by others will push people away. If you have trouble getting approval, remember that other people may recognize you as a person and only offer suggestions and other ideas to help or participate in conversations. Try to be open to others’ suggestions and continue to build your support network.

Overcome self-defeating beliefs

Our belief system is always with us, shaping our views and attitudes towards ourselves and the world around us. Sometimes we fall into self-defeating beliefs, which have a negative impact on our lives. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome negative thinking and false beliefs.

To change our self-defeating belief system, we must first recognize its role in our lives. Review this list of false beliefs and begin to notice when they appear in your life. Once you begin to identify your typical false beliefs, you will begin to notice which situations seem to trigger you the most. This knowledge gives you the opportunity to change your belief system.

Start testing your typical self-defeating thoughts by checking whether your views make sense. For example, will people reject you because of your imperfections? If you don’t get a boost at work, reach the weight you want, or make a certain amount of money, will most of your relatives still care about you? Does someone give you advice because they disagree with you, or because they care about your happiness? By constantly facing false beliefs, you can begin to develop new beliefs that may be more realistic and less likely to cause anxiety.