Common Toxic Thoughts that All Leaders Face

toxicAs a leader, the stresses of business can sometimes get the best of you. Unconscious thought traps, also known as cognitive distortions, can negatively influence your thinking. There is a solution, and that is to develop awareness of these negative thoughts so that you can train your mind to avoid the traps and keep moving forward.


There are lots of common thinking styles that are unhelpful and negatively impact even the best leaders. First, figure out which thinking style often gets the best of you.


Dwelling on a single detail. This may happen if someone comments on your work in a way that you aren’t used to hearing. It may be a single negative moment in a good day that leads to obsessive thought for days.


Overgeneralizing. Just because something didn’t go your way once, doesn’t mean it will happen again. Saying, “It’s just my luck!” gets you nowhere.


Jumping to conclusions. Before a big meeting, a solo presentation or a report you have to deliver, you may assume it will go poorly. Are you guilty of telling yourself you’re going to fail before you even start?


Blaming yourself. When you hold yourself personally responsible for something that isn’t completely under your control, stress sets in. Instead of taking time to reflect and finding the actual issue, you blame yourself. If you blame the situation on yourself, you may miss a variety of factors that may be contributing to the problem.


If one of these negative thinking styles is affecting you, first identify which one. If you are unsure, it may help to write down your negative thoughts. Once you know more about your thought patterns, try to catch yourself each time a toxic thought comes up and let it go. Remember, just because you’ve thought this way in the past, it doesn’t mean you have to continue in the future.


The sooner you identify how and when your negative thoughts creep in, the sooner you can work to accurately address the situations that cause you stress and worry, and get back to running your company.


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About the Author
Greg Emslie HeadshotWith more than three decades of experience in all facets of sales management, customer service, business growth, and staff coordination, Certified Business Coach Greg Emslie is a focused professional with the tools to help you grow and manage your business effectively.

Driven by his ability to implement proven business concepts and help improve teams, Greg affects all areas of the companies he works with, including sales, leadership, profitability, and decision-making. He focuses on improving efficiency and processes for his clients while helping them grow their revenue base.

Ready to begin finding other ways to make your company more productive? Let’s get the conversation started. Contact Greg Emslie for a business strategy discussion today.