It is necessary that I be liked, admired, and respected by everyone who matters to me. If someone doesn’t like me, I can’t stand it.
It is an absolute necessity that I am competent at everything I attempt. If I’m not, it’s positive proof that I’m no good.
If something seems dangerous, I must preoccupy myself with it and make myself anxious about it every waking moment until the danger is passed.
People and events should turn out better than they do. When things don’t turn out well, I have to view it as terrible and awful and make myself miserably unhappy over it.
It’s no use trying to make my life better. Maybe the only way to be happy is to just not take responsibility for anything – to just let everything take its own course.
If my life has been disorganized or unhappy in the past and still is today, then that’s proof that it will never get any better.
Rational, Coping Beliefs
It is preferable for me to be liked and admired. But I will not let it ruin my life if someone doesn’t like or admire me.
Competence is an advantage, and it’s worth striving for. But it is clearly not a requirement of nature. I can handle not being competent at some things I attempt.
If something seems dangerous, I am better off if I take whatever reasonable precautions I can. After that, there’s no sense worrying about it.
It would be a happier world if people and events turned out better. And when things don’t turn out well I will probably feel some frustration and disappointment. But it is not a requirement that I be miserable.
Maximum human happiness comes with some effort and self-discipline. Even though I can’t require that all my efforts be successful, the very act of striving to make my life better will make me happier.
Many people’s lives improve. My past miseries do not guarantee more of the same. With some effort and self-discipline, I may be able to improve things.