Top 10 Types of Destructive Thoughts

Top 10 Types of Destructive Thoughts

Destructive Thoughts can destroy our ability to succeed in life and business as well as kill our spirit. To begin the process of shifting destructive thoughts to empowered thoughts, you must first be aware of the different categories of destructive thoughts that exist and acknowledge which ones you are personally struggling with.

Read through the most common types of destructive thoughts below. If one stands out as something you can relate to and feel you are struggling with, make a note of it and commit to working to shift that type of thinking.

1.  Limited Beliefs About Ourselves.

This refers to all the thoughts we choose to believe that prevent us from moving past our business and personal challenges and achieving our goals. Examples of limited beliefs about ourselves might be, "I'm not good enough" and "I will never be successful anyway".  How does this work? First, situations and events happen in our life. Second, we choose to think a specific way about those situations and events. Sometimes we create empowered thoughts about situations and sometimes we create limited thoughts about situations and events.  

For example, a woman's parents abused her until she was 14 years old. She thought being abused meant she did not deserve love. That was her interpretation. You and I can see this is not true from our perspective; however, she thought it was true. In addition to the memory of the abuse, she had a current string of failed relationships as additional "proof" that her thinking is true.  If this woman has been thinking she is not worthy of love, can you imagine how she would act around men, friends and family?  Just by thinking she was not worthy of love, she sabotaged her relationships.  In this way, the thinking itself created her reality, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

2.  Limited Beliefs about Others 

We can also have limited beliefs about others. These negative beliefs cause limitations all over our life.  For example, Stacy worked for a high profile executive. He gave her a task to send a letter to an associate. The letter contained a couple of typos that were pointed out by the  associate. So Stacy's boss decided that Stacy was stupid and incompetent and immediately stopped giving her important tasks. He only gave her menial jobs to do: getting coffee, filling the stock room, filing, etc.  Over time, he made comments about her inadequacies. He determined she was unintelligent, lazy and unworthy of doing important tasks because of those typos and he communicated that to Stacy.  This made her feel inadequate, stupid and lazy. Her confidence was shot and this created all sorts of secondary issues such as depression, frustration and anger.

3.  Injured Party Mentality

Injured Party Mentality is when you make excuses and blame external events and people for your negative situations and problems. If you cannot find YOUR contribution to why YOUR problem exists, then, you are suffering from injured party mentality. Some examples of this are:

  •  I cannot get ahead because of my partner.
  •  It is not my fault.
  •  If I had more money then I'd be able to grow.
  •  If they would just change "X", then things would work.

The more you blame others and external events, the farther you get from a solution and the worse your situation will get.


4.  Inflated Ego

You know you are suffering from Inflated Ego when your life and business are suffering and all you can think about when you make choices is preserving your self-image. It is impossible to get to the business  of  solving problems when your focus is on looking good.

5.  Results Attachment

This is when we believe that events and situations should happen a specific way and that people should behave a specific way.   And, when they don't, we suffer or get upset–and secondary problems are created such as frustration, depression, giving up on goals/dreams, etc.  Someone who is attached to results is FIXATED ON THE RESULT instead of  being COMMITTED TO THE PROCESS. For example, let's pretend person X  has set a goal of generating $10K in a given month in their business. But,  instead of generating $10K, they only generate $3K. Instead of celebrating the $3K win and then figuring out how to hit the $10K goal the following month, a  person suffering fromr esults attachment might abandon the goal completely, become depressed, allow destructive thoughts to creep in, etc. It is  impossible to step back from your business and evaluate what is working and  what is not so you can achieve your goals next time, if you are attached.

6.  Problem-Focused

This is focusing on problems rather than solutions.  You know you are problem focused  when you find yourself talking about your problems often, analyzing your problems, justifying your problems, coming up with excuses for your problems, sharing your problems with others and thinking about your problems all the time. The danger here is that THINKING about the problem does not create the solution; it merely perpetuates the problem. The problem persists and, by default, becomes an excuse or reason for why we do not have what we want.

7.  Past-Filtering

Those who indulge in this kind of thinking interpret people and events through past experiences, rather than experiencing them as they are occurring in the present. Imagine that you have a pair of glasses that  you view the world through. You put them on and that is how you see the world. If you put "pink" glasses on, then everything you see will be pink. If you have had some experiences with people lying to you and you determine that people are liars, then you have your "liar" glasses on. Imagine communicating with someone who has "liar glasses" on. How horrible. That  person is probably overly cautious, always suspecting…not fun! The danger for others is that they will find it hard to do business and life with you. The danger for you is that you will find it hard to do your business and life.

8.  Unmindful of Community

This is when you are not aware of your impact on those around you. For example, Marty was a hardworking and ambitious computer programmer who was determined to become the head of his company's tech department. Part of his strategy was to "show his commitment" to the company by working on weekends. During the week, he would share with his co-workers about his weekend work efforts. He did not realize that instead of impressing people, he was turning them off.  He had no idea that they were perceiving him to be arrogant and a show-off and self-promoting. The opinions of his coworkers made it to the boss.  Instead of being promoted, he was laid off.

9.  Denial

When we are in denial, in the context of our business, we know there is a problem but we deny having anything to do with it or that it is there. This actually perpetuates our problem and stops the solution process. When we accept that a problem exists and understand precisely how we are creating it, we can immediatelly get into solution mode.

10. Unmindful of Self

This is when we are unaware of how our thinking and actions. And if we are unaware then we won't know what we do that hinders and helps our success. The only way we can become successful is to look at  what is working and what is not working so that we can make adjustments.  When we are unmindful of self, we are not paying attention to how we are related to our success or lack of it.



About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. Great post, Rachel! I was reading through all of your content and I was thinking about my own life, experiences, and the people that I see that come and go. Your thoughts truly mean everything because they control your actions and the actions of others. I always tell those who work with me that you have to stay positive, focused, and to not fix yourself to your personal results or the thoughts that negative people have about your products and business opportunity. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Hi Rachel

    I think one of the biggest problems we have is that we just don’t believe we can make it work… We sabotage our thought processes and tell ourselves why we can’t do something… therefor programming our minds for failure… It’s an easy thing to overcome all we need to is change two words from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I CAN’ that’s it.. a simple switch.

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  3. Hi Rachel,

    This is very powerful. As anyone reads this it surely will have an affect on them. There is something here for all of us. For me me think about my life and ways I can improve. Our thoughts are so powerful and we must be very careful what we allow into our minds and what we express out of our mouths. I truly appreciate you writing this post. I can’t wait to share it!
    Nathaniel Kidd recently posted…5 Simple Ghoulish Ways to Save on HalloweenMy Profile

  4. Great points about Destructive thoughts. We need to be weary of these destructive thoughts as the reduce productivity and cause unhappiness in our lives. Thanks for sharing

  5. A powerful read Rachel, and one that we can all benefit from. I have clients that operate in the ego space from time to time and it’s incredibly hard, in the end I make a retreat and hide until they’ve calmed down. Having self belief is hard, and I’m doing everything I can to help my daughters not only know their worth, but to believe in themselves.
    Sarah Arrow recently posted…4 ways to comment when your heart isn’t in it any moreMy Profile

  6. Rachel – – There is SO much to learn from this post. I think one of the most important things to keep away destructive thoughts is belief in your self and belief in others that support you. Like most, I deal with destructive thoughts all the time. I would go as far as daily for sure. I think it is a part of human nature but if we can teach ourselves to turn them off we can break though and become what we envision ourselves to be.
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