Identifying Your Anxious Thoughts

Negative Core Beliefs

Besides the various types of anxious thinking, you may also want to examine your core beliefs. I’ve mentioned it before during your self-assessment and where do our fears come from? You may want to revisit that before examining your core beliefs in conjunction with your anxious thinking.

Behind your anxious thinking lies anxious or fearful core beliefs. Your core beliefs, or basic assumptions, were probably adopted at a young age and influenced by your parents, siblings, friends, etc.

You may have believed from an early age that you were not good enough or incompetent, or that other people can’t be trusted, or that you were unlovable, or that you will always be alone. You may have just accepted these beliefs and never really dug deeper and considered if they were really true.

The best way to uncover your core beliefs is to constantly ask about the meaning of each fearful belief you have. Over time, you may discover the underlying core beliefs that are behind your anxious thinking.

Identifying Your Anxious Thoughts and Predictions

If you have had social anxiety for a long time, your beliefs and anxious thinking is deeply embedded within you. They are more like automatic habits then thoughts, so you will have to work hard to uncover them.

If you are having a hard time identifying the types of anxious thinking you’re engaging in, then try to become aware of what you’re thinking and feeling the next time you’re in an anxiety inducing situation. While in the anxiety provoking situation, ask yourself:

What am I afraid of happening right now?
What will happen if my anxious thoughts are true?
What do I fear that the other person will think about me?

These questions will help point you in the right direction so you identify your anxious assumptions and predictions.


Do you automatically believe negative judgments, beliefs, or thoughts without challenging them? Do you assume them to be true without examining the evidence behind the statement? Thinking in the ways listed above confirm your anxious beliefs. It keeps you locked into an anxious mind-set.

So, what can we do about it? Become aware of the thoughts you’re having (which you did in this step), then, examine the evidence and challenge those thoughts – strategies for changing thoughts and expectations.

2 thoughts on “Identifying Your Anxious Thoughts”

  1. Pingback: Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness Guide – Wisdom For Life

  2. Pingback: Strategies for Changing Thoughts and Expectations – Wisdom For Life

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