When we get a flat tire on the expressway, it doesn’t help to spend a lot of time trying to figure out why we have a flat, who is responsible, or pissing and moaning about how bad it is that we have a flat. Just get out there, roll your sleeves up, and change the tire. If you don’t know how to change it, or you can’t do it by yourself, call AAA and have them help you. The same can be said for our cognitive strategies.
A cognitive strategy that is ineffective in most situations is All-or-Nothing thinking, also known as Black and White thinking. If you use this strategy, you may find yourself self-talking variations of the following: If I'm not perfect, I have failed. Either I do it right or not at all. My favorite example of this was the all or nothing rule that if you don't get a birthday card to arrive on or before the birthday, it doesn't count. There are more cognitive strategies that many of us have that are interfering with our problem solving. Sometimes called unhealthy thinking, you can find a hand out about it at