10 Irrational Beliefs – Albert Ellis

by Chris on September 26, 2007

Repost from the D-Train, because I think it’s something more people would like to know:

Albert Ellis, psychologist and psychotherapist, died this August, and since Time Magazine butchered his obituary mercilessly, I thought I’d correct it with a myspace bulletin (HA!). Here are his list of ten Irrational Beliefs that are responsible for most unhappiness. He spent his career trying to get people to actively avoid them. The page numbers are from his book, A Guide to Rational Living.

  1. The idea that you must have love or approval from all the significant people in your life (101).
  2. The idea that you absolutely must be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving or The idea that you must be competent or talented in some important area (115).
  3. The idea that other people absolutely must not act obnoxiously and unfairly, and, that when they do, you should blame and damn them, and see them as bad, wicked, or rotten individuals (127).
  4. The idea that you have to see things as being awful, terrible, and catastrophic when you are seriously frustrated or treated unfairly (139).
  5. The idea that you must be miserable when you have pressures and difficult experiences; and that you have little ability to control, and cannot change, your disturbed feelings (155).
  6. The idea that if something is dangerous or fearsome, you must obsess about it and frantically try to escape from it (163).
  7. The idea that you can easily avoid facing many difficulties and self-responsibilities and still lead a highly fulfilling existence (177).
  8. The idea that your past remains all-important and because something once strongly influenced your life, it has to keep determining your feelings and behavior today (187).
  9. The idea that people and things absolutely must be better than they are and that it is awful and horrible if you cannot change life’s grim facts to suit you (197).
  10. The idea that you can achieve maximum happiness by inertia and inaction or by passively and uncommittedly enjoying yourself (207).

Peace Out,

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jeff October 2, 2013 at 8:58 AM

I had two seminars with him before you were born!! when I was a grad masters level student at CCNY school psy held in a garage, it would have been to y advantage to take him seriously but none of the clinical programs did until lasat few yrs.

but I learned not to shit on myself!! in my field plenty of professions and clinical direcotrs do it for me so I became one and treat people nice thanks to what I learned from Albert E. I am 64

Martin Bonser July 3, 2015 at 12:58 AM

10 worse things besides dying.

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