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3 Unrealistic Beliefs That Create Anxiety And Depression And How To Be Rid Of Them

Unrealistic Beliefs Create Anxiety Depression


Take a deep breath, focus on savoring the present: it is part of the journey, of ‘paying your dues.’ The current effort and toil will become part of your life story and will make later success all the sweeter.

Look around at what others have had to do to win in their careers and personal life. Get some perspective. Reaching big goals requires hard work. Setbacks along the way are inevitable.

After coming to terms with that truth, take the next step. Life does not revolve around any one of us. Be humble. Humility keeps one grounded and provides much-needed perspective. Part of this perspective includes accepting that many of the things we desire are not necessarily things we deserve.


“I’m not sure why, but deep inside I know that I’m lacking. In some way, I am just not enough. But I’m uncertain what is missing, so I’ll look around, maybe check out Instagram and Facebook to see what others have which makes them so happy. Then I’ll know what’s missing within myself.”


My advice for someone who struggles with this distortion (closely related to the “Imposter Syndrome”) is to stop with the comparisons. Stay away from Facebook (go cold turkey, start a Facebook Anonymous group, whatever it takes, but stop comparing your life to that of others).

Do a ‘cleansing fast’ of Instagram. Take a break, a very long break, from social media. Now that you have more time in your life, devote it to building deep, genuine relationships with a small number of friends and family.

3 Unrealistic Beliefs That Create Anxiety And Depression And How To Be Rid Of Them
unrealistic expectations and letting go of the beliefs that hold you back

They will value you for who you are, warts and all. These relationships should convince you that, like all of humanity, you really are lacking, and paradoxically you really are still ‘enough.’ Good enough to be loved, good enough to be valued, and good enough to bring joy into the lives of others.

Imposter syndrome is one of the many examples of unrealistic expectations


To live life to the fullest we must overcome those obstacles that hold us back. Some of these obstacles include the thoughts we embrace. Thoughts we unthinkingly assume to be true.

Once we begin to notice these thoughts and challenge them, new paths for pursuing a full and rewarding life begin to open up. This takes a little work, but the rewards make the effort well worthwhile.

Related: How to Stop Being Sad and Start Feeling Happy

Take a moment to see if any of the barriers to happiness listed above might apply to you. Don’t spend another day struggling with unrealistic expectations that hold you back. Push them aside, and see how much happier life can be.

Written By Forrest Talley
Originally Appeared on Forrest Talley

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between realistic and unrealistic goals?

Unrealistic goals are goals that may not attain fruition most of the time, and realistic goals are the ones that have a considerable high chance of being attained.

What happens when you set unrealistic goals?

When you keep on setting unrealistic goals for yourself, after a point in time, you will find yourself getting burnt out and quitting early. Unrealistic goals tend to drain your energy and happiness.

How do social expectations affect mental health?

Societal expectations can cause significant mental, emotional and psychological distress, which can ultimately lead to crippling anxiety and depression.

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3 Unrealistic Beliefs That Create Anxiety And Depression And How To Be Rid Of Them
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Forrest Talley Ph.D.

Forrest Talley, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Folsom California. Prior to opening this practice, he spent 21 years working at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center. During that time he supervised MFT and SW interns, psychology interns, and medical residents. In addition, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UCDMC. He worked in several capacities at the UCDMC CAARE Center. These include Co-Training Director of the APA approved psychology internship program, the Individual and Group Therapy Manager, primary supervisor for interns and staff, and the main supplier of bagels/cream cheese for all souls at the UCDMC CAARE Center.View Author posts