5 Common Mental Mistakes that can Limit Success in Entrepreneurship

Often when people hear the word, “therapy,” an immediate assumption can arise in some individuals. Therapy is often associated with working on issues, problems, or long-time disorders of the mind. I personally believe that therapy has a great benefit for many people, even for those who think that they don’t need it.

Rational living therapy is one of the most practical applications to help solve, or greatly alleviate, some of the most well-known mental conditions out there. Depression, anxiety, and general phobias are just some of the disorders that can be treated with the practice of rational, cognitive-behavioral, therapy.





As an entrepreneur, you probably face elevated stress, anxiety, and other mental conditions that have impeded both your personal and business life. While you don’t have to suffer from these specific issues to benefit from rational therapy, you can still face many mental mistakes that have made for trivial situations or outcomes.

Author and renowned rational living therapist Dr. Aldo R. Pucci has identified the 26 various mental mistakes that we all make throughout our day. I am going highlight my top five, and give an in-depth look at their meaning and hindrance upon our thinking. I will also offer alternative thinking techniques based on Dr. Pucci’s recommendations. My goal is to offer both remediation and change that can benefit your business and personal life exponentially.

1. All or none thinking

I can either, “fail or succeed,” “you’re either with me or against me,” “it’s my way or the highway.” These mantras have all-or-none mentality. When it comes to all-or-none thinking, there is no in-between. This can prove detrimental because we only see two ways of doing something, which isn’t fair or beneficial. As you know, the entrepreneurial world has many ups and downs. If we limit ourselves to only seeing it as failing or succeeding, then we are closing our eyes to our endless possibilities and opportunities.

Suggestion: Dr. Pucci recommends finding a middle ground in your thinking. In this way, it will calm the mind and not make everything so black and white. We will see that there more sides to an argument, and that can make us more open minded to some great ideas and results.

2. Overgeneralization

According to Dr. Pucci, the two words that go along with overgeneralization are, always and never. Just thinking of those two words already pulse anxiety and panic through my nerves. “I can never achieve that,” or “my business partner always yells at me,” are examples of overgeneralization thinking. Those two words are extremely detrimental to our perception of ourselves and our world, because it exaggerates our reality.

Suggestion: If you think about the context of “always being yelled at,” are you really being yelled at 24/7? Most likely you are not being subjected to that, even if it feels like it. As Dr. Pucci recommends, use the words “always” and “never” carefully. You can also avoid overgeneralization by taking people and things on as a case-by-case basis and breaking down the situation in a non-exaggerated way.

For instance, think about saying that you are “always” being yelled at by someone. In reality, that person may not yell at all, in fact, you may realize that you two just bump heads here and there. If we really look at what we are saying and the situation, we can then begin to understand that much of our reality is based on what we think it is.

3. Jumping to conclusions

This concept includes both the idea of mind reading and fortune telling. While we are unable to predict the future or what others are thinking, our mind likes to think otherwise. Both methods prove fruitless, as we never know what someone is truly thinking or how they will react to a situation. If we jump to conclusions right away, then we may hold back in asking a question or for help, because we fear what others will think, what they will say, or how they will react. In our mind, we already “know” what their reaction will be.

Suggestion: Imagine if a detective or a judge jumped to conclusions before they arrested someone or handed out their verdict? Our jails would probably be full of many innocent people. That is why they must look at all the facts before they rule on a decision or form an opinion on something. The same holds true for you as a business leader as well. Take your time, and look at all the facts before you make any decision, big or small.

4. Irritational labeling

These labels can include ones such as perfectionist, idiot, or people-pleaser. While labeling is necessary in our everyday life, there are some labels that we can never fully attain. No one is perfect, so to say you are a “perfectionist” means that you are placing an irrational label on yourself and your mind. How can we be proud of our work or ourselves if we are setting ourselves up to a goal that can never be reached?

Suggestion – You must rationalize what is truly a label and is our need to label something in an irrational way. While you may like to call yourself a “neat-freak” or “people-pleaser,” try thinking of an alternative way of explaining your sense of self. “I like a clean space” or “I like to make sure that people are comfortable in my company” are great ways to share a little about yourself without putting an irrational label inside someone else’s head or your own.

5. Magical shoulds 

We all know the saying, “should of, would of, could of.” The magical shoulds can put a damper on our mind, and really bring us down. Think of just some of the examples in which we use the word, “should”:

She should have known better.”

I shouldn’t have yelled at them like that.”

We should have gotten that client instead of our competition.”

According to Dr. Pucci, the word “should” is a way for us to ignore the fact that all the necessary ingredients to create our undesirable situation are all present. In other words, you are choosing to be ignorant to the reality of the situation rather than accept it. The magical shoulds make us feel much more angry, sad, or distressed over a situation than we need to be.

Suggestion: Replacing the word, “should” with “wish” sentiments. In doing this, we are accepting our reality and the situation, and take ownership of how we can improve our reactions if a similar situation arises in the future.

She should have known better.”

I wish that she wouldn’t have done that, but what’s done is done, and all we can do is learn from our mistakes and move on. “

I shouldn’t have yelled at them like that.”

I wish that I hadn’t yelled at them like that, so next time I will be sure to speak my mind before I completely lose control of my emotions.”

We should have gotten that client instead of our competition.”

I wish that we had won over the new client, but everything happens for a reason, and all we can do is our best and to never give up.”

As you can see, the situation didn’t change, just the reaction and thought process behind it. When you let go of the shoulds, you soon realize that you not only feel much calmer but also a lot more in control of your emotions and mental well-being.

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Summer Anderson
Staff Writer: Summer Anderson is a mother, wife, writer and long time lover of the game of golf. Her passion lies in writing from the heart, and on topics that are most important to the Millennial generation. She hopes to impact those through her writing and advice on marketing and social media communication. When she is not on the golf course, blogging or watching "Frozen" with her little ones, she can be found designing websites in her home state of Pennsylvania.

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Staff Writer: Summer Anderson is a mother, wife, writer and long time lover of the game of golf. Her passion lies in writing from the heart, and on topics that are most important to the Millennial generation. She hopes to impact those through her writing and advice on marketing and social media communication. When she is not on the golf course, blogging or watching "Frozen" with her little ones, she can be found designing websites in her home state of Pennsylvania.

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