Cognitive Distortions: Predicting The Future Worksheet



According to the American Psychological Association (APA), cognitive distortion can be defined as faulty or inaccurate thinking, perception or belief. (APA, © 2022) Often at times, cognitive distortions fuel our anxiety and increase our misery.

There are a number of cognitive distortions identified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the most common include: 

  1. All-or-Nothing Thinking/ Polarized Thinking
  2. Overgeneralization
  3. Mental Filters
  4. Catastrophizing/ Magnification or Minimization
  5. Mind Reading/ Jumping to Conclusions
  6. Predicting the Future
  7. Emotional Reasoning
  8. “Shoulds” Statements
  9. Labelling

    10. Personalization and Blame 

This particular worksheet will focus on: PREDICTING THE FUTURE.

What Are The Theories Behind This Worksheet?

Predicting the Future is one of the cognitive distortions whereby people predict negative outcomes without realistically considering the actual odds of that outcome.

People are often convinced that they know what will happen without having all the necessary information/ or facts. Example: Assuming that you will not get the job. This is a good example of predicting the future.

Predicting the future is linked to anxiety and depression and is one of the most common cognitive distortions people battle with.

People who struggle with predicting the future encounter a lot of self-torment, nervousness, and distress only because they have the perceived thoughts that something bad will happen.

Predicting the future is also called ‘fortune telling.’ 

How Will This Worksheet Help You?

This worksheet is targeted to help individuals make truthful appraisals of the evidence for and against predictions of the future. This is done by examining actual evidence and the quality of that evidence. (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, ©2020)

This worksheet will also help you examine why you worry. Creating a cost-benefit analysis for this worksheet will help you distinguish whether your predictions of the future are harmful or helpful.

This worksheet will help you open yourself up to the possibility of good outcomes that are in the present.

How Should You Use This Worksheet?

Once you accept and recognize that you are predicting the future, the next step will be to reconstruct your thoughts and learn to make more logical conclusions.

There are a few strategizes that one can implement in order to avoid predicting the future. This can be done by:

  1. Assessing the evidence
  2. Considering your previous assumptions 
  3. Considering alternative outcomes

You should use this worksheet as a guide to help you eradicate self-torment, nervousness, and distress.

This worksheet is a great self-evaluation kit. 

Cognitive Distortions: Predicting The Future Worksheet


Predicting the Future:

List down ways in which you examine actual evidence.

Example: I will not get this job, the questions asked during the interview were quite hard.

List down ways in which you rate the quality of your evidence.

Example: I will have lost this new job opportunity if I do not receive an email from Human Resources by Monday.

Identify different situations that make you worry.

Example: It is raining so much; I am scared of causing an accident on the road.

Are the situations that make you worry (stated above) helpful or harmful


It is raining so much; I am scared of causing an accident on the road = harmful

Overcoming Predicting the Future:

  1. Assessing the Evidence

It is important to consider the actual evidence for your predictions and the quality of the evidence before assuming it’s correct.


Instead of: I grew up without a father, I will not be a good dad.

Replace with: I have turned out to be a responsible, trustworthy, loving and conscious person. I shall be a great dad.

  1. Consider your Previous Assumptions

Before deciding on an outcome to assume, consider the accuracy of the previous predictions.

Example: I am smart, attractive and have a good job. I will definitely be married by the time I turn 27 years.

  1. Consider Alternative Outcomes

After assessing your previous assumptions, find positive outcomes that are plausible and more logical.

Example: I am smart, attractive and have a good job. I will wait until I meet the right person for me.


American Psychological Association. (© 2022). Cognitive Distortion. Available at:  [Accessed October 17, 2022]. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Los Angeles. (© 2020). Cognitive Distortion: Fortune Telling. Available at: Accessed on [October 17, 2022]

You can download this worksheet here.

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