What is Attachment Thinking?

Life’s Problems:  Is “How” we are Thinking the Problem?

We live in a stressful world full of external pressures – our jobs, sorting our lives out, paying house mortgages off and feeding and taking care of our families to name just a few.  But what if these external pressures are not pressures at all.  What if these are pressures and their associated emotions, stress, anxiety, fear, anger, resentment and frustration are driven by a particular kind of thinking?  What if we were to reflect on our thinking, what would we find?

We would see that when we hold onto our thoughts we generate fear-based emotions and thought patterns.  What is this kind of thinking that I am referring to?  It is what I call Attachment Thinking. 

When we do this kind of thinking there are a whole range of thought patterns and emotions that are generated and show up that are generally destructive for not only ourselves and how we live our lives but, also how we relate with others. 

What is also extraordinary is that no matter what language we speak or where we live in the world, this kind of thinking and what it generates, is universal. 

Below is a small sampling of what we generate in this kind of thinking - thoughts, emotions, thought patterns, changes in thinking and our perspective on life. This provides a basic awareness.

What Shows Up In Attachment Thinking?

Our Thoughts

In Attachment Thinking, we think our thoughts are real.  We think and act as if the thoughts are real.  They are not however.  They are thoughts in language that become real when we hold on.  It is important to be aware that thoughts are just thoughts, they are constructs in language.  That is what thoughts are, and so, they are not real.  Thoughts come and go, they are not permanent.


Common fear-based emotions are anxiety, stress and fear. There are of course many more.

Thought Patterns

Common thought patterns that show up in this kind of thinking are “I am not good enough” and “I don’t deserve”. There are of course many, many more and will always be destructive.

Changes that Occur in Thinking

Generally in Attachment Thinking we are not wise and intelligent thinkers. We cannot think clearly, rationally or expansively as we are driven by fear-based emotions and thought patterns. 

We also do not see or consider the impacts and consequences of our thoughts and actions as we are blinded by what we are attached to or holding onto. We are therefore blind and unconscious thinkers. We are not aware of what we are doing.

Our decision-making skills are also impaired as they are driven by fear and control. This is why we end up in doubt and confusion and go around in circles trying to make decisions.

Our Perspective on Life

Attachment Thinking changes our perspective on life.  For example:

  • Life is perceived as a struggle and effort and we are not in charge of our lives.  Life is in charge, not us.  We are victims and blame everything on externalities.

  • Life is also about outcomes and getting to a destination, where happiness, satisfaction and success is.  We constantly search for “it”, what is going to make our lives different, an emotion that we think is outside of ourselves.  This emotion will change how we feel about ourselves and our lives.

  • We live life in separation and isolation.  Belonging and happiness lies in attachment, to people, things and places. 

These perspectives on life alter dramatically when we return to ourselves and to Reflective Thinking where life is perceived as a journey, a multitude of experiences to be enjoyed.  More detail on that in the next post, Reflective Thinking.


Attachment Thinking is destructive as it is fear-based therefore it is important to become aware of this kind of thinking and what is generated as a result as it has a big impact on yourself, your life, how you make choices and decisions and how you think. It is also responsible for a past that always involves pain and suffering and is only generated or created in this kind of thinking because when you return back to yourself, the past is no longer there.

Ultimately the world that we generate for ourselves in this kind of thinking is delusional because when we return back to ourselves, to calm, peace and trust, all of what we think is real or have been holding onto falls away. It is no longer there. We therefore created an illusion.

Awareness is crucial for change. Without that, change cannot happen. Awareness therefore is what is needed to understand how Attachment Thinking is generated, what shows up, how to break the cycle, return to yourself and the solution, Reflective Thinking. To learn more, you can enroll in my new course, Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life. Please go here for details on that.

I am available for one on one consulting via emailSkype or phone (+64 221966928), workshops and speaking.  

** Please leave a comment and share, like, if you like this post.