Tuesday, April 24, 2012

the danger of all-or-nothing thinking

credit {here}
i have to admit, i have a tendency to fall into the trap of all-or-nothing thinking from time to time.  the idea that something either has to be executed perfectly or you might as not well try at all.  does that ring any bells for you?  if you, too, are one of the many who find themselves thinking this way - i ate one cookie, might as well have 5 more - you know, inherently, the problems that arise when you see things in your world as either black or white.

for me, an area where i have been experiencing all-or-nothing trip-ups lately is with my business - CALM yoga.  i'm looking to build up my teaching experience, while also seeking to form a private client list.  for whatever reason, i find that reaching out to and networking with potential clients is always at the end of my to-do -- and too often i find myself with little time to devote to it.  and, then i catch myself thinking, "ugh, i only have 15 minutes -- that's not enough time to accomplish anything.  might as well move it to tomorrow's to-do list".  but, the thing is, if instead of stopping myself before i even begin, i could use those precious 15 minutes and put them to good use -- doing whatever i could to further and expand my business.  and, over time, all those 15 minutes would add up to hours and hours of good work.

i wouldn't consider myself a negative person, but the thought process i just outlined is a totally "glass half empty" way of thinking.  and that's not how i want to live my life.  i want to see opportunities and possibilities everywhere i look, not obstacles and challenges.  but, finding boundless good fortune in front of you starts with how you perceive your world on a day-to-day basis.  so instead of seeing 15 minutes as not enough time, i need (and want) to see it as the perfect amount of time to make a difference -- even if it is small.

black and white living leaves no room for flexibility, growth or change.  and it cuts possibilities off mid-sentence.  if you want to see this way of thinking evaporate from your life, it must start with mindfulness.  notice the internal dialogue you're playing in your head.  if you have a propensity to lean in the all-or-nothing direction, allow some logic to seep into the equation - isn't 15 minutes of working on your passion, exercising, meditating, or whatever it is for you better than 0 minutes?  i think so.

meditation for your journal or cushion:
where in your life do you notice all-or-nothing thought patterns?
what is a way you can handle it differently next time you find yourself thinking that way?

1 comment:

  1. Great post - think our society encourages that black and white - especially the diet industry where there are so many solutions, many of which don't work.


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