Ever said, ‘I’m an all or nothing kinda person?’
This type of thinking refers to extremes:
You are either a success or a failure.
Your performance was totally good or totally bad.
You’re good at something or you’re rubbish.
The way this thinking translates to life is like this:
I put on a 1lb so my week is a write off.
I didn’t get out for a run so I can’t eat dinner.
I need to stick to this 30 day programme or it’s all bad.
This type of thinking gets in the way of attempts that you make to improve your health and well-being. If you think about things this way, it is likely that one indiscretion will derail all of your efforts. It doesn’t support you getting healthy and happy in the long term.
Think about sitting an exam – are you ever 0% or 100%? No! You are any range of figures in-between and that’s ok! When we try and be the best at everything we set ourselves up to fail and we don’t get to enjoy doing it!
Exchange the Black and White for Shades of Grey
The truth is it’s NEVER black and white! There is always grey. If you can start to change this thinking, you will find that being kinder to yourself gives you a FAR better chance of achieving your health goals. You are less likely to beat yourself up and and more likely to simply carry on.
If you are prone to ‘all or nothing thinking. Try these 3 things:
- Be aware of your thoughts. If you hear yourself saying the words ‘always’, ‘never’ or ‘nothing’. Pause and think about what has actually gone ok (there is always something!)
- Count your successes! At the end of each day, take two minutes to mentally or physically note the things you did well that day. It might just be, I went to work, or I went for a walk. It is NEVER all bad.
- Say ‘and’ instead of ‘or’. Example: I had a great day or a terrible day, changes to; I had some good things happen today and some challenges. I’m in a good mood or a bad mood, to: I felt good some of the time and annoyed some of the time. Instead of “I had a great week or a terrible week,” consider, “I had some wonderful things happen this week and some things that were difficult.”
Softening your thinking to see that things are not all bad will really expand your perspective and encourage personal growth. It also helps you HUGELY when you are trying to make lifestyle changes.
Here’s to a happy, healthy you!
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