Patti Perfect Says: “Eliminate All or Nothing Thinking”

Patti Perfect Says:  “All or nothing thinking will keep you stuck in perfectionism.  Time to think in shades of gray.”

All or nothing thinking is when we see things in black and white, right and wrong, good and bad, with no choices in between.  If our performance falls short of perfect, we see ourselves as failures.  If we eat one cookie, we have been bad, so might as well eat the whole plate of cookies!  Have you been there?

Time to lighten up on ourselves because when we think in extremes like this, our emotions follow our thinking which begins a downward spiral.  How do you feel after eating the plate of cookies?  How do you feel when you focus on the one small mistake instead of the overall good performance?  All or nothing thinking leads to feelings such as, anxiety, guilt, feelings of low self-worth, and disappointment.

You can move past all or nothing thinking by:

1.      Bringing it to your awareness. Being able to say to yourself, “Oh, there I go again, thinking in black and white!”

2.      Noticing your emotions and changing your thinking. Listen for the words you use when you are judging yourself.  Sayings like “I’ll never be good at this.”  lead to emotions that might feel uncomfortable.  That is your clue to change your thinking!  Maybe you will not be the best (another all or nothing word) at it, but you could possibly learn how to do it better.

3.      Think in shades of gray. Practice finding the mid-ground.  One mistake does not mean you can’t ever do anything right.  One cookie does not mean you have blown your eating plan for the day.

Start now to create a new tradition in your life – thinking in shades of gray.  At first, you will need to focus on it daily by setting an intention to be aware of your all or nothing thinking.  Then when you can catch yourself, change your thinking.   Ultimately, your new way of thinking will become ingrained and you will realize that life feels so much better, more calm and peaceful.

As Patti Perfect says:  “Make a mistake today and BE proud of it!”

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