For today’s Quick Sound Advice (QSA), let’s talk about how your black and white thinking is holding you back.
Do you have a tendency to evaluate your personal qualities in extreme, black-or-white categories? If so, this might just be contributing to your high levels of anxiety.
Not sure if you fit the criteria for black and white thinking?
Or think of the student who doesn’t get straight A’s, and thinks that they are a failure.
Perhaps you’ve said something similar to yourself, “If my partner and I don’t always agree, then we have a bad relationship”, or “If I’m not the best at what I do, then I’m worthless”.
We call this all-or-nothing thinking, or black-and-white thinking because you tend to see only one extreme or the other. With this thinking, you are right or wrong, you are good or bad – there are no in-betweens, no shades of grey, and no middle ground.
But the truth is absolutes rarely exist in our universe, and evaluating ourselves according to absolute categories or criteria is unrealistic because life simply does not work that way.
And let’s be real, what impact does this unrealistic way of thinking have on your mood and self-esteem? I’m going to take a wild guess and say a hugely negative one.
If you want an easy win when you’re feeling anxious after not performing as well as you had hoped, remind yourself that things aren’t either totally white or totally black – there are shades in between.
Ask yourself – Where is this on the spectrum?