Friday, 29 October 2010

Black and White Thinking

One reason that people get stuck with problems can be because they don't give themselves enough options. We have a tendency to see problems as a choice between two options, neither of which give us what we truly want. I call this "Black and White thinking". An example of this would be where people feel they should be modest, self-deprecating, reluctant to take compliments and feel they should beat themselves up when they make a mistake. The only alternative they will see to this would be to be arrogant, brash, full of themselves and egotistical. All the other options just seem to get deleted so people then think "well at least if I am modest people might like me" and they stick with the problem state that they already had.

If you have a problem, find some new options. For instance, you can be confident without being arrogant. You can learn from mistakes without beating yourself up. You can feel good about a compliment without being egotistical.

The more options you have, the more flexibility you have to deal with problems. So move away from "Black and White thinking" and look for all the other colours and shades. You'll be surprised how many choices there really are.

Andy Barton