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Are you thinking in black and white?

We often start the new year with plans, goals or even if we’re old school, resolutions.

What can tend to happen, is we start off strong and then soon enough, a day goes by when we don’t do what’s planned. Then another passes. And another.  Eventually we say to ourselves “what’s the point in starting again?” so we just give up.

We can feel that because we haven’t done it once, that we’ve failed, we’ll never succeed anyway. So, what’s the point?

This giving up can be a symptom of all or nothing thinking which can be a result of experiences we had at school, in the family and is reinforced daily by our experiences in the world.

Right or wrong.

Good or bad.

Success or failure.

We’re either in or we’re out.

We’ve given up booze. Or are completely smashing it.

We’re fully adhering to a new diet. Or bingeing on rubbish.

We’re in the gym every day. Or haven’t been in weeks.

There may be many reasons why we stop a new behaviour.

Life gets in the way.

Our resolution slips.

We get injured.

We needed a break.

Then, because we couldn’t do it perfectly, it seems hopeless or at least not worth it to continue so we don’t bother.

This striving for perfectionism can hold us back from achieving things we’d like in our lives. By setting unrealistic high standards, we can lose a sense of play and experimentation. This can increase our anxiety, effect our self-esteem and stop us from taking risks in our lives.

By allowing ourselves to fail, to not be at 100% all the time. Then giving ourselves permission to start again, we can continue taking steps to wherever it is we want to go, rather than stepping off the path.

So, this year I’d encourage you to notice those areas in your life where you’re in an all or nothing mode and try to inhabit a bit more of a grey area. Allow and accept failure as part of the process. Be flexible in your plans.

How does this help your sense of freedom?


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