Thinking in extremes, when a situation is seen as all bad or all good, with no middle ground. It’s a type of exaggerated, irrational thinking that is labelled twisted or crooked thinking.
This type of thinking can usually be spotted by listening for words like always, never, nobody, must. Every now and then we all think in ways that are unhelpful. Sometimes the little voice in our heads seems intent on sabotaging our efforts.
All-or-nothing thinking can be very unhelpful, it can lead to inflexible, addictive behaviour.
Take the all-or-nothing thought, “I’ll never be good enough.”
Now, challenge this thought:
- How would your best friend see this?
- How do you know it’s true?
- Are there times when this isn’t true?
- Is there another way someone else might explain it?
- How will you think about it in an hour, tomorrow, a month, next year?
Look at the evidence for this all-or-nothing thought. Is there a more helpful, alternative thought?
Develop more helpful behaviour, leading to increased motivation to succeed today.