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Black and White Thinking

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Think in color instead!

Our thoughts = our perception of the world. Every thought we think controls how we feel, how we react and eventually how we perceive the world. We are the ones who create that thought, no one else is. We chose to see life through the lens of each thought we have. If we are unaware about our thoughts, then we are unaware that we are the ones who are in control. That's where a lot of negative thinking or thought patterns arise from, not being aware where the thought comes from. The awesome thing about that is that we are in total control of how we see the world.

"Thoughts are just mental events "

"Thoughts are just mental events" - I heard this on a podcast this week by Niall Breslin. I liked the way it was phrased because it's true. A thought is just like a little cloud that pops up at a certain time in your head. Whenever I mediate I like to think of thoughts as clouds, one pops up and then I observe it and let it float by. That’s all thoughts really are. Little clouds.

We have all sorts of thoughts. think about how many thoughts you have a day. Your mind is constantly chatting away. Some thoughts are new and some are the same.

A lot of our thoughts are full on habits, almost like personality traits to us at this point. We have been thinking certain thoughts for years or even all of our lives. These could be good thoughts or bad thoughts.

These negative thought patterns are part of being human. I just want to dive a little deeper into being aware of these patterns and suggest some ways to break free from the cycle. There's one thought pattern I want to bring to light today. It's called "Black and White thinking".

Black and White and Gray All Over

Black and white thinking is just what you think it is- you only see the world in just binary black and white. You are either good at something or bad at it. You can only succeed at something, or fail at it. You could call it This or That thinking as well. As humans we all have a little bit of this mentality, especially because society reinforces it often. Black and white thinking tells us if you don’t achieve something than you consider it a failure. Even if you just fall short, in your mind's catergory - it is considered a failure.

This type of thinking makes us scared to try new things! We get scared to try new things or put ourselves out there because we think if we don’t get to that big goal - the only other option is failure (spoiler alert: it’s not).

We basically are setting the bar way too high all the time and then when we don’t get there we blame it on ourselves and consider it falling short.

This makes us consider things as “a waste of time” and can further discourage us from trying things in the future because we think “Oh I’ll never get it since I failed”. An example would be applying for a new job or asking someone out.

Add some color to your thinking

We have a tendacity to make assumptions and take things personally. most negative thoughts stem from this. We assume because we didn’t get the job or the date, something is wrong with us. If we take a moment to remember that not everything is personal. What if someone who had more qualifications was interviewed before you. It’s not a reflection of your self-worth or value. Same thing goes with the dating example. You never know about another person’s emotional availability. That factor doesn’t involve you and you are still just as worthy as you were before.

See everything you do as progress. By just trying, you are growing and getting better and more equipped to handle situations in the future. There is beauty in between the black and white. That’s where we are most of the time. When we can see the beauty, the progress, and the good things that are around us - we see the color in situations.

Truth is we don’t have control of everything in life. We can control how we react and what we do next. We are the only person who puts a limit on ourselves - so remind yourself that you don’t need to be limited by “failure” when there is no such thing!

Black and White Fitness

I feel people in fitness or sports can relate to this especially. If you give up early, you think it’s a failure. If you don’t nail a certain lift you’re been practicing for - failure. Not true! Fitness and progress aren’t linear.

The body works like the mind- when you push past those “limits” you get stronger. Don‘t re- limit yourself if you feel you failed, because you did not. Every time you try something new you’re just building yourself up. Just remember every time you take a step closer that is all that counts.

Sometimes we set goals for the gym or the scale and then get upset when we don’t reach them. It’s great to have goals, but remember you are more than that goal. It’s not always us, but maybe the way we are setting goals. It could be coming down to the way we set goals. I’d recommend setting SMART goals & micro goals to help you manage your progress more easily.

Message me for more about this or let me know if you would like a full post on breaking down these types of goals!

That’s it from me this week! I really hope some of this resonated with you and gave you a little bit of a perspective shift. Let me know your thoughts and comments, I would love to hear! 🌟

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