I've written about this topic before, but an email from a friend reminded me of its importance. So...here goes. If I were at a 12-Step All or Nothing People Program, I would have to introduce myself by saying, "Hi, my name is Susan. I'm an all or nothing person, but I've been seeking a middle-ground for 30 days."
After the applause dies down, I'm assuming I will spend hours listening to dozens of other all or nothing people try to explain their lack of flexibility. What amazed me today was that I was able to give such good advice to my friend--when it's so difficult for me to try and break this cycle myself.
But, just in case there are other all or nothing people reading this, these are the Top 10 All or Nothing Changes I'm focusing on.
1. I don't have to post five days a week or feel that the only alternative is to stop posting all together. If I'm feeling depressed or if posting is beginning to feel more like a burden than a pleasure, I can post less often.
2. I don't have to develop new material for every post despite worrying about whether my readers will feel disappointed. After all, I've posted almost 600 times, and there is "old" material that most of my readers haven't seen.
3. I don't have to feel it's unfair to the people who read my blog if I don't read theirs at all or with the same level of frequency that they read mine. As I've written before, I don't find it healthy to spend too much time online, and I don't find it healthy to read blogs that have a negative spin.
4. I don't have to include every blog of every reader in my blogroll. Philosophically, I truly believe that people who consistently focus on the negative aspects of any illness won't heal, and thus I can't support blogs like this even if I personally like the bloggers who write them.
5. Since my blog is part of my wellness program, I have to do what's best for me even if it sometimes seems like I'm not engaging in reciprocal relationships.
6. Moving away from blogging and thinking about other aspects of my life, I don't have to do my best on every project in which I participate. There are times when I'm spread too thin, and I need to be more realistic in order to reduce my level of stress.
7. I need to realize that my expectations of others are often unrealistic, and I need to work harder on adjusting them. (What if someone is doing their best, but I consider the end result mediocre?)
8. Once a day, I should say aloud, "The world isn't black or white; it's composed of shades of gray (and try to believe it).
9. I am trying to convince myself that even if people don't act responsibly, it doesn't always mean they're bad people.
10. I am trying hard to convince myself that just because I can't follow through on everything I start (particularly during an increased energy spurt) doesn't mean I'm a bad person. (However, I always write a note of apology to those I disappoint.)
Well, if that isn't an honest assessment, I don't know what is.
So...how many of you are "all or nothing people?" What habits are you working on changing?