All or nothing thinking is a negative thought process where everything is viewed in black and white terms, with an inability to see alternatives in a situation or solutions to problems. This thinking pattern is amplified when your anxiety is high or you are in an active bout of depression. It fuels self-blame and self-hatred. Why?
All or nothing thinking is a hallmark of perfectionism and you're giving yourself only two options in everything you do: perfection or failure. All that you do well and accomplish is discounted as unimportant or unworthy. According to Toni Bernard, she describes two types of all or nothing thinking. In the first type, you don't give yourself any room to do anything you would grade less than an A or A+. The second type is treating yourself as a failure if you're not feeling well enough, physically or mentally, to do a task you'd planned to do.
When we engage in all or nothing thinking, we are being so unfair and uncompassionate to ourselves when we expect anything less than perfection. It keeps you on the sidelines of life and away from doing all the things you dream about and from being on the outside the person you already know you are on the inside.
If you see yourself in these articles, I highly recommend reading Brene Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection. It will help you understand perfectionism and the many ways it shows up in your life. Take your time reading this book. Put it down if it becomes overwhelming and go back to it when you are in a better frame of mind and rested.
Need to talk to someone? I'm ready when you are.
This is part 2 of a 3 part series.