Walking The Middle Road Of Change

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Living Life at Extremes

Animals that live in extreme climates live anything but idyllic lives. Just surviving another day is the name of the game. Many of us live our lives at extremes too when it comes to all of those destructive behaviors we’re trying to eliminate or productive behaviors we’re trying to adopt. We swing back and forth between the extremes of overindulgence and abstinence in the case of destructive behaviors and overdoing it or doing nothing in the case of productive behaviors without ever finding the idyllic middle road of moderation.

All or Nothing Thinking

We fall victim to all or nothing thinking where when we decide to make a change we think for it to be a real change it’s got to be 100% or 0%, where anything in between those two poles isn’t good enough. But the extremes aren’t sustainable, and that’s why so many of us swing back and forth between them our whole lives. We diet hard for a while and then overeat for a while, or drink too much for a few weekends and then quit drinking altogether for a few weekends, or start going to the gym every day for a bit and then stop going altogether.

The Middle Road is Better

Except for cases of extreme addiction where quitting completely is the only option, most of us would be much better served by implementing changes that walk the middle road, changes that move in the direction we want to go but still leave some room for setbacks, changes that focus more on moderation and less on all or nothing. We can be committed to change and growth while keeping the idyllic sense of calm and ease in place, that idea is not a contradiction. We just have to move away from the faulty thinking pattern that for a change to be good and real it has to exist at one of two extremes where even the slightest movement away from one of those extremes is proof of failure.