Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.
--Orison Swett Marden

Friday, September 14, 2007

Polarized Thinking

One of those cognitive distortions that can limit our happiness is called Polarized Thinking. This is a habitual way of thinking that puts life events into all-or-nothing terms.

It tries to put things into clear categories that are easy to deal with.

Most of us have known someone who has used this style. Sometimes this style works very effectively when used in a work environment. Managers who use this style are often seen as decisive and no-nonsense. Their co-workers know what is expected of them and they often try to keep up with the expectations.

In a worst case scenario, this person can develop a reputation as a “bull in a china shop” because of their seeming to be unconcerned about the feelings of others.

When used in our personal lives, polarized thinking, can make someone appear stubborn, inflexible, and unwilling to compromise. Conflict with loved ones is a common reason for us to begin to examine the limits of our thinking style.

Styles are neither right nor wrong. They simply require us to recognize them and make choices about using them rather than to be on “auto-pilot” with our emotions.

So is polarized thinking a skill or a habit? That depends on how much you use it to the exclusion of rational decision-making. Are you making choices about your life or are you simply doing what you have always done regardless of the facts and feelings involved?

As always the key here is balance. Use what works and avoid what limits your outlook. Insight Associates can help you identify and establish this balance; call us to discuss how.

Live Well.