I’ve lived a great part of my life believing that “either/or” thinking was my only option. This thinking was linked to a scarcity mindset. . To see more on the Abundance/Scarcity Mindset check out this “how to” blog from Wikihow. Viewing the world this way causes your options to be limited. Only a handful of options can be considered and only one of the considerations will be “right” after you settle upon it.
But most decisions aren’t black and white, are they? They involve shades of gray, or choosing the lesser of two evils, or even choosing from more than one good answer. You may even not have the choices for any good answers. So, why choose “either/or” thinking when you can use the “both/and” thinking tool to come up with a better solution.
Having a “both/and” approach to life allows you to balance things that are confusing, contrary or conflicting as we try to manage and tolerate the changes and growth taking place in our lives. Common areas of “both/and” have to do mostly with balance (so “either/or” won’t work in this situation). Examples of balance can be self vs. others, giving vs. getting, needs vs. wants, work vs. play, even winning vs. losing. Whenever two polar areas pull from each other “both/and” thinking tool can help as you determine your needs, other’s requests, and the best outcome for all.
If you can cultivate the belief and start seeing the world as “both/and” the ideas and options are limitless and many solutions can be developed or explored that lend themselves you’re your strengths. This is seen as an abundance mindset. Check out some of the thoughts associated with scarcity and abundance:
Scarcity Thoughts: It’s every man for himself; I never have time; Mistakes are disasters; Look at all the resources we need;People are out to get me.
Abundance Thoughts: We can work together; I take time for the things that matter; I can recover and learn from mistakes; Look at all the resources we have; People are out to help me.
Scarcity Mindset may seem like a good idea, but over time too much energy is wasted on conflict and negative thinking about outcomes being correct or incorrect.
An Abundance Mindset believes there are enough resources available to grow and move forward. It understands that success doesn’t mean failure for others or themselves. The abundance mindset allows for growth and makes choices about our next steps as we move forward in our lives.
I know which mindset I was raised on. What about you? Chances are ADDer’s have grown up with the Scarcity mindset. It is important to start moving to a more Abundant mindset so we can start to see opportunities, rather than disasters!Here are some issues that ADDer’s face and let’s look at them through the “Either/or” and “Both/and”. Check out the difference the wording makes as you weigh your options and look for answers to your needs and those that need to be considered.
Imagine you need to determine your “comfortableness” with your current relationship. With “Either/Or” thinking it may look like this statement: Either I have to do what he says or break up. Now, compare the “Both/And” statement about the same concern: We both have a say in this relationship and he needs to know my thoughts about this.
How about another example. Your work is waaayyy out of balance with home life. “Either/Or” thinking dictates: Either I have to give up my family time or quit this job. Consider the “Both/And” alternative: What would it look like to work hard at this job and not quit?
Using this technique has allowed me to see possibilities rather than quick solutions. This approach has allowed me to see “how far” I’m willing to go in particular areas of my life. Check out my other blogs about learning to live ADHD. Add your name to the box and sign up for the monthly Your ADD Answers Action Plan describing the steps that are taken to get your life in balance, newsletters, and the July’s Q & A calls held July 22. I’d love to discuss your ADD questions. Talk soon!