How Getting Out of the All or Nothing Mindset Can Help You Charge Forward

For a long time I was stuck in an all or nothing mindset. If I didn’t have time to clean the entire bathroom then I wouldn’t clean anything. If I didn’t have time to finish writing a whole report for work then I wouldn’t work on it at all. I had this fixed mindset that I needed to have enough time to finish a task or it didn’t make sense to even start. I eventually realized that tasks and chores started piling up and piling up until I was so overwhelmed and anxious that I was too paralyzed to even attempt to start a task. My all or nothing mindset clearly wasn’t working for me. It was counterproductive to achieving my goals, big and small. If we as women and mothers can get this mantra in our heads we will see progress – “Doing SOMETHING is still better than doing nothing”. No matter how small the step, its a step forward. It’s progress. Maybe I don’t have time or energy to clean the entire bathroom but cleaning just the tub is progress and it makes me feel more accomplished. I may not have time to finish a whole report for work but if I work on it for 30 minutes, then that’s 30 minutes less time I have to work on it later in order to finish it. I might not have a whole hour to play with my son but sitting down with him and painting for 15 minutes is still quality time and allows me to be completely present with him. As I adopted this mindset more and more I noticed my anxiety and overwhelm start to decrease. It’s an ongoing practice and I often have to remind myself – “Doing SOMETHING is still better than doing nothing”. I take a few deep breaths and I take action. I open up 5 letters and leave the rest of the stack unopened and I feel no guilt because I feel great that I made progress in getting that stack down. If we don’t take control of our to do list it will take control of us. Take notice of how you feel when you take no action at all compared to when you take a step forward. I feel a noticeable decrease in my anxiety when I make a conscious decision to step out of my mental paralysis and take action. I notice less tightness in my chest and less racing thoughts in my head. If you’re not in a place where you can take action just yet then try repeating the mantra to yourself and over time you will begin to have that positive growth mindset that will lead you to taking action. You got this, Mama!

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