Breaking out of the binary

Right or wrong.
Overwork or stagnation.
On or off.
Now or never.

All of these are binary ways of thinking and they’re keeping you stuck.

Though it may not seem to be true, there is so much space between all of these extremes.

If you really want to be able to take time off without feeling guilty, but the guilt overwhelms you so you don’t take the time off, that’s a binary. What is the space in between? Is it possible to take the time off and learn to sit with the discomfort of feeling guilty? What boundaries can you put into place so that you can get the time off you need while you manage being less available for work?

If you really want to be an entrepreneur but need the income from your day job so you never take action on your business, that’s a great way to maintain the status quo. What else is possible? Could you start your business as a side-hustle? Could you review your household budget and put money aside so you can create an exit strategy for yourself?

Our brains often function as fancy category-makers. The oldest part of our brain that’s trying to keep us alive is constantly assessing what’s safe or unsafe.  It works in a very binary way – and if you don’t kindly question that way of thinking it’ll definitely keep you stuck.

My favorite way to start that kind of questioning is “What else is possible?” This simple question disrupts the binary thinking and taps into creativity.

Is it possible that you might be able to tolerate the discomfort of that guilt on your day off? Is it possible that your boss & team might be thrilled that you’re taking time for yourself? Is it possible that you’re, in fact, leading by example and showing others that it’s OK to take time off?

Is it possible that your side-hustle might help bring in some money to let you leave your day job sooner? Is it possible that when you’re investing time into something you love that it’ll actually energize you to do more?

Break out of the binary. Notice when it’s coming up and ask yourself what else is possible. Explore all of the spaces, places & options in between the extremes.

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