Why You Are Not Stuck Choosing Only This or That

get out of either-or thinking
When you consider your choices, do you feel you have to choose between either this or that? Unfortunately, either-or thinking keeps you limited to only two options when you actually have many choices at any given time.

As Frederick Carl Frieseke said, “Your range of available choices—right now—is limitless.” That means you don’t have to choose this or that. Instead, you can choose something totally different.

Despite this fact, many of us feel backed into a corner with only two ways out most of the time. While our choices are limitless, we see them as severely limited.

What Flavor of Ice Cream Do You Choose?

When I attended The Landmark Forum, they posed a question to a participant. “Imagine I have a vanilla and a chocolate ice cream cone. You can have either one. Which do you choose…vanilla or chocolate?”

At the time, I didn’t understand the point of the question. Today, I believe the coach taught the participant about the limitlessness of choices. She didn’t have to choose one or the other but could choose a different flavor entirely.

After all, the number of ice cream flavors available to us at any given time is vast. If you don’t believe me, go to any grocery store and check the freezer section.

You Have More Than Two Choices

What if someone asked:

  • Would you rather have a chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream or a fruit bowl?
  • Would you rather have a beach or a mountain home?
  • Would you rather have perfect health or financial security?
  • Would you rather have a cat or a dog?
  • Would you rather have more joy or more time?
  • Would you rather go out to dinner or have sex?
  • Would you rather drive or fly?
  • Would you rather have a vacation or a new job?
  • Would you rather make a difference or earn more money?

Could you choose one and feel good about your choice in each case? Or would you feel as if you were settling? Would you feel resigned to only have one, not the other?

You won’t feel good about your choice if it isn’t a choice but rather the only acceptable option. For instance, maybe you want both options rather than one. So, you want to take a vacation and come back to a new job, make a difference and earn more money, have more joy and time, or go out to dinner and have sex. Or maybe you want something else entirely. For example, perhaps you want to travel by train or live in the desert.

You can choose what you want instead…even if you don’t know how you will make that happen.

Don’t Get Stuck in Either-Or Thinking

Don’t get stuck in either-or thinking. It precludes choosing something you actually want—rather than two options presented—and disallows choosing both or something else. When you work from “I can either choose this or that,” you resign yourself to only having two choices.

While it might appear that you only have those two choices, you can actually choose anything…especially if you believe anything is possible. So adopt the belief, “100% possible, 100% of the time.” It will help you choose what you truly desire and create ways to have it.

Your Choices are Limitless

Plus, an anything-is-possible mindset helps you focus on the fact that your choices are limitless. After all, vanilla and chocolate are not the only choices of ice cream flavors. In fact, I will choose mud pie every single time. If that’s not available, I’ll search it out or select jamoca almond fudge.

So, if I’m offered vanilla or chocolate, I can choose to settle for chocolate, which I do like (but it’s not my favorite). Or I can choose neither one and opt for mud pie. And if there is no mud pie (or jamoca almond fudge), I can choose not to eat ice cream. Or I can find a way to choose it anyway, such as to make my favorite flavor.

I don’t want to settle for this or that, and I bet you don’t want to either.

I don’t want to see my choices as either-or, and neither do you, right?

We want to choose something we genuinely want.

And if we continue to feel as if we have few choices, we resign ourselves to choosing from the options presented. Being resigned means accepting something unpleasant you can’t do anything about.

But you don’t need to resign yourself to the existing options. Instead, you can choose or create a different one.

Commit to Your Choice

Anything is possible when you decide to work from possibility rather than resignation. This is especially true if you choose and then commit to your choice.

Your commitment to what you want, coupled with your brief that anything is possible, allows you to find a way to bring your choice into reality. After all, committed people are not likely to give up until they have what they want.

But if you believe it’s impossible or improbable that the opportunity to have your desire will present itself, all possibility disappears. Although your choices remain limitless, you can’t see them. And then you become resigned, which causes your commitment to wane until it no longer exists.

No Choice is Still a Choice

What if you are the type of person who finds it difficult to choose even with you are only offered two choices. Or maybe you are someone who finds too many options overwhelming, so you don’t choose anything at all.

In fact, you are still making a choice. You are choosing not to choose.

And that choice can be the most difficult one to accept because choosing not to choose means nothing changes. Sticking with the ice cream analogy, you don’t get any ice cream. You remain without the desert you really want.

So, if you want what you want, choose it. And if you want your life to change somehow, make a new choice.

But don’t choose either this or that unless this or that is what you desire. Don’t settle or resign yourself to undesirable options. Since anything is possible and your choices are limitless, any and all choices are on the table. Take advantage of the smorgasbord.

Do you get stuck in either-or thinking or feel resigned to settle for only the available choices? Tell me in a comment below, and please share this post with a friend.


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