This Game of Thrones line is being quoted a lot these days, an example of distorted thinking. "Either I have to pass with 90% above or else I am a failure". This thinking pattern is "All or Nothing" or "Black and White". "If my husband doesn't appreciate my effort, he hates me". Though life events cannot be considered as "completely disastrous" or "absolutely wonderful" but Sometimes we view situations in two categories instead of a different degree. This extreme thinking triggers disturbance.
The moment we accept automatic thoughts which describe events in black-and-white categories, with no shades of gray, we engage in all-or-nothing thinking. These thoughts lead us to an extreme level of perfection attainment drive nothing less than 100% is a success. Perfectionism can motivate us to try harder, but in the long run, unavoidably, this stretches to a point where it discourages us from trying at all. As we find very less that's black or white in the real world, such thinking takes light out from viewing the world as it is, all shades of gray are seen as pitch black.
"The color of truth is gray". Andre Gide
While learning a new skill or performance improvement this extreme thinking can be highly destructive. A painter or artist who thinks in all or nothing will never complete the process as the initial work will always be rough. Many people fail at an initiative not because they perform bad, but because they never finish what they started.
Thus next time you hear yourself thinking on the extreme ends, take a pause and ask yourself : Are these the only two interpretations about this event? I am certain the answer is no.
Reference - CBT: Basics and Beyond by Judith Beck
Himali Kelvekar, Student of English literature with a minor in communication, media and Psychology at christ university, Bangalore with a on-ground work experience in content writing ,editing,designing and public relations.
Sahil Takshak A student of Delhi University. Writing is my first love. Passionate about fitness, travelling, human psychology, cooking, politics, music, movies and books.