Are you sure that no single pixel is pure black or pure white?

Are you sure it isn’t all shades of gray?

According to Wikipedia, “black and white thinking (also called splitting or all-or-nothing thinking) is the failure in a person’s thinking to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole. It is a common defense mechanism.”

Even to this day, I am realizing, it is so important to view decisions and behaviors outside of black and white thinking. The dichotomy clouds perception and reaction to events in life. Honestly, this jading is not some opinion on my own. This is based on the view of thousands of experts and deep research. I also see it in myself without question, as well as in others who are close to me.

As an example, we can see black and white thinking when we compare linear to non-linear thinking. See this great article by Jody Michael Associates. Their suggestion for seeing things by shades of gray is, “self-awareness, empathy, curiosity, mindfulness and slowing down reactive tendencies.” They go on to cover flexibility, emotional intelligence, somatic (non-verbal) communications, seeking personal and professional growth, and recognition of blind-spots. Black and white thinking is pervasive, it exists on multiple spectrums for many variables.

The stand out comment for me in this article (as a nerdy and passionate guy who loves neuro-leadership, neuro-sales, and neuro-marketing), is that changing habits in ourselves is the grand majority of what it takes to move your own needle on black and white thinking. It sounds simple and easy, but it isn’t.

Changing perception and changing habits are terribly hard to do.

By Adam B Bloom

Industrial designer by education, software product marketer by profession, communicator and writer by happenstance, entrepreneur by DNA. Always interested in the overlap of sales/marketing, innovation/design, and learning/psychology, and I also like brain science, music, meditation, and technology.

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