It’s not black or white: it’s not “either/or” but “both/and”

We may be used to thinking in either/or (either this is true or that is true), but life is much more complex. Sometimes, both can really be true, even if they seem contradictory. You might see these dichotomies as ‘dual-emmas’ (play on the word ‘dilemma’).

When we think in either/or when the situation is more of a dual-emma, then we spend waste a lot of time resisting reality and convincing ourselves that is can only be one particular way (and then we might disregard evidence that doesn’t jibe with that view). Or we argue to prove that we are right, or we give in.

Sometimes, we have to ask ourselves: What if both are true (in some way)? This is the both/and mindset. What makes this so powerful is that it takes us beyond the two choices we thought we had. It opens up new, previously unseen possibilities and opportunities.

When you are stuck in a dilemma, ask yourself, “Might this be a dual-emma? Am I thinking in either/or when I ought to be thinking in both/and?” Ask yourself (or other people) for a third or more options. The solution might actually be Option C, the best elements of A and B.

–> You can be both ready and scared to start something new.
–> Someone can be both dedicated and somewhat lackadaisical.

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