I had a client email me earlier, thanking me for a “kick-ass session.” He’s pleased to be cooking again, working out, and getting his “mind right.” As I reflect on our time together, I have some thoughts on what was helpful.
First, I’ll start with what I didn’t do. I didn’t educate him on the value of cooking at home over eating out because he already knows. Nor did I wag my finger at him for not following his doctor’s instructions over losing weight because he feels guilty already. Also, I held back, holding him accountable for not following through on the plan we set last week.
Instead, I reflected on the conflict I observed – the inner wrestling match. I explained how the competing ideas of unhealthy versus healthy were part of the problem. I identified the emotions, the competing thoughts, and the lose-lose nature in this way of thinking.
In an earlier blog post, I wrote about the book I’m reading, “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know.” I’m now learning about binary bias and how the presumption that the world is divided into two sides: believers and nonbelievers, or right versus wrong, can oversimply and generalize concepts that are much more complex.
In my client’s case, seeing health through this binary lens rendered him incapacitated to make changes effectively.
The author encouraged us to be mindful of how we digest information. So when consuming information, we need to look to complexity as a sign of credibility.
And when we see clickbait or one-sided headlines, we need to challenge ourselves and ask what other perspectives are missing so we don’t fall into the binary trap.
Evolving our thinking takes work. I’m up for the challenge! Are you?
That’s all for now. I’ve got a long day of counseling tomorrow and need my rest. I hope you have an excellent rest of your week. Oh yeah, and there are only four more days until my 40th—whoop whoop.