Are False Choices Holding You Back?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of a “false choice” — a choice between two things that you assume are mutually exclusive but really aren’t.
As an example, you might say, “I can go to the gym, or I can go to my doctor’s appointment.” Even if the doctor’s appointment conflicts with your normal gym time, you can go to the gym before or after the appointment; the choice between the gym and the appointment is a false choice.
Most commonly, false choices crop up when we’re trying to adopt new habits, like going to the gym—they act as convenient excuses to avoid the activity we don’t really feel like doing.
But they can also appear in broader belief systems and behavior patterns.
Here are a few examples of ones I’ve been pondering:
You can view food as fuel, OR you can view food as pleasure.
False choice. You can treat food as fuel part of the time, and food as pleasure for special occasions (or devote yourself to making really tasty fuel 😄).
You can live an ambitious life, OR you can live a simple life.
False choice. You can live ambitiously in some areas of your life, and simply in others.
You can love and respect your body, OR you can want to change your body.
False choice. You can love and respect your body, and still want to tone up or lose weight.
You can be grateful, OR you can want more.
False choice. You can be grateful for what you have, and still want more out of life.
You can accept who you are, OR you can change yourself.
False choice. You can accept and love yourself, and also challenge yourself to change and to grow.
. . .
However they manifest, false choices are limiting, and recognizing them enables us to remove the unnecessary barrier they impose.
What false choices pop up in your life?