How to Live in Gray Areas - Deepstash
The Alternative To Absolutes: The Gray Area

Many of us are practising all-or-nothing thinking, believing that the world is in absolute terms, and assuming that something that is not completely black or white has negative connotations or is murky and confusing.

The often-resisted gray areas, where the answers are not certain, quick or clear, are paradoxically the very places that one can start to experience peace and contentment, and minimize anxiety.

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Thinking in absolute terms is preferred as it appears certain, simple and less taxing on the brain. There is a certain cockiness in thinking in binary terms, as it gives us an illusion that we have everything figured out, and provides us with a false sense of confidence.

Simplicity and insight comes with the understanding that reality is never black or white, but is some shade of gray.

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Understanding and embracing the gray area has many benefits:

  • By understanding that things are not black or white, one has fewer expectations and assumptions, leading to less anxiety.
  • Acceptance of imperfections makes life easy, and it is proven that perfection can be dangerous and unhealthy.
  • One leads a better life and is less inclined towards certain addictions, which are symptoms of avoiding gray areas at all costs.

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  1. Set boundaries and moderate your tolerance levels towards the bad.
  2. Understand that it is not always possible to score 100 percent, and 75 percent isn’t a bad score.
  3. Embrace multiple options, diverse choices and the for-or-against mentality, refusing to shut yourself in an echo chamber.
  4. Be more curious when you hear something that is not according to your beliefs, assumptions or upbringing.
  5. Challenge your own narratives and assumptions.
  6. Realize that you are yourself a bundle of beautiful contradictions, which make you unique.

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