Have you ever thought, “I might as well not exercise today since I ate all those cookies today.” Or maybe you have thought “If I can’t declutter my house, why start at all.”
This is all or nothing thinking. When you view things as zero to 100. This type of thinking causes you to look at extremes and forget about options 1-99.
You can see this in trying to implement self-care, meal planning, stress coping and so many other areas of your life if you pay attention. So what’s the problem with thinking like this?
It affects what we choose to do or not do, how we show up, and how we talk to ourselves.
This is why my guest, Shawna, is here to help us. In this episode we talk about:
- What this all or nothing mentality is all about
- How the all or nothing mentality can show up in our lives
- What steps that we can take to shift the all or nothing mentality
- How to be more intentional and pay attention to your thoughts and feelings daily
If you are ready to ditch the all or nothing mentality, check out this full episode.
Shawna is a trained life coach who teaches moms how to simplify, slow down and show up. She is a mom of three and wants to uplift other moms to enjoy their life and live it ON PURPOSE
Connect with Shawna
- Blog/Website URL: https://www.simpleonpurpose.ca
- Facebook Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/simpleonpurpose
- Facebook Group URL: https://www.facebook.com/groups/simpleonpurposecommunity
- Instagram URL: https://www.instagram.com/simpleonpurpose.ca/
- Pinterest URL: https://www.pinterest.ca/simpleonpurpose
- If anyone wants to book a free mini-session to talk about all or nothing thinking in their own life https://calendly.com/simpleonpurpose/mini-sessions
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Transcript of this episode
Real Happy Mom 0:03
Hey there, I’m Tony and I have an overwhelming passion to help moms navigate motherhood without the overwhelm. I went from struggling with motherhood and losing my identity, to be productive and living out my version of being a happy mom. On the Real Happy Mom podcast, I interview real moms and experts to help you navigate raising children self care, time management, and so much more. So if you’re ready to get rid of the overwhelm, and start being a Real Happy Mom, join me inside the Real Happy Mom podcast. Hey there, and welcome back to another episode of the Real Happy Mom podcast, you have tuned in for a very special treat here. Today, I have my friend in a pod member here. It’s Shana from a simple on purpose. And today we are talking about the all or nothing mentality. And this is something I’ll be honest I struggle with is like this struggle bus is real over here. And I love that Shannon came on and talk about this in particular, because she has such a gift of breaking it down and helping us to understand what the all or nothing mentality or mindset looks like. And she also gives us some simple ways of kind of breaking that, because it’s really, really challenging. But the key thing that she talks about in this episode is doing one small thing, because a lot of times we tried to tackle everything and try to do all the things. But we can’t do it all, at least not all at one time. So just taking one simple step is the biggest thing that is going to help with making that change. Now another small step that you can do is also making sure that you have someone to help you stay accountable and helping you walk in through some of these things. And if you are needing that, I just want to let you know your girl is doing some coaching and strategy sessions that is going to help you if you are struggling like I was talking about earlier, being on that struggle bus and feeling like oh my goodness, I can’t do this by myself. I am doing some just quiet sessions that are going to help you moms who are struggling with finding time to one do things for yourself, trying to manage all the things or just feeling overwhelmed with everything that comes with motherhood. If you go to Real Happy Mom comm slash coaching You can find out more information there and go ahead and get started with me because Mama, you’re not meant to do this by yourself. Let me help you let me work with you. And I can definitely get you there. Now we have, like I said, a really awesome podcast episode with Shana. So let’s go ahead and jump on in. I almost forgot one quick thing. Now, if you are on the master class, you heard me talk about the time transformation toolkit. And the doors are open finally open for the time transformation toolkit and I’m so pumped about it. Now I have some very awesome bonuses that are going on with that and one of those bonuses is getting a 20 minute call with yours truly. And I am going to help you with implementing what you learn in the time transformation toolkit. Now, that bonus is ending tomorrow so I don’t want you to miss it. So if you have thought about it, thinking about it on the fence, go ahead and get it now. because let me tell you what, this bonus is going to go away and probably not going to come back for the rest of the year. So you want to make sure you snag it before it is gone. So go over to Real Happy Mom comm slash time to make sure that you snag bonuses before the bonus is tomorrow. Now let’s go ahead and jump on into this episode.
Real Happy Mom 3:29
All right, welcome to the podcast. Shana. I am so happy to have you on today.
Real Happy Mom 3:35
Now before we get started with our topic for today, I just wanted you to share a little bit about you and what you do.
So I am Shawna Scaife, I am a mom in small town, Canada. And what I do now is I am a life coach for moms who want to live more intentionally with more peace, purpose, presence and passion for their actual life and the people in their life and themselves. And I started blogging years ago about motherhood. It transitioned into blogging about decluttering and minimalism because I decided one day, I’m going to try that and it changed my whole life. And it’s transitioned into intentional living like living life on purpose and coach training. And now here I am.
Real Happy Mom 4:17
So Shawna, I love all of those things. And I love that you are helping moms with living with peace, purpose and passion, because these are some things that I really think that we could use a little bit more of. But the biggest thing that I love that you talk about is the all or nothing mindset. And this is one thing that I really feel like can hinder us, especially in motherhood, and really in all aspects of our life if we think about it, but I wanted you to talk about what this all or nothing mindset looks like.
This all or nothing. mindset is when you view things and you I don’t think we often realize we’re doing it, but we view things as zero to 100. If it can’t look like this, then I can’t do it. If it’s not working like this and it’s not working at all. It’s It’s always a never it has to be, cannot be. It’s, it’s looking at things in extremes in saying this one’s acceptable, and this one’s not. And I often have this analogy with my clients like you’re looking at things with, it has to be 100, or zero. But what about options, one to 99? All in the middle there. Some common like examples of, if I can’t declutter my whole house, why even start with one drawer, or my kids didn’t listen to me. So I’m a bad mom. Like, it just shows up in subtle ways. And maybe a popular one we can relate to is like, if I can’t work out at this certain way, in this certain level, then why bother? Right? Why bother? When you are asking yourself? If I can’t do it like this, then why bother? That’s a really good indicator that you’ve got some all or nothing thinking that you’re stuck in.
Real Happy Mom 5:54
Yes. And when you were going through that, I was like, I bet she’s gonna say that exercise.
Unknown Speaker 6:02
You’re not alone.
Real Happy Mom 6:04
Many people who have come on this podcast and talked about health and wellness, you would think I’d have my life aren’t alone. In this all or nothing mentality, I definitely see how this impacts our life, especially when it comes to, you know, making these small changes that can turn into big results in our life. But I’m just wondering, how does this all or nothing impact our life when it comes as mothers?
Yeah, I think for a big part of showing up for motherhood and taking care of ourselves and feeling like we’ve taken care of ourselves, now we can take care of other people that self care can’t be an all or nothing thing, right. And it doesn’t have to be wellness, right? Like, it doesn’t have to be exercise, it’s all things. It’s like, meal planning or finding time to calm yourself down. Stress coping, like these things still can’t be all or nothing. So it affects what we choose to do or not do in our day. Like, maybe I spent some money that I shouldn’t have. So I’ll quit the budget. Like, it affects just the things the way that we approach how we show up. And it also impacts how we’re talking to ourselves, especially as moms like, I’ll never get this right. Or I can’t ever be a good mom, or my kids didn’t listen to 100% of everything I had to say. So I’m a bad mom. And, and we also start to get this narrative around other people with all or nothing thinking as our filter that maybe my husband never listens, or I’ve had a rough afternoon with my kids. So the whole day. So let down. These are just these negative extremes. And it doesn’t actually help you live better, it just kind of starts to block you off, and limit everything else as possible.
Real Happy Mom 7:48
Yes, for sure. Now, I was just thinking, Janet, like, Are there some ways that we can kind of catch ourselves when we’re into that? Because sometimes I’ll be honest, at least for me, especially when it comes to like health and wellness part. I will do it and I don’t even realize I’m doing it until like the end of the week. And I’m like, Oh, yeah, didn’t work out. Why should I workout? It’s too cold, or I don’t have the clothes or Oh, yeah, it’s not gonna work. Like, how are we? How can we do better about catching ourselves in this so that we can
reverse things. And this is the key, right? It’s like, you can see it in hindsight. But in the moment, you’re like, in it, you cannot see it. And really knowing that we have 1000s of thoughts per day, and about 95% of them are subconscious, they’re happening without us even knowing they’re automatic responses. You don’t have to think about how you drive to work, you don’t have to think about how you brush your teeth. You don’t have to think about if you’re going to go and do that workout at the gym right now, you don’t have to think about what decision you’re going to make your brain already offers you a decision in the background. And it’s affecting how you show up, right? So the first step is to start to pay attention. And you didn’t catch it in the moment. But you know, it’s going to happen again. So you can start to say like, okay, that’s, that’s a thought trap that I’m falling into of like, I have to do it this many times. Or, like when, especially with habits, like when we’re trying to change habits, we have this mild subconscious assumption that we’re just going to do it 100% or not at all right, like, this is this is a way we get stuck. This is why we don’t plow through and keep progressing in our habits, is because we think we’re going to look at the calendar at the end of the month, and it’s going to be 100% of the days. But can we just start at 10%? Can we just start there and work up to you know, 20 3040 Can we just do that. So really challenging the thought that it has to be 100% and that’s that thought is optional, right? You can think that if you want if it helps you but usually it doesn’t help us It doesn’t help us get where we want to go. It doesn’t make us feel good to be putting this pressure on the situation that it has to be perfect conditions. It has to look 100% I have to feel 100% ready or 100% competent. These thoughts are all optional. So a new thought, What’s a new thought? You’re going to think when you’re in that situation again. And I know the exercise example, is like, I’m feeling personally attacked by it, because I feel that too. But that exercise examples, so great. And it’s something that I’ve had to coach myself on as well. When that comes up like, well, if I can’t go do it like this, why bother? So a thought that I’ve been sinking into over the past might like, maybe a year or two is, what’s the next best thing I could do? And this thought it might not feel empowering to you. But hopefully it does. But really letting yourself kind of step back and saying, Okay, I’m going to take the pressure off of it being 100%. What would 20% look like today? What could I do? That’s 20%, doing something that puts me more towards that goal?
Real Happy Mom 10:54
Yeah, and I was thinking about that as you’re talking, okay, cuz I know what it looks like for like the exercise, like I already know, one simple thing, just as you’re talking, I was thinking like, okay, like, I could just do like, 10 push ups in the morning, like, that’s simple that if I do it consistently, I know, you know, produce some really good results. For me, especially since I don’t know if I told you this. But in the Navy, we have not taken our physical readiness test this whole year. Because of COVID, it’s been good for me, because I probably would have failed. But it’s been bad, because I feel like a lot of people, including myself, haven’t been working out because we don’t have to be accountable because we don’t have to take that test. So I know one of the things that we get tested on is the amount of push ups that we can do within two minutes. So I know if I practice doing those push ups, even if it’s just 10. Or no, it can build me up to 2030 and beyond.
Yeah, and there’s a theory called minimum baseline, then you just explained it beautifully, right there is what’s the like littlest amount I could do, that I really can’t not do. And for me, like I wanted to be someone who started to do the dishes more. And I thought, well, I’m just going to go and load one dish. And once you’re there, once you’re there for one pushup, or one dish or one sip of water, you’re like, Okay, I’ve started to make some momentum. And I can do more if I want. But you take the pressure off, right, it’s hard to hold yourself accountable to let’s say, 100 push ups. But it’s pretty, like you feel like okay, 10 push ups, I can do that. I can push five push ups, I’m going to start there. So it’s a really beautiful example you shared, I love that.
Real Happy Mom 12:37
Nice. And one of the things that I was also thinking about too, is how this can show up in motherhood, especially when it comes to like, you know, when we’re having those hard days, and we lash out on our kids, and so we kind of beat ourselves up and be like, I can never be a good mom, because I’m lashing out on my kids, or my favorite thing, or favorite thought that like, was not my favorite, but the like, up in my head. I beat myself about the foods that I’m feeding my kids. I’m like, I’m such a terrible Mom, I’m being a McDonald’s again, like, like those little things. And I feel like, it’s like, once you make one little decision that doesn’t go the way that you want it to. It’s like, oh, you’re a bad mom. So I just wanted you to kind of help us unpack that and help us to deal with that a little bit better. So we don’t have to beat ourselves up there.
Right? Because we all have these rules on what good moms do or don’t do. We all have them. And we’re all trying to meet them. And for many of us, it’s how we’re feeding our kids. Right? So if you have this all or nothing thinking like good moms only feed their kids this type of food this often. That’s an all or nothing thought trap that you’re stuck in. Because Is it true? Is it true that good moms feed their kids the Certain Way? Could you be a poor mom and feed your kid that way? And what is even the good mom? How do you define good mom? So when you just have when you start to recognize like, I’m not a good mom, because I did this? That’s a thought trap. And then you can start to pick it apart like, Okay, well how would I even define a good mom? If that’s something I’m chasing? What does it look like? Do I like that? Do Is it true that good moms feed their kids this way? Is that true? So start till just like Hold that thought up to the light and turn it around in different ways. And you’re hopefully going to bring yourself a little bit more peace and take off the pressure that you’re using the standard of measurement that’s really keeping you stuck in shame.
Real Happy Mom 14:30
Yeah, yeah. And it’s a couple of things that just came to my mind The first thing when you’re saying you know, you know, bring it to the light because that’s one thing. I think we were just talking about this in our little Padmini to about how the way we can deal with things is is taking it out of the shadows and bringing it to the light because a lot of times we’ll have these like really crazy thoughts and sometimes I’ll catch myself be like why in the world did that come from like the what what is going on? But it’s true like when we take it and pick it apart like you said and really bring it to the light was Feeling those thoughts are ridiculous. And they’re doing nothing but holding us back?
Yes, they are not serving you. And that’s the that’s the really kind of like advanced place to go is to start to say, Oh, I have all these thoughts, where did they come from? Because our thoughts, we’ve just adopted them, we have adopted these stories, these views of the world on what is good, what is bad, what is right is what is wrong. Most therapists will call it the programming like our programming that runs our thought life in our mind, our brain programming, how we think about things that’s all handed down to us over the years in early childhood. It’s handed down to us from the culture we were raised in from authorities, from our experiences and what we made the mean at the time. And all of that programming just gets set on autopilot, way deep down. Because it’s actually a powerful thing your brain is doing. It wants to be efficient. Can you imagine how exhausted you would be at the end of the day? If you had to think about everything? Like, how do I boil spaghetti? How do I drive to the school like it would be exhausting. So it’s actually a very efficient way your brain is, is like helping you live. But when these thought loops are put into the deep, deep subconscious of our brain, and they’re not making our life better, then we need to kind of reroute them reroute them to something new.
Real Happy Mom 16:25
Yes, I love how you said that. That was so beautiful about rerouting them, because I know sometimes like, it’s funny, because I was just having this conversation with my money coach who will be on the podcast here soon. And you know, her to her name is ro.
Real Happy Mom 16:41
mean, some of the things that are passed down, especially when it comes to money. And that was one thing with her, like, I would talk to her. And she’ll be like, Hey, stop, stop. Like, that’s not a bad thing. Somebody says I would tell her I’m like, Bro, I know, I doordash like 10 times this week. She’s like, Why are you beating yourself up about it? Like, it’s okay. And so I had to think about, like, Where is all this coming from? And so she helped me to, like you said reroute those thoughts. So I’m not feeling bad about it. Because I’m literally sitting there Shana, beating myself up about doordash. Like, at the end of the day, when I think about like my kids were fed, and I have food that I really enjoyed. Like, why am I beating myself up?
Unknown Speaker 17:20
Like, stop it?
Yeah. And when you can have the kind of that piece and like, Okay, so that’s just the thing I do, then you’re not beating yourself up. Because we don’t change from a negative place. We think that if we shame ourselves and guilt ourselves, we’re gonna make this great change. But that change is really shame based and fearful. But stepping into something that’s more empowering and accepting, like, that’s where real motivation is. That’s where you can really make change, and really redirect your thoughts instead of just like, keeping them on autopilot and just shaming yourself into action.
Real Happy Mom 17:55
Yes, yes. And it’s crazy. Because once I like, started, like, recognizing what I was doing, especially when it comes to money, in particular, because that’s where I have some really bad thoughts. Like, I need some serious counseling. But it was just like, I was just like, wait a minute, like, hold on, like, why am I thinking these things? And then I started really going back and really thinking about, like, where did this all come from? Where did it all start? And it’s crazy, like what you said, like, when I’m shaming myself, like, it’s not helping anything. So me sitting here saving myself about door dashing, I don’t know, however, many times I did this week, like that’s not helping me to reach my goals of saving and having a certain amount of my savings account. But you know, if I like turn it around and say, you know, like, hey, like you’re getting to eat the food that you want to but you know, you might want to tone it down just a little bit so that you can have X amount of money in your savings account. It does so much better versus Oh my God, I just doordash 10 times. And I’m like, so terrible with money and all that. Like, it’s crazy. And it’s like super.
Yeah, like, think about how you would talk to your kid like, yeah, you know, you’re not going to shame them into change. Or you could it would be effective, but it wouldn’t be empowering, right?
Real Happy Mom 19:06
Yes. And not long lasting either. Mm, yo, yes. I’m glad you brought that one up. And then the other thing too, really quick shout out. I just wanted you to unpack this one a little bit about how our brains are trying to be efficient if it was. Because I know like, I know, part of a lot of times I call like the little monkey brain inside of us that your brain from a long, long time ago, the primitive brain that’s really trying hard. But I was just wondering, like, Okay, I know, you told us about, you know, some ways that we can kind of reroute things, but what are some other things that we can do so that, you know, we can start to change these thoughts that we’re having. So like I said, the monkey brain doesn’t just go crazy and, you know, running our whole day and sending us into having these spiraling thoughts of, I’m a bad mom, or I’m not good with money or or I’m never gonna work out those kind of things. Mm hmm.
Yeah. And yeah, and so just to start with like, the brain being efficient, the brain has three jobs. It’s called the motivational triad. And that is to seek pleasure, avoid pain and be efficient. And you’re like, Well, that sounds good. But it actually doesn’t make our lives better most of the time. Because what do we do? Like what’s our brains answer to those things to seek pleasure, avoid pain and be efficient. It learns the answer to those things based on what we’ve taught it over the years. So this is where this is why we turn to social media. This is why we avoid feeling shame, this is we run from the feeling that feels uncomfortable, we cheat, we chase the things that are going to make us just feel better. But all of this doesn’t necessarily make our lives better. And I think a really powerful thing for me was learning that I don’t have to believe everything. I think that that kind of set me free, like, Oh, my thoughts are just the story I tell myself, do I like it? Do do I want to change it? And often, like this is, this is what life coaching is. And everyone’s like, just tell me how to not do it anymore. And I wish I had this like magical answer that would just, you can suddenly have super consciousness and never be stressed and be constantly mindful in the moment. But that’s not actual real life. So it’s always a matter of going through something, realizing that’s not what you wanted, and making a plan on how you want to show up intentionally, again, and a really great practice, especially for moms, because we’re just like humming through our day with this low level of stress. This low key anger, like, I feel that we’re just humming through our day with this is to maybe even set a timer for every hour every two hours. And check in with yourself, how am I feeling right now? How am I feeling? What do I need? What?
Unknown Speaker 21:42
what feeling is kind of the theme for me for this hour? Is it anger? Is it resentment? Is it apathy, so start to pay attention to the feelings that you have, right? Because our feelings are going to indicate the thought behind it. So what thought is behind this feeling? What am I thinking that I could be feeling that and this is just this is just the art of paying attention. This is the art of becoming mindful about what the thoughts are happening in your brain. And just like observing them, not judging them, not being like, Oh, I shouldn’t be thinking that or, or That’s horrible. Or I’m going to think this instance, and not jumping to that kind of end of the spectrum. But just observe and be like, Oh, that’s what I’m thinking right now. I’m thinking my husband doesn’t care about me because he put the groceries in the wrong place in the fridge, when I told him about my organization system. Oh, that’s what I’m thinking right now that might I’ll never have a good relationship with my daughter, because she’s constantly mad at me for giving her a timeout or whatever. These are real life examples. So just kind of stopping, listening to the thought that’s kind of running in the background, and then doing the work of like, Alright, do I like that? Hold it up to the light, turn it around. When this happens again, what am I What do I want to think and starting to move forward with that?
Real Happy Mom 22:58
Oh, I love that. That was so good. Because I know, whenever I do check in with myself, sometimes I’m afraid of the answers that I get honestly. Like, sometimes I’ll be like, Oh, man, like, talk to your therapist today. But it’s crazy. Like when you do take that time to just sit down and reflect like, how much how you get the answers. And I think a lot of times we’re we’re seeking the answers and things that will not give us the answers. But I truly believe that we have all the answers that we need inside of us is just taking the time to actually sit down and find them. So I love that you said that like sitting down and taking time because I will be honest. That’s one thing as a mom, like I really could do a little bit better about that. Those real life examples, I was like, Yeah, probably did that too. Probably does a little bit different. But yet that’s me. So I love that love that shot. That one was really good.
Yeah, thanks. Yeah.
Real Happy Mom 24:01
Now Shani, you given us a lot of really good tips in a lot of just helping us to understand this all or nothing thinking. I’m just wondering if there’s one practical tip that you want us to take away today that we’re listening to right now. That can help us with that all or nothing mentality.
I think for me what I have learned and what I’ve applied and what I try to encourage other people to do is one small thing. I really believe firmly that my whole life like my health, my relationships, my job, my parenting, it’s been transformed over the years by doing simple things, simple, small things. When I was at home with my all three kids, I had three kids in three and a half years and I was like over to the well and it was it just all felt like too much. And I wrote on my chalkboard in the hallway do one small thing today your future self will thank you for and that’s all I did. I was like kale leave on the couch. My job is to make snacks and feed people and you know them. So what’s one small thing I can do and it was like drink a glass of water or read a devotional or eat a carrot like, it was just really, really simple, crazy simple. But in doing that work, and I think this is where the power is, in doing that work, I was showing myself that I can do small things, I can show up for myself for the small things. And I don’t have to have this big pressure of all or nothing. It’ll let me just start to try things like maybe I’ve never identified myself as someone who is healthy or exercises. That’s some all or nothing thinking I have about what it needs to look like. But maybe I can just open up that a little bit. be someone who drinks water regularly, or eats a carrot, or does a push up on the kitchen counter while I’m making dinner. You know, so doing just small things. And for me, what I think is it brings more balance, like we’re all trying to find balance. You know, I’m like balance all this stuff. And for me small simple things. It showed me I can show up for myself. And it brought me more I know like I felt more in control that I can do little bits of everything, or most things, the important things. And that felt like balanced to me. That feels like balance to me.
Real Happy Mom 26:12
Yes, yes. Loving all of that. So yes, I will continue to do one small thing sauna. sauna, moms are listening. They’re like, Oh, I want more sauna and I want to hear more what she’s got. Where can we find you online if we want to connect with you?
Right? Yes, I forgot to even mention this. I have a podcast called Simple on purpose. And you can find it on any podcast player in Spotify. I’m also on Instagram at simple on purpose.ca.
Real Happy Mom 26:39
Awesome, and I will make sure to include all of those links in the show notes. Shona. Thank you. Thank you so much for coming on. This has been awesome. I really appreciate it.
Oh, my pleasure. I had lots of fun.
Real Happy Mom 26:51
Now I hope you see why I love shot so much. That is it for this episode. Definitely head over to Real Happy Mom comm slash podcast to find the links in the show notes. And make sure if you’ve enjoyed this episode, go and check out Shawna at simple on purpose. She has a lot more of this wonderful goodness over there. And definitely if you’ve enjoyed this episode, rate and review this podcast on wherever you listen to especially if you’re listening to it on Apple podcasts. That means so much to me and helps me out more than you know. Now that’s it for this episode. I’ll catch you again next week for another episode. Take care of Mufasa
Transcribed by https://otter.ai