Do You Give Yourself Ultimatums?

Do You Give Yourself Ultimatums?

By nature, people do not like ultimatums. They are threatening, limiting, and just plain nasty.

So, imagine how terrible it is when you give yourself one, or worse, many.

For some people — especially perfectionists black and white thinkers — giving ultimatums is a way of life. Even though it may seem like ultimatums are a motivational tool they are very self-destructive.

I know because I used to give myself ultimatums continually. It was part of my “all or nothing” thinking. Either I was going to get “x,” or I’d never get .”

In fact, here are some examples of ultimatums I used to give myself on a regular basis.

“Either this guy is “the one,” or I’m through with dating.”
“Either I get this promotion, or I’m quitting.”
“Either I stick to this diet, or I’ll be fat forever.”

Those are all pretty threatening, limiting, and nasty — right?

So, why would I do this to myself?

When I would propose these scenarios to myself, I was primarily retaliating against myself. By only ever give myself two choices — complete success or total failure — I would attack myself. I wouldn’t just limit the action itself as a success or failure; I would confine myself as a success or failure if I didn’t receive the desired outcome.

The problem with this way of thinking was that when I was only giving myself one of two possible outcomes, I was always placed 50% against myself.



With those odds, I wound up always struggling between the demands I had put on myself and the result of those requirements. That is where my inner conflicts began, and one of the ways to fight internal conflicts is to start allowing yourself to have more than two options when you desire something from yourself (or others).

Instead of declaring “Either this guy is “the one,” or I’m through with dating,” I began saying things like, “Perhaps, I’m not what he is looking for, but that’s okay.  I’m now one step closer to finding someone who thinks I’m amazing.”

Positioning the relationship prospect as being only a success or a complete failure,  provided me with only negative outcomes.

Changing the way I placed things, created greater odds for positive results.

Also, I’m now happily married, so I’m quite happy I gave myself more options!

I know it can be tough to stop giving yourself ultimatums and creating unnecessary conflicts within yourself.

Remember, there is no reason to be more demanding of yourself than anyone would be of you. And there is no need for anybody to be that demanding of you in the first place!

Be kind to yourself.  Always.





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