All or nothing. Always good or bad?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 Permalink

I’ve long admitted to being an ‘all or nothing’ person. Yep. Hello, my name is Deborah and I’m a black / white thinker. And it’s something I consider to be one of my biggest flaws. But, I’ve been recently challenged to consider whether the idea of ‘going big or going home’ could in fact sometimes be a good thing.

Last month I was contacted by Heather Von St James. Heather is a 10 year survivor of a rare cancer called mesothelioma and was given just 15 months to live on diagnosis.

Heather’s since dedicated herself to being an advocate for those affected by mesothelioma, spreading cancer awareness and educating on the continued dangers of asbestos.

Heather said it was her diagnosis that led her to decide it was ALL OR NOTHING from that day on.

In addition to sharing her own blog series recounting her experience, she’s celebrating ‘All or Nothing Day’ on July 26th, and asking others to share their passions and proudest moments – capturing her own mantra.

pexels-photo-94355-medium

The ‘all or nothing’ concept leapt out at me. Like I said, it’s something I usually see as a negative. But I realised that’s not always the case. It can be about fully committing to something. To your job, your family, your hobbies or your life.

It occurred to me that my own thinking about the concept of ‘all or nothing’ is exactly that. I am naturally an obsessive person and tend to think the opposite to that is something passive… a half-hearted approach to things if you like.

But despite my black / white world… I’m reminded there’s grey.

It’s possible, I realise, to commit to something without being obsessive about it.
And it’s something I’ve been thinking about these last few days.

I mentioned in my Sunday Post that my place has sold. It’s not yet unconditional, so may not go ahead but it means I had to suddenly step up my search for a replacement for my apartment on the beach.

I told myself it was okay… that I’d rent for a while. I’d been closely monitoring local real estate since before putting my place on the market. Other than places WAY outside of my budget there’d been nothing that had jumped out at me in recent times.

But, after I’d signed the contract for my place I halfheartedly widened my real estate search to encompass a couple of outlying suburbs that I wouldn’t normally consider.

And I found two places that appealed. One in particular. It was a bit outside of my budget but I loved it. And then the price dropped. Overnight. It felt akin to fate.

I visited the house. And fell in love. So I visited it again. And our passion continued. I’m putting in an offer today.

I worry a little that I’m rushing into things. I worry that I’m again going to have a mortgage when I vowed I’d remain debt-free. I worry a little that’s it’s a bit isolated and I’ll become even more of a hermit on my non-working days.

Of course this worry could be unfounded. My sale might fall through; or someone else may bid a higher amount.

But… as I contemplate the concept of ‘all or nothing’ I’m reminded it’s not always a bad thing.

I’m a big believer in ‘gut instinct’. All along I’ve said I’ll ‘KNOW’ my next house when I see it. It’s been the case in the past and it’s true again now.

I’m in.

And if I miss this place I’ll pine. But… I’ll pull up my big girl panties and wait for the next place I’m prepared to commit to. And I’ll be in. Again. Boots and all.

Do you think ‘all or nothing’ is always a bad thing?
Do you work on gut instinct? (Which I believe is actually called intuitive decision making?!)

38 Comments
  • charliegirlteachergirl
    July 26, 2016

    Oh, Deb, I’m so excited for you! I knew you didn’t like a lot of what you had seen and seemed to kind of wane. I like the foot you’re putting forward for this challenge. I think all or nothing can sometimes be a bad thing, but sometimes be a good thing, too! I am really a logical, decision maker and I debate things so much. Perhaps I need a little more of this attitude. I really hope you get this house!

    • Debbish
      July 26, 2016

      Oh yes… there was a far-too-large house I liked initially (nowhere near as nice as this place) and small place I thought I SHOULD like but nothing else had appeared that had interested me. I’ve put an offer in so now just need to wait and see I guess. I’ve got a budget set in my mind though and won’t go over that. I want to keep my part-time working life so too big a mortgage would force me back into more work!

  • Seana - Hello Sydney Kids
    July 26, 2016

    Love the concept of ‘boots and all,’ being wholehearted when we do things… but I once wrote that ‘life is not black and white and each day we live its shades of grey.” And I still feel that… nothings all good or bad… not many things are crucial.. does that sound wishy washy? But good to follow the gut and instinct and be bold.

    • Debbish
      July 26, 2016

      I remember just after making my seachange Seana I listened to an interview with a US health professional / meditation type guru I really like and she (Jennifer Polle) talked about intuitive decision-making. I could very much relate as I’ve made a number of big decisions in my life that might be seen as unusual… but they’re things I feel are right for me.

  • Vanessa
    July 26, 2016

    I think there’s nothing wrong with the if you know, you KNOW approach.

  • nicolethebuilderswife
    July 26, 2016

    I am a big believer in things happening when they are meant too and feel confident that all will go smoothly with the purchase of your new home xx

  • Denise Mooney
    July 26, 2016

    If it’s the right house, it’s the right house and it will all work out. I’m very happy for you. I love the all or nothing concept. I’m a big believer in committing to things and sticking with them. Your friend sounds amazing xx

    • Debbish
      July 26, 2016

      Heather’s actually a stranger who emailed me – but piqued my interest and I loved her approach to life and living Denise!

  • Robyna | the mummy & the minx
    July 26, 2016

    I’m a gut person as well – particularly when it’s a big decision. The little ones I tend to be more rational about for some strange reason.

    • Debbish
      July 26, 2016

      I’m a little the same Robyna and stress more about the little ones. The big ones feel right; or they don’t.

  • Denyse Whelan
    July 26, 2016

    Lots of news there Deb! I hope this is the house you get as you seem to really want it! I am a black and white thinker by default and it always goes to the negative. Bleurgh. I have lost a bit (ok more like a lot) of my confidence in the past couple of years and need to grow it back to be a better gut listener. Wishing you well. Will keep my eyes out on SM for your updates.

    • Debbish
      July 26, 2016

      Thanks Denyse. Spoiler alert – seller accepted my offer, so now – pending the sale of my place – I’ll have a new home!

  • Rhianna Writes
    July 26, 2016

    All or nothing is only a bad thing I think if you end up with the nothing side. There is never anything wrong with all I think. Hope all works out with the new house and the sale of the old one. Sending you lots of fairy wishes and butterfly kisses

  • JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)
    July 26, 2016

    I don’t think all or nothing is a bad thing, in moderation of course. Good luck with the house. Always trust a gut feeling. xx

  • Ruth Hillman-Booth
    July 27, 2016

    I’m keeping my #fingerscrossed for you, it’s a beautiful house and I can absolutely imagine you in it. I look forward to bringing you a bottle of champers to celebrate!

  • Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
    July 27, 2016

    Fingers crossed! We bought our house on a whim and it was terrifying but I absolutely love it. It was a house my husband had driven past for years and really loved it but had started working in a different building and changed his route. Then by some fluke he drove past the house again and it was for sale and had had a price jump. There were so many terrifying factors but I’m so glad we took the leap! I’m all for being isolated because living near people always causes trouble. If you start feeling too much like a hermit go to a coffee shop or a bookstore but it’s always better to be in control of people interactions. But then I had really bad neighbors in the last house so I’m a bit bitter. Positive vibes heading towards Australia!

    • Debbish
      July 27, 2016

      Oh yes Katherine I only have one close neighbour at this place. It seems like a nice suburb but you never know… I feel like I’ll feel ‘at home’ in this place. It feels like it will be a good fit. And thanks for your good wishes. xx

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    July 27, 2016

    I’m a big believer in the right things happening at the right time, and also in following your heart or your gut, ideally both! I’ve got everything crossed for you. Isn’t Heather awesome? She’s really such an inspiring woman.

    • Debbish
      July 27, 2016

      Very much so Sammie. I’m glad Heather got in contact!

  • Janet Camilleri (@middleagedmama1)
    July 27, 2016

    Really hope you get “your” house!

  • deb dane
    July 27, 2016

    I have struggled with all or nothing as well. Like this reconsidering. And yay on falling in love with a house. Hope you get it but if not you will find another now that you have widened your search xx

    • Debbish
      July 28, 2016

      Yes… I realise that my all of nothing thinking is often bad… but the whole boots and all commitment thing CAN be a good thing at times.

      And I realise I disliked the ‘go hard or go home’ thing cos it’s often used by Michelle Bridges and others in a ‘diet and exercise’ perspective, but in other areas – less focused on winning vs losing – it can be quite apt!

  • Jo
    July 28, 2016

    I’m so excited about your new starts. I think sometimes we can think too hard about things that at their essence feel right.

    • Debbish
      July 28, 2016

      True Jo. I tend to overthink things and overanalyse but feel better when I go with my gut!

  • Jo Morgan
    July 29, 2016

    Sometimes you just know!! You feel it! I was like that with Farmer – but then my family will kindly remind you at the time i wanted to marry each and every ex! (they love to tease me!!) Finding the right house is the same. It impresses you so much you’re prepared to go over budget. I hope you get it Deb, and then we’ll be insisting on photos xx #teamIBOT

    • Debbish
      July 29, 2016

      Ha! I’ve never experienced it with a guy… still waiting (at the ripe ol’ age of 48!) but definitely with a house. And clothes. And shoes.

  • Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings
    July 30, 2016

    Go with your gut, that is what I would do – if I see something that I fall in love with (and providing it is within my means) I grab it, it might not be there later. Fingers crossed all goes well with the apartments and look forward to hopefully seeing new pics of your new digs soon!

    • Debbish
      July 30, 2016

      I hope so Heather! My sale goes unconditional on 8 August so I’m not getting too excited until then.

  • Tegan Churchill
    July 31, 2016

    I don’t think all or nothing thinking is always negative. I think it depends on the impact it could have on yourself or others. Like saying you will always see the best in others isn’t negative. I think it also depends how open you are to being shown the shades of grey.

  • sjhigbee
    August 1, 2016

    I was really interested to hear about your ‘all or nothing’ article. It certainly rang bells with me, having been a ‘black and white’ child with a very determined character who was taught not to approach like in that particular way… Fingers crossed on the house and I very much hope it all goes well for you. And hope that you are still giving yourself plenty of time to rest up… Have a great week:) My Sunday Post – https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/sunday-post-31st-july/

    • Debbish
      August 1, 2016

      Oh thanks so much. I’m very much the black / white thinker. (Not to mention a catastrophiser etc) But I do realise some of those negative traits are also my better qualities… I’m quick to leap to a definite conclusion (or other) but it also means I’m able to work things about pretty quickly and make decisions easily when I need to.

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