In this episode of Both/And With Bessi Graham, Bessi discusses “The Mother Teresa Trap” and outlines tips on how to avoid the four common features she has identified to help solve the either/or fallacy.

Despite substantial investment and good intentions, many of today’s pressing issues continue to worsen. This may be due to the common tendency for people to fall into what Bessi calls, “The Mother Teresa Trap”. This trap arises when individuals, seeking to do good or contribute, shift their focus in a way that leads to an either-or worldview. When such individuals encounter dissatisfaction or confusion, they may assume that their chosen path is incorrect and swing to the opposite extreme. However, embracing a both-and mindset can help to identify unique solutions and avoid the Mother Teresa trap.

Also in this episode:

  • Awareness is the first step if you want to lift your game and be more impactful in your work
  • Why it’s easy to fall into “The Mother Teresa Trap”
  • Being conscious of your bias and motivations
  • The problem with romanticizing suffering
  • The Cult Of The Hero
  • How to create situations where we don’t have the be the answer
  • Being intentional with our intent – an not congratulating ourselves for impact if we misunderstand the entire purpose of our actions

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About Bessi Graham:

With over 20 years of experience working with business owners, governments, and large funding bodies to bring “doing good” and “making money” back together, my experience spans from the grassroots of sitting in the dirt working with business owners across the Pacific Islands through to the United Nations in Geneva. This has given me an unparalleled perspective on what makes change happen. 

You know you were born to do something significant, so don’t leave it to chance.

16. How To Avoid “The Mother Teresa Trap”: Embracing A Both/And Mindset Can Help Solve The Either/Or Fallacy