Your mind is a beautiful thing. It ignites ideas, sparks inspiration, and illuminates direction. One's mind can also be a bit tragic. It has the power to elevate anxiety, destroy self-confidence, and flame the fire of your worst fears. It shrinks goals, minimizes efforts, and brings to fruition that which one most fears.
It can quickly and easily create a catastrophic event in one's thinking. It's almost effortless. Triggered by the smallest calamity, the mind dashes down a rabbit hole to unearth visions of epic ruin.
Rather than rush to a place in the mind where clarity and calm co-exist, the mind resorts to sabotaging behaviors. And, given the primal function of the brain, who could truly blame us for wanting to flee danger?
Subtle sabotage...and its cunning ways
The mind employs slick tactics to convince you that engaging in certain behaviors is necessary — even when those behaviors undermine your goals.
Can you identify with any of these cagey practices?
- Procrastination. Although putting things off until later sounds like a good strategy in the moment, it's merely a tactic used to trip you up.
- Obliging self-indulgent behavior. Commonly used phrases like "I deserve it" and "I've worked hard" sound completely justifiable — although they're not. It's one more way your mind tricks you into avoiding that which you truly want.
- Escapism. Whether to a sandy beach, a trashy novel, or under the covers, dodging your business strategy — and beliefs about its success — doesn't change anything.
- Avoidance. Putting off pulling the trigger on your business strategy until later today — or maybe next week — doesn't change the outcome.
- Relentless research. When you know a bunch about many topics, yet have little to show in the form of goals achieved, you know you've been sabotaged!
- Perpetual planning. This really looks good — but only on paper. It's another subtle way our minds keep us "busy" rather than achieving.
- Crisis fabrication. Chaos creates a smoke screen preventing us from seeing the reality of what is really occurring beneath the surface of our mind.
- Perfectionism. A need for something to be exact, as in the case of a website or new program, is merely a delay tactic.
- Saying "Yes" too often. If your days are filled with commitments and obligations to others, you don't have to face down the fears of achieving your own goals.
- Continuous complaining. Camouflaging self-sabotaging beliefs in criticism, blame, fault-finding, or dissatisfaction does little to change your business outcomes.
Sublte. Astute. Clever. Creative. Sleek. Inventive. Rationale. Sensible. Skillful. All describe the dark side of one's mind.
Imagination: Your Business Strategy For Success
You may have come across some readings claiming that thoughts create reality. Thoughts, by themselves, do not change our reality. They do, however, change the choices we make that influence our ability to succeed with our business strategy.
Beliefs, however, play a significant role on our thoughts. Regardless of our subtle — and not so subtle — choices of self-defeating behaviors, the origin is in one's belief.
I've always found that the best defense against self-defeating beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors is a good offense. And, it begins with intentionality.
When emotional upheaval — and subsequent self-sabotaging behaviors — begin to take hold, stop whatever you're doing. Put your day on pause and take several deep breaths to calm the amygdala that little piece of gray matter that runs our emotional universe.
Next, begin to construct a different mental framework of potential outcomes. Don't just visualize — imagine! Imagine what it looks like to achieve your goal. Imagine what it feels like to conquer your fears. Imagine your confidence growing as you stay the course. Imagine the sound decisions you'll make in the face of adversity.
Imagine knowing that you have the wherewithal within you to overcome the self-defeating behaviors standing between you and the success of your business strategy.
Pretty awesome, isn't it!