You’re asked to do an important job and immediately think, “I can’t do this.” Or, you’re sitting in a meeting convinced that the person across the table from you thinks you have no idea what you’re talking about.
If either of these situations sound familiar, your mind may have a mind of its own.
These are examples of our monkey mind taking control, hooting and screeching through the oldest branches and limbs of our brain, activating a fear of failure, low self confidence, stress, and anxiety.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that, by making several small changes, it is entirely possible to tame that wild mind of yours.
- Notice and name: While under the spell of the monkey mind, many people become the emotions they experience. You don’t just feel anxious, for example, you act anxiously. But it doesn’t have to be this way. By noticing and naming your emotions (i.e. “I feel anxious,”) you can then separate what you think from what you do. Noticing and naming your feelings will help you drive a healthy, insightful wedge between your monkey mind’s incessant chatter and the confident person you deserve to show up as everyday.
- Press pause. Our monkey minds are constantly chattering about our performance, especially in our jobs. “I should have done better,” we tell ourselves, or, “of course this didn’t work out, things never work out for me.” We fall into mental traps like all-or-nothing thinking and singling out minute negative details that eclipse our successes. Once you recognize these thought patterns, however, you have the power to press pause on them just the way you would with a bad movie. Doing so creates a space for acknowledging your self-critique, becoming more aware of the ways you beat yourself up and ultimately transforming your internal critic into a cheerleader.
- Be your own BFF. If you were to write down everything that your monkey mind tells you for a day, you’d probably find it shocking just how much trash talk it gets away with. Most of us would never speak to a friend the way we speak to ourselves. With that in mind, another great way to tame your monkey mind is to meet it with the compassion, kindness and understanding that you offer your friends. The sooner you start treating yourself like your own own BFF, the sooner your monkey mind will become background noise.
- Close the Gap. Most of us have an idealized version of ourselves. Usually it’s someone smarter, prettier, more social and more successful. While idealized self imagery can be motivating, the gap between who you are and who you ideally want to be can sometimes set the monkey mind in motion. When this happens, your self acceptance and self worth can quickly morph into self criticism and rejection. Setting achievable goals will help you close the gap between who you dream of being and who you can become.
|ACCEPTANCE: Acceptance measures the quality of the relationship you have with yourself. Can you metaphorically take yourself out to a dinner and a movie, or do you constantly beat yourself up and spend your time thinking about the person you feel you should be?|
|Learn more about acceptance and your personal resilience at https://arq.rallybright.com|