Mind Games

Jul 28, 2021

One of my past coaches, David, used to tell me this – your mind is a great guide but a terrible master. It doesn’t get any better than that. We’re wired for survival aren’t we?

Think about it for a second – when’s the last time your mind – your thoughts – held you back? Maybe even subconsciously.

For me, I feel it daily. If you’re really tuned in to it, you’ll start to notice it. Negative thoughts – “you can’t do this…you’re not ready….you’re not as good as X…you’re a fraud. What if I screw up? What if I lose?” You ever think like that? Here’s a hint – we all do. It’s very normal.

The question you must ask of yourself – when those thoughts come, what do you do about it?

I believe it’s a big deal to be able to push back on our thoughts. To not run away from them but to acknowledge them, maybe dance with them a bit, and then to take a proactive approach to finding a better thought – a better state of mind.

You can dispute your thoughts….yes, YOU can. Do you hear me? Good ; )

Think of it like this – You have two voices – The Detractor and The Encourager. The Detractor is the inner critic. The gremlin in your head. The Encourager is the inner disputer.

Encourage is to build courage – it’s the inspiration. Typically, we think of it as building courage in others (which, of course, is one of the most important things we can do).

The Encourager is the punch the detractor in the face part of you. We think of encouragement coming from the outside but what if it came from the inside? What if you had a proactive piece of you that was an internal encourager?

This takes practice. This takes intention.

It’s cause and effect. You have a detracting thought, you acknowledge it and then you replace it with a Encouraging thought.

The awareness of the detractor is the first step – recognizing that voice when it comes. I believe it can help you find your encourager. But, you must be mindful, you must be present.

You don’t run away from the detractor. You embrace it. But, you say “not this time” and you make a proactive, disciplined, mindful move toward a more productive thought.

I want you to try this. After you read this, for the next few hours, just be mindful and see if you can capture any of these detracting thoughts. And just dispute them a bit – encourage yourself a bit. Baby steps to start.

I used to struggle with this a lot. I’d let this detracting voice take over. It crushed me in many situations that I’ve already written about – almost costing me my job at one point, even my marriage.

Thankfully, and I believe through the grace of God, we can tune into this encouraging part of us. The spirit-filled part of us that can bring peace and energy.

I’ve had the opportunity recently to work with an up and coming sales leader in a coaching relationship. She just got promoted and has a lot of new responsibilities. She’s awesome and belongs in the role and will get better as she goes. She’s her own worst enemy though – she wants things to be perfect. She wants instant success and rapport with her team and it just is going to take some time. For her, that detractor voice is saying “why aren’t you getting this yet, you’re falling behind, you better work longer and harder.” So, she wakes up early, she works weekends, she takes her laptop on vacation and is always working. And, always questioning herself. But, what if she was able to engage her encourager voice more often. Dispute the thought about falling behind and insert a more encouraging thought – “I’m not falling behind, this is part of the process. They picked me for a reason and I will trust the process.” That’s the thought she needs to embrace. Much easier said than done.

So, what about you? What detracting voice are you letting run your mind and maybe even your life?

And, what encouraging voice can start to leverage?

This takes work but I promise you can make big progress here with some little changes. It’s about intentionality. It always is.


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