Our own mind monkey is something we cannot escape. And if we let it reign, it can be the single factor that destroys our hope, limits the possibility and squashes the opportunity for starting, developing and growing our own business.
I was inspired to write this post after a dynamic conversation with a coaching colleague. We talked about how our thoughts can sometimes be our own worst enemy. We agreed that sometimes, simply having a colleague or friend to talk out loud to about our business challenges can trigger significant shifts in our mindset. Getting out of our heads for just one hour a week could make a world of difference.
Mind monkey or monkey mind is a Buddhist term describing the mind as being: unsettled, restless, capricious, confused, indecisive, or uncontrollable. You know what I’m referring to…the mind that produces bad thoughts and negative self-talk, the “shoulds” and the “I can’ts”. We all have those self-recriminating, resistant and pessimistic thoughts at some point or another – and some of us more than others. Having said that, we also have the positive talk/thought stream that simultaneously runs through our mind or heart, if you will. It’s the still, small voice inside that speaks to us continuously and if we let it, that inner wisdom that constantly speaks to us is our greatest guide. A good friend of mine says, “sometimes I like that voice inside of me, but sometimes I just want to smack it!” Fair enough.
Tips for Taming the Mind Monkey
Awareness. Be aware of the limiting beliefs and negative thoughts that are holding you hostage in your business, dis-abling you from living your best life and doing your best work. Awareness is the first step to change.
Recognize your limiting beliefs…here are some examples to help with the awareness phase, do any of these sound familiar?
The fear of failure – what if this doesn’t work?!
The belief that you “can’t” – low self-confidence or just an excuse?
The belief that people won’t pay for what you have to offer – I’m not good enough!
The belief that you have to over-deliver in order to provide any value whatsoever – all or nothing thinking!
The belief that if you give away all ‘your secrets’, then nobody will pay for your services – scarcity mentality.
The belief that people already know what you know, so why bother – I’m not worthy!
The belief that anything is possible as long as I can figure out in advance how to do it, before taking the leap – fear of losing control or not being in control.
The belief that you ‘should’ be doing more, less, this, that – buying into false expectations.
Detachment. Remember you are not your thoughts. Don’t attach or over identify with what you think. Whatever story you tell yourself, is the one that you believe. So what story will you choose to tell yourself in your mind’s eye?
Non-Judgment. You’ve heard of the saying, “the clothes don’t make the man.” As we know not to judge a person by their appearance, so we know not to judge our selves and our thoughts. In fact, there is no right or wrong, good or bad – it just IS what it is. What’s important is how you choose to react or respond.
Self-Love. Love heals. Learn to love your whole being, both your light and dark natures, your gifts of imperfection and your mind, body and spirit – just as you are in this moment. Love breeds compassion and acceptance.
By identifying the limiting beliefs and stories you are telling yourself each and every day, you can start to distinguish the fact from fiction. Perhaps you might realize that there is just one singular limiting belief that is holding you back from creating the business you love and living a life of meaning.
Can you imagine the hope, passion and infinite possibilities that might rush into your heart and soul if you just opened up a sliver of space in your mind and cleared away some of those barriers that are preventing you from moving forward?
The Biggest Barrier to Growing your Business is YOU! Tame the Mind Monkey.
Come on by my Facebook page and introduce yourself! I’d love to learn more about how you tame your monkey mind.
I already left a comment on facebook but wanted to expand a bit more here.
I personally don’t agree with the Buddhist term “monkey mind.” It diminishes human beings and makes us hate this part of ourselves.
Our minds wouldn’t be so negative if we grew up in a different environment and culture. In the culture where children weren’t punished for self-expression and weren’t criticized for who they are, the minds of people wouldn’t be negative.
That’s my take on this term. I feel pretty strong about it. =)
Thanks so much for sharing your insight Ekaterina! I agree that the words we choose to use are very important, as words lead to feelings and they conjure up particular emotions within ourselves.