Getting Your Mind Out of the Way

Getting your mind out of the way is no easy feat. People have spent countless lifetimes trying to figure out how to get their minds to calm down and quiet so that stress and worry can be overcome. Our minds are amazing and we do really need them because they are smart. But they should never ever be allowed to drive the train of your life. Because as smart as your mind is, one of the jobs it has is to keep you safe. Safe from what? Every little thing you can think of. Snakes, car accidents, losing all your money, being homeless, speaking to an audience…

Your mind sees a lot of things as a threat to its wellbeing, its very existence even. And it’s not a bad thing to be safe. And alive. But here’s why your mind sounds an alarm when you want to try something new. Because it doesn’t know the outcome. And in order to feel safe it needs to know that the outcome will keep it so. That’s it. Your mind wants to know that it’s going to be okay.

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Let’s put it this way. I don’t have children but this example will help me explain. Say your child wants to play on the playground, swing on the swing, and go down the slide. You’re happy and excited for them but you want them to be safe, to not get hurt. Normal right? Of course. But your child needs to explore to learn and grow.

You are your mind’s child. For if you get hurt, so does your mind. So your mind will give you every excuse in the book as to why you shouldn’t go on that adventure, take a new job, or try a new sport. Since it doesn’t know if you will be okay, it doesn’t know if it will be okay.

And that keeps many of us stuck. Not doing things we feel might be interesting, or fun, or different. Because the outcome is not certain enough for our minds to be comfortable. We might fail. And holy cow, you know what your mind tells you when you’ve failed at something. It’s not pretty.

But here’s the thing. Since you are not your mind, and you as that separate entity know when you are thinking certain thoughts, you get to override it any time you’d like. I suggest you override it regularly. How do you know if you should override what your mind is telling you? If whatever thing you feel like doing gives you the physical feeling of expansion, excitement, and fun, override your mind and go do it. I’m not saying you have to go all in on whatever you’re wanting to try. Of course you could, but you could also just dip your toe in the water.

Not sure if you want to buy all that backpacking gear and have it for life, borrow some and go with some friends for a few nights to see if you really like it. Or take one painting class to see if it’s as fun as you think it seems it will be. Spend a week in a town you’re thinking about moving to before you sell your house and cross the country with all your belongings.

And why this is so awesome is that it’s a win-win for both your mind and your heart and soul. Your mind can feel safe that you aren’t jumping from an airplane without a parachute from 3000 feet up and your heart gets to indulge in its curiosity of something new and different. This is how you learn and grow.

That is how you can get your mind out of the way. It's not so much that you kick it out of the train while you’re driving along, it’s more that you bring it along for the ride, remind it that it gets to be with you, you’re going to keep it as safe as you can, and that no matter what, both of you will be okay.

And isn’t that what we all want, to feel safe, secure, and know that we’re going to be okay? You can do that for your mind. Even if you try something and it doesn’t go as planned or how you hoped, you don’t have to try it again if you don’t want to. No big catastrophe.

Sometimes things do go wrong. At least according to your mind. And that’s part of life my friends. But think about all the things that your mind thought went wrong in the past and notice that when that happened you dealt with it. Because that’s what we do. We deal with what happens on a daily basis.

So go enjoy something new and take your mind with you. Just don’t let it drive your train. I can assure you, you will never leave the train station if you do.

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If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you, susan@susancarrollcoaching.com

~ Susan

your true life (know it, feel it, live it)