Inner Demons – Taming the Mind

Once upon a time, there was a person. This person started out friendly, outgoing, optimistic. Over time this person became cynical, negative, and judgmental. People then kept this person at arms length, oftentimes minimizing contact. A lot of the time, this person believed that no one understood what they were going thru, that they were delusional of how the world really is, and didn’t want help from others that had no idea. Anytime this person would offer an opinion they felt minimized or ignored. Does any of this sound familiar? This is the monster inside taking over our mind. We all have one in the darkest reaches of our psyche and our being. That monster lurking beneath the surface. Do you know what it feeds on? Negativity. Every time we have a socially undesirable encounter, act of violence, or incident response, the monster gets to eat. Pretty soon it gets so big, and mean and strong that we can’t hang on to the leash. It gets away on us, and will lash out and bite people it shouldn’t in the first place. So what do we do? We take away the tainted food. The food that’s been tainted by anger, and negativity, and toxic people. This is easier said than done, and requires some effort. Step one: let it go. This seems pretty self-explanatory, and we do it all the time, right? There’s a difference between thinking we let go, and actually letting go. Whenever someone insults us, they may have just as well punched us in the face. It gives almost the same after action effect. An insult is an attack on our ego, which is our identity, which our reputation. This is how we see people as remembering us. You may brush it off, or temporarily discard it to focus on other things. In the quiet moments is when these things resurface. If it comes from a performance critique, first you have a bad leader and second, the next time you go to do this task you will feel more hesitant due to the negative associated feeling with the task. We need to absolutely let it go. How do we do this?  With a little bit of a mental re-wiring. Think about the person insulting us. Why are they doing it? Anyone who has respect for you will not do it. Anyone who is in your social circle should not do it. At the end of the day, does a troll like this matter? What will it cost you to get into the circular conflict with this person? Insult in exchange for insult while accomplishing nothing but wasting your time, and potentially setting yourself up for worse. The intent may be jealousy or envy, and this is the deadliest of the monsters to feed as history has shown again and again. Don’t do it. Give them the chance to pick up a different scent. If they aren’t directly in your circle they don’t matter. Now let’s go back to that critical performance. Most of the time the intent is not to undermine us, or make us feel inferior. It’s usually the result of either our peer or bosses expectations not being met, they are disappointed, upset, and are simply letting us know. The best way to look at this is to filter out the personal attack and find the performance deficiency. Step two: It’s paramount to have an understanding of social dynamics. This is why some things don’t turn out the way we would like. This is why some things may seem unfair. This is why sometimes we don’t know why we are being targeted for malicious behaviors. This is also why sometimes we may mis-interpret a non issue and blow it up into a huge one. The more the monster gets fed, the more it wants to break out, take over, and do things its way. The monster only knows destruction. If it’s allowed to run free it will wreck everything in its path. Relationships, co-workers, promotions…and ultimately your health and wellbeing. This knowledge isn’t something gained and understood overnight. This is a lifelong journey in itself. A question. Is it worth the small effort every day to improve this understanding? Like the story up top, this can become a slippery slope into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Do nothing and the monster takes over. Learn how the monster functions, and it can be tamed, then directed accordingly as needed by giving it only enough food to do your bidding. This article is companion to 2 others.  They can be found here:
Inner Demons – Taming the Body
Inner Demons – Unity

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