“That’s my gift. I let negativity roll off me like water off a duck’s back. If it’s not positive, I didn’t hear it. If you can overcome that, fights are easy.” George Foreman
One of the greatest obstacles to creativity, self expression and success is the negativity that comes from within and all around us. Fears, uncertainties, and doubts, other ways known as FUDs are what I like to think of as Vampires of the Mind.
Vampires are unnatural meaning a person is not born but becomes a vampire. They require the lifeblood to sustain their existence. They are vulnerable to fire and sunlight.
At times we may feel compelled to speak, share, or express ourselves, only to silence ourselves out of fear of judgment or consequence. Past memories of failure and discouragement may haunt our minds. Seeds of doubt can take over and stop us dead in our tracks. These things are Vampires of the Mind. They transform our nature. Strike dread in us. Drain us of our lifeblood.
So then to take control of your mind and realize your greater potentials you must defeat these vampires. So how do we do that? We must conquer their cold darkness with our warmth and light. Instead of letting negative thoughts rule your mind, learn to discipline yourself into reframing your perceptions in a positive manner.
One way to do this is through a practice that I have rebranded as Yin-Yang. The idea is that any time a FUD enters your mind you must become aware and take note by writing it down. This is the Yin. Here is an example.
-I’m just not meant to be successful.
-If I was going to be successful it would have happened by now.
-I don’t want to keep getting my hopes up.
-I will just give up.
The next step is to use observation, logic and reason to shine light and reframe your perception of the situation from dark to light. This is the Yang. For example:
-Hey, take it easy on yourself. Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
-Besides I am certainly successful in some ways. I have at least one honest and sincere relationship in my life. That in and of itself is something I have not always had. In that why I have reached some measure of ‘success.’
-Even if I am not as good as I want to be at something. I know I can get a tiny bit better each day if I try. And who knows if I do that for long enough that maybe one day I will be ‘successful’.
-Consider Einstein, Van Gogh or Walt Disney or any number of people who have achieved greatness. Few of them hit a home run right off the bat. Van Gogh only sold one painting while he as alive! Success in not overnight and hard to time.
The purpose of Yin is to put on paper all of your insecurities, all of the FUDs, surrounding any given circumstance. Once you have done this you can put your mind to work and begin to reframe your sense of the situation. That is the purpose of Yang.
One tip is to imagine that a friend or family member is the one with the FUDs that you are currently facing. In what ways could you encourage them and help them see a brighter side of things? Asking this question will help generate ideas for Yang.
With enough practice and effort you may learn to find threads of comfort and appreciation in just about any situation.
Falling out with a friend?
Some things just aren’t meant to last forever. I am thankful for the time we were able to spend as friends. Even if we are not compatible I can still admire and care for them from afar.
Recent loss in the family?
At least this can be a reminder of the value of life. The value of family. Once its gone you can’t get it back. So from now on I will make it a point to live well,, appreciate family, and be true to who I am.
Feeling insecure about starting from the bottom at a new job?
Its everybody’s first day at some point. Plus I know I can control my attitude, my effort and my focus. As long as I give a strong effort I am sure I will be in the swing of things in no time. Besides, new things are exciting!
If you find your life being taken from you by Vampires of the Mind, I invite you to make this a regular practice. Regular practice creates habits. Habits become effortless. It may be difficult at first as are many things in life. But with effort and persistence I am confident Yin-Yang can be a tool for good in your life and a key weapon against the Vampires of the Mind.