I knew I needed to come up with a better name for this thinking type. It is a habit of mind we tend to take for granted as part of our mental make up and how we do things. But it has a powerful pull on our minds, sort of like a magnet the size of King Cong. I work consciously to identify this issue both in my own life and the lives of my clients. So it was no surprise when an image came to me that I feel best describes it: the image of blood sucking vampires. Granted vampires are talked about, written about, and filmed about a lot these days but nevertheless it was the image I got and nothing else would substitute. So the idea of Vampire Thinking has stuck and people seem to like it so far.
So what is Vampire Thinking? Vampire Thinking is the compulsion we have to suck the juice right out of things. For instance: I have an opportunity to go to hear a talk about the direction the world is headed in, something I LOVE to talk about. The people who are delivering the workshop look interesting and experienced. The venue is good, the price is right and I have the time. So all looks great, right?
The answer is no, things are not great. Because unfortunately the next thing I do is engage in Vampire Thinking. I start sucking the good – the potential – out of the possibility. Let’s see. Oh, of course, I shouldn’t spend the money. And – it’s a long way to go for a workshop. And, it may not be that interesting and I would have done it all for nothing. And, last time I went to something like this, I didn’t learn anything new. On and on I go until the workshop idea has been sucked dry of it’s vitality and promise, left hanging in front of me like a wet dish rag or the clock on DaIi’s painting. I have talked myself right out of it. Now it’s a bad idea and thanks to vampire thinking, I will miss the experience. The irony of this, of course, is that when I’ve not allowed vampire thinking to sway me, I am usually happy that I didn’t stay home and miss something worthwhile.
Now multiply my one experience above by hundreds of opportunities, promotions, relationships, vacations, jobs, growth, recognitions, sacrificed over days, weeks, months and years and I think you’re getting the point. How many times do we pretend to KNOW something or someone won’t work out? We’re so good at fooling ourselves that we actually believe we can predict outcomes. We don’t even need to find out because WE predict the future all the time and we’re always right, aren’t we? That’s what we tell ourselves and we’ve taught ourselves to believe it. We fool ourselves into thinking that’s how we stay out of trouble. The truth is that if we made the effort to check it out, we would find we were often wrong. And in fact this is exactly how Vampire Thinking steals our present and our future by sucking our opportunities dry.
Then there’s the other elephant in the room - the times we use our vampire thinking on others. How about when we discourage a friend or family member from taking a certain risk or trying something new (because we say we don’t want them to “get hurt”)? How many times have we sucked the juice and energy out of their hopes and dreams? This is what we do. This is not right and we know it.
There is something we can do to watch out for this trap door below our feet. We can find our own garlic to hold out in front of us and hang a different kind of cross around our neck. The following steps have been proven to work but alert! You must accompany them with patience, consistent repetition, and don’t give up! The more often you succeed at diverting this life sucking habit I’m calling Vampire Thinking, the more often you will experience the bliss and joy of learning and growing. And nothing succeeds like success!
Step 1
Acknowledge that we do it. You do it. Notice in your life under what circumstances and how often you suck the positive vitality and meaning out of your opportunities and ideas. What is the cost of this behavior? Write it down.
Step 2
Notice what you are sacrificing by continuing to think and act in this way. How is this type of thinking harming you because it’s sucking out the possible actions you could take to increase your success and happiness?
Step 3
Sit back and admit that the evidence is front of you is overwhelming and it’s time to stop! DECIDE - right now – to rid Vampire Thinking from one key area of your life. As you succeed at one key area, you will be able to apply what you learned there to other areas of your life where vampire thinking also thrives.
Step 4
Draw, down load, or cut out pictures and take photos of the kind of life you would be living if you stopped Vampire Thinking in critical life domains like career, relationships and finances. What will be possible once you stop sucking your potential dry? What will you have that you’ve always wanted? How will it feel to have more of what you REALLY want?
Here’s a salute to you and to the end of the Vampire Thinking! Here’s to stopping this soul draining habit.

Author's Bio: 

Carol Gignoux is well established as an expert within the ADHD coaching, consulting and training profession with over 35 years experience working with ADHD and over 16 years as a professional coach. Carol and her team of experts specialize in coaching teens and adults who want to move beyond their issues, and develop the skills and confidence to achieve better results in their academic, professional, and personal lives.