“When I try to do the work, to approach a task or push through my procrastination, a battle ensues in my mind. I wind up feeling so intimidated that I take a seat and let the battle go on. I get so distracted that I’m paralyzed and I don’t get done whatever I wanted to do. It’s limiting – it limits my ability to set goals and to dream of new things in my life. It tears me down and I feel like I have no control – that my life is out of my control. I have done so much self-help and personal development work in my life that I am aware of all this going on and I feel like I have learned so many different ways to change but I don’t change, which only serves to increase my frustration. There are many starts and stops in my life because I succumb to the battle of the mind. I just don’t know what to do about it and although I’m hopeful I’ll find a way, I have doubts.”

This was some very heartfelt comments from a Coaching Client who is learning the methods of neuroscience and value science in our work together. He is observing how his mind works – how it struggles and how he becomes submissive in this partnership.

What he will learn through our work together is that he does have control; he just needs to learn skills to use his power and choose to take charge. As Og Mandino instructs us:

“Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.”

We have all experienced this battle in our minds. We can all relate to my client. The question isn’t whether we have the battle, but rather, who wins the battle in YOUR mind? Do you allow your thoughts to control your life or are you able to take charge?

In my work with clients, observation is critical for change to occur. Clients learn to detach and step back from their thoughts so they can study and reflect upon what’s going on for them. This is not easy. It takes time and practice.

Only from this place, however, is it possible to learn how to choose new thoughts and, hence, choose different actions and manage your emotional response and reactions.

Your Self-Worth
How does the battle in your mind impact you? 95% of the population cannot separate their ideas from their self-worth. What this means is that your thoughts have become ‘who you are’. You cannot see the separation of your thinking and YOU.

Scientists estimate that we have anywhere from 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts each day most of which are repetitive, obsessive thoughts. This means that most of our thoughts aren’t new; we think the same things over and over again. This process causes us to create neurological connections in our brain – habits of thought – which permit us to function well as human beings, hence our ability to do more than one thing at a time like take a shower and listen to the radio. This is what makes us efficient.

But if those patterns of thought are not helpful and constructive, when left unchecked, they can create cycles of behavior that are unhealthy, producing unwanted results. So these neurological connections – these habits of thought – produce habits of behavior that keep us doing the same things over and over again producing the same results. We just chalk it up to “that’s just who I am,” and that’s why we struggle to change.

But it’s not WHO YOU ARE; it’s just HOW YOU THINK. It’s how the neurological connections in your brain are wired and YES, you can rewire your brain. You can learn new habits. It’s what my clients do. You are not your thoughts; you are not your mind. Your mind is a tool for you to use. You partner with it to create your life experience – your reality. And you are responsible for making it your ally rather than your enemy. To see for yourself which thought processes run your life, try the assessment on my website.

Your self-worth should be a function of how you value yourself as a human being. I say “should be” because so often we equate how we feel about ourselves with something else such as our ideas, or our work, material possessions, what we have achieved, our degrees or some other outside thing or role such as being a parent or a spouse.

Self-worth is about the value you have for YOU simply because YOU exist in the world. You have value because YOU ARE. And seeking value or worth anywhere else but within you, within your thoughts, is a waste of time and energy. Yet this is a struggle for most of us.

When you engage in the battle in your mind and you succumb to defeat, this impacts your self-worth as well. You beat yourself up for your same results (again) – the procrastination, the bad feelings, and the impact perhaps it had on other people, missed deadlines, whatever. Your thoughts beat you down and this impacts your ability to see value in YOU because of your actions. It’s quite a vicious cycle.

You battle in your mind which feels bad and you feel defeated. Your self-esteem is diminished. This then creates fertile ground for additional battles.

Coaching Tip
Where does one start? Start with the battle. Observe your thoughts. Take a step back and become more of an observer rather than believing that you and your thoughts are the same. You are so much more than your thoughts! From this place you can start to take baby steps and choose new thoughts. New thoughts will come from reading motivational materials and learning success principles. Challenge your thinking. Question it. Is this thought adding value to you? Does it bring you the actions or produce the results that you want? If not, choose a new thought. Don’t be so attached to thinking or believing the things you have just because you’ve had the same thought or belief for as long as you can remember. They are just thoughts. And you can change them. You can choose to take control and master your thoughts – one habit, one thought, one belief at a time.

Author's Bio: 

Julie Fuimano, MBA, BSN, RN, CSAC is dedicated to helping you break through the barriers to your happiness and success. She is a masterful coach, a motivational speaker and world-renowned writer and author. For additional resources and to sign up for her inspiring e-newsletter, visit www.NurturingYourSuccess.com or email Julie@NurturingYourSuccess.com.