The fact that you have mental demons isn’t a bad thing.
It’s letting them run the show that is the real problem.
Your mental demons often get a bad rap as they are blamed for causing all the negative emotions you feel about yourself and your worth. You know them best for their ability to drag your self-esteem down to epically low levels. But those demons whispering sweet nothings in your ear, constantly taunting you about not being “good enough,” are not pure evil. In fact, if you learn how to channel them, they can actually be very useful.
If you study all the exceptional athletes and artists out there, it would be hard to find one that didn’t grapple with some incredible demons at one point or another. In fact, some never escape their clutches and don’t ever get to enjoy the success they earned and suffered so greatly for.
Because let’s think about it - it's hard to become exceptional unless you have some crazy demons chasing you. They provide the motivation…the impetus to reach for more…the pressure to change...so you can escape whatever thoughts they are torturing you with.
But the trouble occurs when you let the demons run the show. You forget that they are really just little voices from your subconscious (ironically trying to help you – in a f*cked up sort of way). Instead, you see them as external critics wagging their fingers at you saying tsk tsk tsk. They loom over every move you make, and rather than encouraging you to reach for more, they freeze you in the fear of making a mistake. Instead of experimenting, exploring, growing, they cause you to shrink down and hide. Better to play it safe than be a failure, right?
Take back your power, and use those demons for what they are. When you start feeling smothered and held back by their grasp, use these keys to channel and harness their power:
1) Recognize that your demons are trying to protect you…and then say: Thanks, I’m good. I can handle the risk.
By holding you down in your comfort zone with their diminishing slurs, they are keeping you away from the scary unknown and the possibility of getting hurt. But you are strong. What are you actually afraid of? A failure isn’t actually "failure." My favorite saying that I carry around is:
You can’t f*ck this life up. No matter what happens, you are either going to learn from it…or you are going to learn from it.
Win or lose…it’s all just a part of life.
2) Use them for motivation. Embrace the struggle and accept the challenge they are putting before you.
When you hear those negative voices criticizing you, remember who is in control, laugh in their faces, and give ‘em your best I’ll-show-you look. Appreciate that those voices can lead to growth if you don’t shy away from the challenges. Use them as stepping stones to your next level.
These are simple mindset shifts that transform those demons from your enemy to your motivation…but this makes a huge difference with how you deal with reality and ultimately design your life. Channel those demons; reign them in; harness their power…and then use them as fuel to drive straight to your goals.
Photo credit: Rachel Neville Photography