In this post you’ll find a few tips on how to win the inner battle of the mind.
The most important battle anyone can face is the one against its own mind. This is one of these truths most of us can easily agree with and yet, still most of us fail to give it the right weight and attention it deserves. The crazy thing about it is that unlike the quarrels between nations, this kind of war occurs everyday and every moment. The level to which our day is successful is directly correlated to the number of the small moment to moment battles we win. When fighting to lose weight or plain old change, these small battles are known and very well labeled by the self-help industry. So much so that these small battles are the target of the inspirational speeches that make you feel like going for a run, when just moments ago you even considered putting it away for the day. So, the question is, how can you win these small weight locally, and big weight in the big picture battles?
How to win the inner battle of the mind?
Winning a battle against yourself is what we call self-control. When we say we have that so looked for quality, we mean that have a grip hold on that old and primitive self that is always seems to want the opposite of what it should. The way to beat it is not complicated and chances are that you yourself stumbled into one or more of the ideas here.
1.Acknowledge it first
One of the biggest impediments in taking control over one’s own mind is the fact that we tend to think we don’t have to. Just like an alcoholic who’s not able to see his/hers problem, nothing can be done until we become aware/admit that there is something to be done/fixed. The thing about the battle we all have with our own minds is that most of the time we’re not even aware of it. We decide to start a diet, we have all the meals planned out and cooked, and when the time comes to eat the healthy meal, we find ourselves in a 30s long struggle between what we know we should do, and what we want to do. Whatever side wins this small and big deal battle decides how we live our lives in the following hours, days, months, or even years. Because as you’ve probably heard, the decisions we make at any moment have the power to influence the way we live our lives, and without knowing, choosing to eat healthy that one time might be the one thing that set that domino of changes that not only allows you to lose weight, but also to find the one, and ultimately have that family you’ve always dreamed about.
Failing to even acknowledge it is the most detrimental thing of all in the battle of the mind, and the reason for this is that as you’re probably aware of, the most dangerous enemy is that which we don’t recognize as such. By the time we are aware of their true nature, it’s already too late. So learn to identify the battles the moment they occur, and not after when it’s too late. One way to do that is when you find yourself between two seemingly polar actions, where you know you should do A, but something pulls you to B.
2. Win more battles
It might sound crazy, but a big part of the battle you and I have with our own minds is won or lost in a cumulative manner. Meaning that the odds that you’ll win this one time are tied to your wins or losses in the past. If you won the previous battle chances are that you’ll win this one too. If you lost the last battle, sadly, chances are that you’ll win this one too. The reason for this is that it’s all a muscle. You winning the last battle means that your mental muscles are strong enough to withstand the temptations of that self-sabotaging inner critic. The good thing about the human brain is that each day can be a blank slate. Everyday is a new chance to start fresh, and abandon our old and detrimental habits. So, the way to winning more inner conflicts is by winning more inner conflicts. Start small, and soon you’ll find yourself winning in even the most challenging feats of endurance.
As we discussed above starting small will strengthen your willpower muscles, making your more likely to win in the increasingly challenging moments life brings to you, but this is not all. With more personal victories also come an increased sense of self-confidence, and self-reliance, and with that bigger and bigger challenges are dominated. Because it’s not all about willpower. Sometimes we lose not because of some mysterious character flaw, but because we don’t believe enough in ourselves. So instead of controlling the doubting voices we’re all familiar with, we join the voices, giving our future successful selves no chance to come to life.
3. Find the ignition
When we think about succeeding in life and the amount of work it will take to get what we want, the first picture that comes to mind is that of the kind of person who has a terrible time along the journey, until one day, they reach the promise land. We think of willpower as the most important thing, which it is, but it shouldn’t be like that. When you find the one thing that lights you up, chances are that there will be no battle of the mind, simply because your self as a whole wants to achieve that particular goal. You know you found the thing when there is no resistance you have to fight against when you go do what you have to do. If anything, there is this self-generating energy that makes you forget to eat or sleep, and which somehow deletes the word “tired” or “break” from your dictionary. You don’t talk about taking a break because you don’t feel tired regardless of how long you’ve been working. Now you can clearly distinguish the different kinds of tiredness. The physical kind, where your body is in pain, and the psychological kind, that often comes way before the physical, and if anything all you feel is the first, but you’re so charged up and motivated that it doesn’t matter.
Finding such activity/activities is harder that you think, and is due to this difficulty that most people fall for the idea that they don’t have such a thing and settle for the boring and unpleasant.
4.The breathing exercise
This last idea is one you don’t listen to very often but that I still find it worth it to let you know. The exercise goes as follows:
- Sit comfortably or lay down
- Set a timer for 1 min
- Stop your breathing until the alarm rings
The reasoning behind this exercise is that the one thing your body wants to and does control with the most energy is whether you stay alive or not. This is so important that we hardly have control over the parts of us responsible for it, think breathing, digestion, heart beating, etc. For breathing we have some control as you know and this is how this exercise comes to play. If you can remain calm in the most difficult battles that there is, which is the urge to breathe when you ran out of oxygen, in other and less mundane tasks chances are that since the body doesn’t care as much, the fight won’t be as fierce. The idea is to gradually expand your limits, this is after making sure you have no underlining conditions that could render the exercise life threatening of course, and watch how your mind behaves when it puts its persuasive powers at full force to get you to do what it wants. If 1 min does nothing to you try to find that spot where the urge to breathe is intense and you can hardly stay still. Push an extra second or two, and breathe.
It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
Leave a comment below