Working Through Mind Terrors


I am not talking about the nightmares that from which we awaken trembling and drenched in sweat.  That is the mostly harmless and rare occurrence that most of us experience from time to time.  Those kinds of terrors appear to be the stuff of the unconscious struggles of our mind and for which we seem to have no control. I am talking about the damaging and limiting experience of our imaginations spinning out of control.  Perhaps you have had this kind of terror. You make an error, maybe in business, maybe in your social life, maybe in your relationships.  You are aware that you have messed up and you logically count the cost of your mistake and realistically understand that it is probably no big deal and you simply determine not to do the same again.  But, here’s where the terror begins.  Suddenly, your mind is taking your error and calculating it’s possible ramifications on your life.  Ignoring all practical sense your imagination begins racing along a path of devastation and drama.  You see this mistake as taking on life changing implications that deal irreparable damage to your reputation, finances, and family.   You are gripped in a limiting and locked down mindset and begin loosing the zest you have for life.  You start second-guessing all of your recent decisions and start to question your motives in an unkind and unfair manner. Basically, you blow everything “way out of proportion” and you start living in a nightmare of foolish yet terrifying repercussions for your mistake.  You know you are being irrational but your mind just keeps racing ahead in its fears and you cannot seem to get back on track with your dreams. How do you stop such an event?

  • Talk the issue over with a wise and uninvolved party who can help you see the mistake more realistically.
  • Force your attention onto a positive alternative
  • Play  a round of golf or some sets of tennis or just go work out at the gym
  • Revisit some previous errors you made and honestly reflect on how they were frightening at the time, but certainly manageable
  • Remind yourself that every one is a  “Jerk “ sometimes, and cut yourself some slack. (I borrowed this one from an old “FastTrack” book.)

Make the decision right now to shorten the duration of your next Mind Terror.  You have too much important work to do to let a runaway imagination sap you of your creative energy and zest for life.  Save the “terrors” for the horror writers and get on with your life.

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