Sunday, July 17, 2011

Elephant Sized Belief

After days full of dancing and cleaning... unpacking and chasing around an increasingly mobile (and cute) little monster, taking extra time for working out is not always on the forefront of my mind. It's easy to dismiss exercise when I feel like I've been on my feet all day anyways. But bodies need constant maintenance just like cars, and lawns.

So do our minds.

I've instituted daily checklists for myself in the past to make sure that I remember to get my priorities taken care of each day before time gets away from me and I've wasted my day on tasks that have nothing to do with accomplishing my goals or living the type of life that I want to live. They were extremely helpful, when I did them consistently, but we all know how easy it is to fall off the wagon so to speak. What I didn't realize was that falling off the wagon had more side effects than forgetting to do things now and again. When I made my lists and committed to completing them each day, in essence my conscious mind made a promise. I said that I was going to do something... then I didn't. Not consistently, so over time my subconscious mind learned not to believe my conscious mind when it said it was going to do something.

This can be very detrimental to someone like me who has some pretty mountain-sized dreams and has spent a decent amount of time working on instilling visuals in my subconscious of those dreams as a reality.

I should take a step back here.

A little over a year ago I read a book that changed my life, The Ant and the Elephant by Vince Poscente. I've read quite a few leadership/self-improvement books but this one really stuck out since it fed my deep fascination with psychology, while feeling like a light read. The book makes the really powerful illustration of the difference in size, power and functionality between the conscious and subconscious parts of the human mind as being an ant and an elephant. It was groundbreaking for me despite having read a bit on the subject. And so since reading the book (which I highly suggest reading if you have not yet) I have gone back and forth between actively attempting to apply the principles it teaches, and avoiding it because the changes it caused in me, though positive were painful... I couldn't figure out the piece I was missing. I wound up frustrated. It took someone saying the same thing I am sure I read in different words for me to get it. I was undermining the mental work I had been doing by not being consistent with the little, seemingly insignificant things in my day to day life. So in simplest terms my subconscious just didn't buy it.

Now I've decided that instead of trying to bite off more than I can chew, as per my usual, I am going to start small, using daily checklists again but this time with a different purpose... the purpose of building a foundation of consistency so that when I say I am going to do something, I believe myself. I trust based on the examples I've seen lived out before my very eyes that over time that self-trust will translate into a subconscious that works for me when presented with a challenge. Unconscious competence.

One more check on today's list and I will have 5 whole days under my belt!

Wish me luck! ...Er, self-discipline.

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds really interesting! This checklist theory sounds like it would work. Thanks for the lovely comment on my wedding photos! :)


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