My brain gets in the way of my work every day multiple times a day.
I’m not saying that I do mindless work or that I’m not intelligent.
What I am talking about is what Buddist call “Monkey Brain.”
Best-selling author, speaker and human relations expert BJ Gallagher writes:
“Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, carrying on endlessly. We all have monkey minds, Buddha said, with dozens of monkeys all clamoring for attention. Fear is an extraordinarily loud monkey, sounding the alarm incessantly, pointing out all the things we should be wary of and everything that could go wrong.”
Every day in some way, I battle negative thoughts that try to derail my productivity. Not constantly, but in a very subtle way, they try to creep in and derail me.
I can wake up one day full of energy, focused and ready to take on the world, and an hour later I’ll have little whispered about failure and insecurity about what I am writing or about the new product I’m getting ready to release.
It’s the monkeys in my brain trying to pull me away from achieving my goals.
Now, I don’t believe I have little monkeys in my brain. The Buddha was referring to the negative, self-defeating thoughts and emotions that continually try to disrupt and derail us.
Mixed into the negative thinking are also the thought of all the reasons I can succeed, achieve great things, and push forward.
I have learned that just because I have these negative thoughts, it doesn’t mean that I have to own them or listen to them.
Our brain will alway thy to sabotage our best work. The key is learning to be aware of this and ignore them.
Three of the greatest books that have helped me to learn how to ignore the “Monkey brain” were The War of Art, Do the work and Turning Pro by Steve Pressfield.
I recommend them to everyone.
The more important a call to action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel about answering it. But to yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. – Steve Pressfield
Negative, self-defeating thoughts are a part of life, but they are lies trying to disrupt your creativity and productivity.
So how to we overcome the Monkey Brain lies seeking to disrupt your creativity and productivity?
1. Realize that everyone has them. You are not alone.
2. Acknowledge that they are in fact lies and the enemy.
3. Don’t allow them room to stay in your brain.
4. Remind yourself of who you are and what you are called to do.
5. Keep being creative and productive.
Question: How to you combat “Monkey Brain” when it attacks your creativity and productivity? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!