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The Enough Experiment: Accepting your 'Mind Monsters'

This month’s expert, Hazel Gale, former-athlete-turned-therapist and author of The Mind Monster Solution, shares her system for overcoming self-sabotage and shifting our relationship with shame

by Psychologies

Mind monsters

6 minute read

The Enough Experiment is a new, digital twelve-month column at Psychologies with coach Mandy Lehto.

Each month, we’ll focus on a particular theme, and conduct an experiment to see if we can feel better about ourselves in that aspect of our lives. Small changes add up over twelve months.

I’ll coach you around becoming an “aspiring good-enoughist” – Brené Brown’s wonderful phrase – and I’ll experiment right alongside you.

We’ll be supported by experts on short, informative videos (about 5 min), and we’ll dig deeper with questions and prompts from the monthly downloadable, printable worksheet (no more than 15 min).

You’re encouraged to share your questions, discoveries and experiences on The Life Leap club on Facebook, where I’ll be offering support.

The real power of this experiment isn’t what happens in the videos or the worksheets. It’s in how you implement your findings in day to day life.

Self

We all have stories about how we’re not smart or exciting or brave enough. And because these stories feel unpleasant, it’s easier to suppress, numb or distract them away. You can’t fight self-sabotage with self-sabotage, Hazel tells us. Instead, it’s about accepting that part of our personality that creates those uncomfortable feelings.

This month you’ll get to know your inner critic – because you can’t accept what you don’t know.

Last month we explored our not-enough stories. Maybe you tell yourself the story that you’re a bad parent, or that you’re not clever enough at work.

Now extend your hand, palm up.

Imagine the part of your personality that believes those stories is sitting on your hand.

Hazel affectionately calls these parts of the personality “Mind Monsters” – fictional, but still terrifying.

Imagine your “monster.” What does it look like?

Mine looks like a squiggly mess with piercing red eyeballs. Draw yours in your journal (this isn’t art class – just have a go). See examples here.

Hazel says fighting your Mind Monster makes it bigger. Relating to your “monster” from a place of acceptance can transform it into a neutral, even helpful part of your personality. She’s going to show us how.

Let’s begin!

This Month’s Experiment

Step 1:

and answer the questions in your journal. Bullet points are fine. This’ll take about 15 minutes.

Step 2: Patterning in new positive habits requires repetition, but it doesn’t have to take much time. It’s about consistency.

To get your new habit to stick, Hazel has created a daily question for you to reflect on as you brush your teeth before bed this month – or add it to your journaling, if you prefer.

Which part of today fit best with my new, more positive story?

You could put the question on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror or set a daily alert on your phone to remind you to check in with yourself.

The key is to start noticing small shifts in the way you think, feel, behave and speak.

Don’t forget to share your experiences on The Life Leap Club on Facebook, and find me on Instagram.

Next time: Wellbeing with Suzy Reading...

Watch the video:

The Enough Experiment, part 2, with Psychologies magazine and Mandy Lehto. Overcoming self-sabotage

Image: Getty

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