Are you procrastinating on important goals these days? Whether it’s the uncertainty of external world events, or you’re just feeling at odds with yourself…this will help.
03:45 – Symptoms that you’re stuck
11:25 – The most important skill you need to break free
24:30 – A 4-step process to get re-inspired
35:00 – A superpower you didn’t know you had
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66 Days to Retrain Yourself in Good Habits of Mind
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This is episode 106 – Lost Your Mojo? How to Get Back on Track with Your Life. Some people are feeling stuck these days, or lack motivation to get focused on important goals. Whether it’s the uncertainty of external events, or just being at a crossroads personally. Whatever it is, this will help. Hi, I’m Carla Rieger and this is the MindStory Speaker podcast.
For years I’ve helped people move from confusion to clarity as a coach and educator, especially when it comes to being in a stuck place. How to authentically go from procrastination to motivation and being alive with inspired action. As I talk about this subject, it helps to keep in mind a specific issue – something that’s led to you feeling confused, stuck or lacking that mojo to get up and get moving forward again in your work, business or life.
Often when I coach people it’s helpful to look beneath the surface. Yes, we can blame external situations like the lockdown, the economy, the uncertainty. But often the real culprit is a subconscious MindStory holding you back from really going for it. That said, we all need times in our life to be on a kind of sabbatical, where life slows down so we can rest and rejuvenate ourselves, especially if the last few years have been intense. If so, just give yourself that permission to rest, allow the ground of your being to turn fallow for a while so you can process the old, burn away what’s not needed anymore, all of which creates fertile ground for what’s next in your life.
However, if you feel like you’ve done that long enough, and there’s a part of you wanting to get going, to plant seeds and watch them grow, then you may need to remove some rocks and weeds so you can have a good next harvest of your creative life. And when I say creative life, I don’t just refer to people who do creative things for a living like music or writing or art. I mean anytime you start a new chapter in your life like get into a committed relationship, having a child, retiring, getting a new job, starting a new biz, moving, even just living by a different set of values like eating healthier, or caring about world issues…that’s because your inner self, your true self is ready to grow. And we naturally need to creatively unfold our lives in new ways in cyclical patterns like the seasons. Sometimes it’s the Winter of a particular creative cycle in your life and your need to rest, but once that’s done there will be a strong urge to move into Spring, to create something new. We’re all incredibly creative and we just express that creativity in a multitude of ways, not just through a fine art. And because of that we can all get stuck on that creative journey many times over. In fact, I often think the main point of life is to be faced with obstacles so we can use our creativity to transform them.
So typical symptoms of being stuck creatively is feeling overwhelmed, burned out or hopeless sometimes, maybe bored by your life, irritated with how things are, feeling inner conflict, or that daily life is a struggle, or just a heavy, pressured feeling each day with no let up.
And maybe some days you do get inspired and make progress in a new direction, but on other days doubt wins and you feel stuck again. If so, don’t worry, that’s normal. That happens to most of us.
But if you ARE procrastinating and you want to take more of the actions that you KNOW you should be taking, and you’re frustrated at your slow progress then this info I’m about to share might be that lynch pin, the tipping point, that slight shift in mindset you need for the dam to burst so you can get unstuck.
Our dreams, goals, visions…you know when you hear that quiet voice inside say…maybe I could…whatever it is…and you get excited and concerned all at the same time… I believe that is your future self looking back on you now at this time in life, and whispering to you the right direction to go in, and giving you breadcrumbs along the way if you listen and pay attention.
So… what IS an area of your life that seems stuck or confusing to you? We often have at least one or many at any given time. Let’s generally say you might have self doubt about how to reinvent yourself at this strange time in history, or how to keep your reinvention going despite external situations.
Once you identify what is bothering you. The next thing to do what I call…a mind dump. All your doubts, fears, frustrations, your overwhelm, whatever. It’s for your eyes only, so just lay it all down on paper. Mostly this stuff churns in the background giving you maybe a stomach ache or a headache. Bringing it to the foreground lets you examine it rather than be owned by it. So for example…You write … I doubt I have any kind of significant contribution to make to the world anymore. My success to date has been mediocre, I seem to lack the drive now to get going. I don’t fully believe in myself, nor that there will be enough support, funds, opportunities, resources to do what I really want to do.
The next thing to do is to examine WHAT MEANING ARE YOU GIVING THIS SITUATION? What does it mean about you, about circumstances, about life in general? The meaning you give anything is what generates the feelings good or bad. So if you are feeling negative chances are the meaning might be something like… I don’t have what it takes. LIFE doesn’t support me. I’m too lazy. Something is in the way. I’m sabotaging things. I doubt there’s enough people open to what I would want to do. There’s too much competition. The whole world is too uncertain right now.
Okay, so once you have the issue, all your thoughts and meanings about it, THEN write down or just think of it right now if you’re not in front of a piece of paper… WHAT DO YOU WANT INSTEAD? WHAT’S YOUR IDEAL OUTCOME? Most of us stay mainly focused on what we don’t want, and of course what you focus on grows. A way to find out your ideal outcome is to simply look for the opposite of what you don’t. So in this example what is the opposite? I want to forgive myself for past failures, let the past go, and just get clarity on this next phase of my work. I want to feel confident again, supported, connected to the right people, finding my niche. Feeling the full drive to attract all the resources I need to do it.
Now because what you focus on grows, it’s good at this point to mull on the upside if your ideal outcome comes to pass. WHAT IS THE UPSIDE IF YOU GET YOUR IDEAL OUTCOME? Well….Feeling on purpose again, feeling useful in the world, making a good income, providing for my family, being creative, inspired, making a difference.
You probably know the famous quote…you cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that…created it. So this just starts shifting up your point of view. Many of us get locked in a perspective about certain areas of our life. We think it’s an external thing that needs to change, but it’s often your own point of view. Look at it from a different angle and that alone can give you a breakthrough. Open your mind to something you never saw before, something you never considered before, a new way of thinking.
In a moment, I’ll give you the next steps, but I thought I’d mention that this is just part of one of the coaching modalities we use at MindStory Coaching Academy called the TriUnity Process. For 23 years I’ve been a mindset researcher in over 67 modalities and have been testing and honing these practices ever since on myself and clients around the world. One of the reasons it works so well is that it helps you build a strong and unbelievably important life skill, which is to take any experience in life and separate the facts from the meaning you’re giving to the facts.
A lot of people mix all of that up and they think that their meaning ARE the facts of an experience, when that’s not true. It’s just the interpretation YOU gave it. It’s subjective, unverifiable. Now, many of us know intellectually that humans do this all the time, and of course it’s much easier to spot in others than in yourself. But I find over and over again, most of us need to unpack our experiences and use our frontal lobes to make that distinction between the 2 so that you can have a more empowering versus disempowering experience of life.
What drives meaning or interpretation of our life experiences? Imagination
A new definition of imagination is, it’s the workshop inside your mind, where your physical, read/write, visual, auditory, emotional feelings conjure things up like a magician. It’s one of the most powerful and potent tools you have at your disposal and what you want to do is take control of your imagination, so that others who know these things won’t override your imagination with the images/thoughts/feelings THEY want you to have. That way you have a choice and believe you me, there is a lot of very sophisticated people out there who know how to manipulate your imagination, and sometimes it’s good. They’re giving you a good program, but sometimes they’re bad programs and you want to be able to stop those, and only take on the ones you want and delete any bad ones still in there.
Why we use the term MindStory? Well…We live in stories like a fish lives in water and so you’re living in story all the time. In fact, on average, people spend 60% of their waking lives in narrative mode. Whether you’re talking to your spouse or someone you work with, or you’re talking to yourself, you’re telling a story about what this experience meant or what that experience meant. It’s a huge part of who we are and if you can see that, if you can see the water you live in and make it work for you instead of against you, then you become a master manifester.
So, to become the Storyteller of your life, rather than only the Story Reader is therefore huge. And the way to begin to do that is to understand that a MindStory is 10x more than just an attitude or a memory. A MindStory includes images, sounds, archetypal characters, plot, theme, motivations, scripts, events and so on…like the building blocks of what you’d read in a novel, or see when watching a movie. We tell ourselves stories about what happens to us and what it means all the time, who’s the villain, who’s the hero, what character we are playing, what script to therefore live by…so each experience you have throughout your life, you create a MindStory which becomes encrypted as a holographic package of information in the neural networks of your brain. Some help you move forward, some don’t.
A MindStory includes who you think you are and who you can become and where you came from, and what life means to you. Of course those MindStories change over time as you change. The story you tell yourself about life at 10 years old is different than the one at 20 or 30 or 40 and so on.
Then there are Group Mind Stories. People who create group mind stories in ancient Greece were called Egregores. In Ancient Greece that term actually meant spirit of a group, and was the animating force that bound a group together through narrative. For example, the stories of Greek Gods and Goddesses like Athena, Zeus, Aphrodite, Hermes…totally affected human behaviour in powerful ways at that time.
In modern times, marketers, sales people, media people, social media influencers, entertainment producers, writers and directors are also Egregores… using story to affect popular opinion.
Think about this. The movie Top Gun created a dramatic increase in people signing up for the air force. Back in the mid and late 2000’s Art tours of England and France increasing by over 400% due to which the movies Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.
It’s not something most people are conscious of. How people think and act in movies often becomes the norm for day-to-day behaviour, for good or bad.
Let’s use a theater metaphor with characters and scripts, because I think a lot of people can relate. Probably everybody’s been in some kind of play or some kind of show and went and put on a costume and you had a little script to recite. Well, I got a minor in theater at university. And in my early 20’s, I used to act in pantomimes, plays, did comedy improv and sketch comedy and so on. There was this interesting phenomenon back then. I’d have my regular self when I was home, then I’d go to the theater and I’d put on this costume and I’d rehearse my lines…and then obviously and hopefully morphed into that character. Over the course of the run of that play, if it went on for a while….like over a month….I noticed that whatever character I was playing started to spill over into my regular life. So once I played this character who was stuck in hell the whole play. It was a play about three people stuck in hell. It was by Jean-Paul Sartre called No Exit. I noticed that I had this sort of hellish experience in my regular life. But when the play ended that kind of disappeared. The next play I was in, I played a fairy godmother in a pantomime and my job was to go around and make everybody’s lives happy with my wand. I noticed I also had this amazing spill over into the rest of my life. I started looking for how I can make other people’s lives better. I think we actually do that regularly, whether you’re in a play or not.
So Disempowering MindStories come from taking on the role of
Disempowering Archetypal Characters… like the orphan, beggar, victim. We re familiar with these characters in stories. Many children’s books are about an orphan, Little Orphan Annie, Dorothy in the wizard of Oz, Luke in Star Wars. Or the Beggar shows up in many stories like fairy tales, and of course, there is always a Victim in crime dramas. So I chose to identify with all these archetypes, and many people I’ve coached over the years have, too. They all start with a story. In my case it all started with a story I told myself. I experienced certain things and gave an interpretation that ended up being very disempowering in terms of the results it created in later years.
For example, I was from a broken home, I had no pocket money, and I was bullied by one boy in particular for several years in elementary school. Now, we often don’t realize when we’re young that we have these choices of how we interpret those events. Out of those interpretations we often cast ourselves in these archetypal roles, and get stuck there because each come loaded with core scripts or whole instruction sets about how to act and react in life. Of course someone else could have had the exact same facts situations as me, and cast themselves in different archetypal characters. So there’s literally 1000s of them we could take on [and do take on] over the course of our lives.
So the basic building blocks of a MindStory are our interpretations of our experiences which morph into casting ourselves into archetypal roles, which have certain core scripts. Core scripts are like driving motivations or core beliefs. So here were my facts versus interpretations. I came from a broken home, my parents had split up when I was 10 [fact] Here comes the interpretation. Because of the divorce they both got really busy with work because money was tight — they didn’t have a lot of time for me, so I basically had to raise myself. I looked around I saw other kids who had both parents at home. I was shuffled between neighbor’s homes, babysitters or sometimes they just left me alone.
So that interpretation needed some validity, some concreteness, for the mind to have a pathway on which to travel. That’s when the archetypal characters and scripts come in. I chose to cast myself as the orphan, and really identified with the orphans I often saw in shows or movies I watched. Then, because I had no pocket money, I had to make my own money growing up. My parents were struggling financially but I lived in an affluent neighborhood, so I was the only kid with no pocket money to go, say, to the corner store. And even at only 10 years old, if I wanted clothes, I had to make the money doing a paper route. I often begged my friends to let me come to their house where there was a nice mother around making cookies, and I would take their hand me down clothes, because they felt sorry for me. So, I then I cast myself as the Beggar.
And because this one older boy in particular picked on me a lot, and I didn’t feel like I could defend myself, I felt like a victim. Of course, years later I found out he had a crush on me, and picking on me was his form of flirting. But at the time, I just felt like a victim unable to stop it. Now I mention all these because as you’ll soon see, these are some of the most common ones, that many people had growing up.
So disempowering, limiting MindStories like I just described we also call a….mind virus. Just like there are physical viruses, there are mind level viruses that are destructive to our wellbeing. So each archetypal character naturally has script that fuels them, it’s their modus operandi. A way to discover the archetypal characters and scripts that are holding you back is to pay attention to the discouraging words you say to yourself.
So archetypal scripts are what they call in the world of theatre – the through line or the core motivation of a character. Directors are always asking you as an actor…what’s your character’s motivation, their driving through line? Put that into everything do as you play this role. So, the orphan’s core script is usually some version of…I’m not good enough. And, like a virus, one bad character and script often infects and activates others.
Again these disempowering MindStories or mindviruses all came from my interpretation of the facts of my life at the time. Other people might have interpreted those facts differently. There was a boy down the block whose mother died and his father worked most of the time and they were struggling financially, but he didn’t cast himself as the Orphan and the Beggar.
But I did at the time. I must be the orphan because my parents work all the time and I rarely see them, and that means I’m not good enough, otherwise they would pay more attention. And I cast myself as the Beggar and my through line was “there’s not enough for me” and I’m the victim whose through line is “bad things keep happening to me.” Now it kind of sounds silly and pathetic when you lay it out like that. And, at the time, I would never have admitted to casting myself in those roles, but in retrospect I see by my behaviour that I clearly interpreted my life that way. Even in my early adult years I saw myself magnetizing to myself situations where I could play out the orphan, beggar and victim over and over, reinterpreting everyday experiences in terms of those roles. Until I learned how to become the Story Creator and change those.
Because your Core Script, or through line or “Actor’s Intention” Colors Your Worldview. It’s part of an entire operating system with commands just like an operating system on your computer, beliefs, thoughts, emotions, actions, plot, all organized into one unit we call a MindStory.
Your MindStories then create a lens that you look through affecting your understandings of present day circumstance, expectations for the future, and therefore your actions and results. In other words, if I have limiting and disempowering MindStories I’m just going to create more of that until I change it a the MindStory code level of the mind.
And these archetypal characters can become your Inner committee members – who are like the members of the board of your inner organization making decisions on your behalf at the subconscious level. Of course who really wants board members consisting of an Orphan, a Beggar and a Victim. Are you going to get good advice on important life decisions? Probably not.
So how do you get those bad actors out of your subconscious? You have to override the whole Mind Virus with a Mind Anti-Body. That’s where you erect an empowering story full with good characters, scripts, plots and themes. You might have heard of the Hero’s Journey, which was a whole system of story-telling that Joseph Campbell created from basically researching stories in all cultures all through history, and noticing that at the core, we all tell ourselves one particular story. It has the same plot basically, where you get a call to action in some aspect of life, you cross the threshold, you have mentors and teachers that help you. You have challenges and temptations, and dark moments and a final huge conflict. If you get through all that, you return home a better, wiser, more resilient person.
We’re going on hero’s journeys like this all the time in our life and the problem is sometimes we get stuck because we stop being the hero and end up aligning our life force energy with a sideline character who is supposed to creating obstacles for the hero to grow, not to become the obstacle.
When we embody the obstacles, we get stuck in our dark moments, or we get stuck in the conflicts, or we get stuck in temptations and never make our way out of these stories to be the hero at the end of the story, bringing back the wisdom to the ordinary world…to life, to yourself and others.
So, I started doing that in my own personal life, too. I decided instead of playing the orphan, the beggar and the victim…that I would explore the opposite. In my mind that was the connector, the provider and the guardian…
And so these empowering archetypes and scripts acted like the anti-bodies fighting the old Mind Viruses. Each of those come with opposing core scripts that are empowering: So the CONNECTOR was the opposite of the ORPHAN, who’s script was now – I AM good enough, good enough to have support, success, resources, to be included, to be cared for. As soon as I changed the script…that’s what started showing up.
The PROVIDER was the opposite of the BEGGAR– who’s script was – There’s enough for me and everyone. And indeed my life started being much more abundant in many ways. And the GUARDIAN was the opposite of the VICTIM who’s script was – I can protect myself and others, and after that was able to protect myself from nefarious people and situations much more powerfully.
Now, a lot of people think, well I have to wait until an external event happens to activate different self images or world views. I need a lucky break like getting an amazing mentor, or a great job, or a windfall of money…but that’s not how it works. It’s always what you decide to interpret about the external circumstance. You could negatively interpret good external circumstances. Many people do. You actually make a new decision, you change the script and the character, and then your external world starts to change. You’ve done that over and over again in your life.
How do I know? Think of an external event in your life where your self esteem went up afterwards. For example, I got asked to speak at a huge international event in San Diego when I was 30 and I got a standing ovation. After that I thought of myself as a good speaker. But I chose to see myself that way. I had received a standing ovation another time, but I wrote it off as people in the audience just being nice, because I was still committed to a negative script. So it’s always your choice, the meaning you give to those outside events, which then made you decide that you were worthy instead of unworthy or not good enough or good enough. So, because you’ve done it many times before, you can do it again and I’m just helping you do it consciously.
Then what happens is, you have what are called Empowering mind stories. So, in your past when life took a turn for the better, chances are you kept focusing on those great stories and talking about those to yourself and others, and imagining more of those great circumstances in your future…which attracts more good things. That’s what happened to me after I changed the scripts and the character…
So, let’s think about that issue you’re dealing with…what disempowering archetype and script — playing out in your subconsiocus mind – is driving this meaning you’re giving it?
Think about what you tell yourself about it. Maybe it’s the archetype of the IDIOT – I can’t figure it out, or the LOSER – I’m unworthy of success. Now just find the opposite.
So the opposite of the IDIOT, might be The CREATOR who’s script is – I can totally figure it out, and the opposite of the LOSER might be THE WINNER – I AM worthy of success. And I use those terms because we pick them up in school where people are divided into winners and losers by teachers, other students, the media, and people brand themselves a life long loser often because of one failed incident. It becomes a decision, an emblazoned neuropathway that becomes a regular train track of thinking for years to come, and people forget they even made that decision until doing an exercise like this. But of course you can cast yourself in another role anytime you want. It’s one decision that you just need to keep reinforcing.
I want to briefly say why a lot of processes to change core beliefs and life results don’t stick, like affirmations, vision boards, listening to motivational talks. You get all fired up, things maybe change for a bit then snap back to the old.
That’s because your mind gets very comfortable knowing what role to play and what script to live by. And when you try to change it, your subconscious gets very uncomfortable. So it takes some focus and a deep, strong, superpower we all have called…a decision. A decision made with emotional weight, is 1000x stronger than a comfortable disempowering MindStory.
So to go back to the example at the beginning where, say, you have self doubt about how to reinvent yourself at this strange time in history, or how to keep your reinvention going despite external situations. And you looked at the meaning you gave your situation and identified that you’d cast yourself as the IDIOT and the LOSER, and now you’re playing around with perspective and trying on the opposing characters of the CREATOR and WINNER. Here’s what you do. You’ve got on those new costumes, you’re thinking like those characters think.
You say to yourself.. If I embodied the CREATOR and WINNER Archetypes whereby I believe I can totally figure it out and I am totally worthy of success, what would I do that I’m not doing now to…and this is where you add in your ideal outcome…to forgive myself for past failures, let the past go, and just connect to and know my life purpose, feel confident again, supported, connected to the right people, finding my niche and feeling the full drive to follow it through and attracting all the resources I need to do it. … I would ….now just write anything that comes up. If you’re blank at first, that’s okay. You’re compelling your mind to jump tracks. Just stay focused.
So…just a stream of consciousness. This is what one client wrote….I would see my purpose like a golden thread weaving through my entire life, it’s not about my ego, it’s about being of service to a higher good, and all that I did before whether a success or a failure was to learn, that everything to this point in my life has been to be ready for what’s coming. I will fumble along making mistakes some more and that’s okay. No one is perfect, and success is just about continuing to learn. There is no absolute way it’s supposed to be done. If I believe the support will be there, it makes a huge difference.
You’d be amazed at the wisdom that comes forth. Now you’re starting to get comfortable with the new role, the script, the new neuropathways. The more you focus there, the more your mind wants to default there…to the point where you won’t even remember what it feels like to be the idiot or the loser, or the orphan or the beggar or the victim. They are not your roles to play. You are the hero of your life and you can slay any dragon.
Okay, that’s it for today. Do check out the MindStory Blueprint course for a series of short audios to help you build better habits of mind…especially how to become the Hero in the Journey of your Life. See the link in the shownotes or go to MindStoryAcademy.com, and scroll down to the orange square.
In the meantime, please hit subscribe, please like this episode and do share if you liked this episode so others can find it. Have a wonderful week. Bye for now.