The Importance of Mind Games

In dating, it is frowned upon to “play games.” It’s seen as inauthentic or mean. (Let’s be honest, though. Sometimes flirty games keep things interesting.)

As a single mom aspiring for success, you’ll soon discover that mind games are essential. They’re the equivalent of sneaking carrots in the spaghetti sauce or telling the 3-year-old that he needs to be quiet right now or he’ll use up all his words for the rest of his life. (Just me…?)

The kind of mind games I’m talking about are ones you can play with your own brain. If you’ve ever attempted anything remotely out of your comfort zone, you’ll understand.

Let’s say you want to open a bakery. You say to yourself, “I’m going to open a bakery!”

Right away, your ego is going to chime in with her opinion:

A bakery, huh? What makes you think you can do that? Who will watch the kids while you’re giving everyone diabetes? Where do you think you’ll get the money? Surely you don’t think your cupcakes are better than the ones on Cupcake Wars? You’ll fail and everyone will laugh at you and you’ll be broke and you’ll end up on the streets and the kids will make more money than you because at least they’re cute enough to beg…

Sound familiar at all? Maybe that voice sounds like your mother.

Here’s the thing about your ego. She’s actually not your enemy. She’s just trying to protect you. She sees danger all around, and she’s being kind enough to warn you.

She just doesn’t understand that few things in this world are truly dangerous. Fear may have been a useful instinct in our caveman days, but thankfully our ancestors have already outrun the tigers. We don’t have to worry about that anymore.

So, here’s where the mind games come in. (I have Brooke Castillo to thank for this tip, by the way.)

When you have a great idea, and your ego flares up, don’t fight her. Don’t shame her or beat her up. Remember, she’s trying to help.

Instead, say to your ego: Okay. We won’t open a bakery. But, if we were, how would we do it?

This will put your ego’s logical, risk mitigating nature to good use. She may be a scaredy-cat, but she’s also very proud of her abilities. Before you know it, you’ll have a full list of steps to take if you were to open a bakery.

Once you have your list, it’s time to tap into your intuition. Is your gut saying this is a good idea? As you look at the work it will take, does your heart rate quicken with excitement?

If so, it’s time to get started.

It doesn’t have to be a bakery. It can be any business or promotion or adventure with the kids. What big idea are you longing for right now?

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