Tricks Your Mind Plays and How to Fight Back

Posted August 14, 2012 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder

Every day, our minds play tricks on us. Are there dots in that grid above? Did you remember to turn the curling iron off this morning? What did your colleague really mean when they said you were “tough”? We analyze and scrutinize and our brains can sometimes be our worst enemies. Is it possible, though, that your brain is actually playing tricks on you that are sabotaging your goal setting or happiness? Melissa Ng from Lifehacker contends that our minds are sometimes are worst saboteurs. In “Seven Tricks Your Mind Plays on You (and How to Fight Back),” she writes about mind tricks like:

  • From now on….
  • I just need to….
  • Ill find time later….

All of these are ways we trick ourselves into behaviors that are unhealthy and unproductive. A few more noticeable trends we’ve noticed here at Career Girl Network:

  • Once this (insert stressful time) is over…
    When we’re stressed, it’s easy to put off working out, meditating, eating right, spending time with friends, etc. and tell ourselves we’ll put it back in our schedule once the stressful time is over. But it’s even more difficult to insert at a later date than it is to make time for these things during stressful times.
  • If (insert strong, capable female here) can do that, I can do this…
    We look at the 100 hour work week women of the world and we think we have to emulate their work and their approach. It’s easy to tell ourselves we have to look, feel, act like them in order to be successful. But more successful women harness their own abilities and not the abilities of others.

The moral of the story? Your mind is a powerful thing. But it can sabotage what you need to do to set your goals correctly and reach them in a timely manner. Listen both to your heart and your mind and do what’s right for you personally.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."