Julie Nelligan PhD | The Mental Game Has Begun!
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The Mental Game Has Begun!

As I work on my new venture, I consistently run into my Fear. It always surprises me because I try hard to believe she isn’t there. I know I can do this, but do I believe it? I know I’m a good person with something valuable to say, but do I believe it? What if it isn’t true?

“This is silly!” and “Why is this so hard?” run through my mind. “Can I do this?” is another one.

When you run the same track repeatedly, the ground becomes scored with an easy-to-travel path. It works that way in the brain, too.

If you have the same thoughts repeatedly, those thoughts become much easier to have until they are the first thoughts you have.

You see I had been having those negative, self-critical thoughts for over a year. Even before I started my new venture. For over a year, those kinds of thoughts had been dogging me, and I had been putting one foot in front of another, doing my routine, hoping it would all just get better.

Just over a year ago, my husband died from ALS. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? While everyone was pouring ice over their heads, my husband and I were living the nightmare of ALS. Then in November last year, he passed away.

What a mix of emotions! I was so glad he wasn’t dealing with that nasty illness any longer, and I was so empty after the fight. I missed him. I wondered whether I was going to be able to keep up with the house, take care of the property, and be a good pet parent. Changing lightbulbs became an issue–who knew there were so many options?!? These were things he took care of.

After several months, I started to realize that I was taking care of things just fine at home, but I had this “Now what?” feeling for work. Going through that experience had scrambled me; afterward, I had a desire to be more and do more for more people. Life is too short to spend time playing small.

Have you ever had the experience of needing something and the Universe hands it to you? Just like that? Almost as if by magic? Cue, Erin.

Erin showed up in my life at precisely the right moment. I have an idea of what I want to do next, and since she has traveled that road, she knows the way. She has been kind enough to mentor me.

Erin has (at least mostly) solved my problem of not knowing what to do. “Can I do this?” I can’t blame Not Knowing any longer. Now I realize my hesitation is Fear. I can’t ignore her any longer.

As Bob Harper says, “The mental game has begun!”

Okay, I’ve got this. I know how to play the mental game. Here is my 3-part strategy:

1. Take care of myself physically. Sleep, eat well, & exercise.

  • I use Fitbit to track my sleep and have set a goal of 7.5 hours of sleep per night.
  • I am cooking again and focusing on vegetables.
  • I signed up for DailyBurn, and I regularly walk my dogs who love long hikes.

2. Acknowledge my Self-Doubt & Fear and challenge them.

One of my favorite quotes by Marianne Williamson:

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Take that Self-Doubt and Fear!

3.  Support my brain by starting The Listening Program. I had heard of TLP a few years ago at a neurofeedback conference but dismissed it. Then I watched Erin go through the program and realized the potential. Here is a method for helping my brain function better: more focus & clarity, less getting stuck on negative thinking loops. This training could give me the edge I’m looking for.

I give people advice about #1 & #2 every day. But, since I’m just exploring TLP for the first time, I’m not ready to recommend it to my clients. Instead, I’m planning to chronicle my experience with TLP on my blog. You’ll be able to see, in real time, how or whether it is helping me.

Stay tuned…

Julie
julie.nelligan@gmail.com
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