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Winning The Duel Between the Ears in Goal Achievement  22.12.2009

“Go on.....eat the chocolate wagon wheel.”

“But I shouldn’t. I’m on a diet.”

“Heh, it’s just one little chocolate. One won’t hurt. You know you want it.”

“Oh all right, I’ll have just one.”

Does this sound familiar? This is not a conversation between two different people, it is the duel that goes on inside your head. We have many different internal conversations like this one, and each one has the power to move us closer or further away from our goals. I like to think of it as having a Temptress on one side of the brain and a Warrior on the other. The Temptress is the voice of temptation offering instant gratification and rewards. She has the power to ruin relationships, hinder habit change and sabotage success. You might recognise the favourite words of the Temptress: “its not that bad - go on - live a little.”  The Warrior, on the other hand, is the responsible voice of reason. She has the power to work hard, create winning habits, transform relationships and turn goals into reality.

So, what does this have to do with goal achievement?

The Temptress can entice us away from important goal achievement steps, particularly if they become difficult or not enjoyable. In between the Temptress and the Warrior sits the Controller who listens to both sides and must decide a course of action to take.

 Let’s see how this might play out:

Temptress: Don’t make the sales call. Why not update your Facebook photo instead?

Warrior: The Facebook photo can wait, but the sales call is important and something we must do.

At this point, the Controller (you) steps in and makes a decision. If the Controller is more influenced by the persuasiveness of the easy options offered by the Temptress, then you may find it difficult to take the necessary steps to achieve your goals, no matter how strong the Warrior’s work ethic. One of the biggest obstacles that can stand in the way of your goals and dreams is your own mind.

 

So what can you do if the Temptress is powerful?

If you have been listening to the voice of the Temptress too often and ignoring the Warrior’s words, then it will take some effort and commitment to change the mind’s patterns of thought. The key is to recognise when you feel you might give in to the voice of temptation and do something active about it.

For example, John feels like some ice cream. He knows, however, that he shouldn’t have any because he is on a diet. Usually, John would give in and have some ice-cream – his Temptress would justify the decision by using phrases like: there’s nothing wrong with some ice-cream; you deserve it after all your hard work; you only live once. Etc.

John could take some active steps to move past the temptation:

·      Only have fat free sorbet in the fridge

·      He can drink a large glass of water any time he feels hungry (sometimes our bodies confuse thirst for hunger)

·      Change the focus to why he must not have the ice cream. Negative association and the pain that goes with it can be a great deterrent to indulging in any unhealthy behaviour.

It can take some time and effort to shift the balance away from the temptress to the warrior, but the results can be well worth the effort.

Enjoy the journey,

 

Blake Beattie 

Copyright www.blakebeattie.com December 2009