I do this. I often lead with my flawed thinking and emotions. When faced with a decision or challenge, I find that by habit, I tend to send in flawed thinking and flawed feeling first. Thoughts and feelings that never return a good report of the challenge ahead. And always a fatalistic forecast. The thoughts tell it, and the feelings jump immediately into line and begin to feel it… doubt, dread, failure. What a way to approach life eh?
Gladly, over the years, I have been slowly and gradually changing this approach. For years, I didn’t even know I had a choice in the matter. I didn’t know I was by subtle choice actually dispatching flawed aspects of my thinking and feeling to jump in and take the first swing at the problem. Every time, they would get their ass handed to them then come running back to tell us how tough the task was going to be. Yet seldom were they right.
Not to long ago, I put a specific question to myself. When faced with a challenge or decision, I asked myself, “Why don’t you lead with your actions, and not with your flawed thinking and flawed emotions”?
By this I simply meant that when approaching a task or decision, I would shut my brain off so it didn’t dispatch any weaklings, and just start doing. Doing what? Doing the most simple part of the task at hand. Then when done, do the next simple task. And the next, and next, and next. All the time, keeping my chin protected by not engaging my flawed thinking and feeling. I shut it off and shut it out. I did not invite it to help with the fight. And at the same time, my actions were beginning to get the upper hand in the fight.
Within a very short period of doing the simple beginning tasks, lo and behold, the healthy part of my thinking showed up. The unhealthy part had always in the past, shoved healthy aside at the outset. But this time, actions started, and healthy then jumped in. There is no room for both healthy and unhealthy at the same time.
So as healthy thinking and actions work together, healthy feelings then show up. The three together then really get to work on the task at hand. I find I am really able to work my opponent into the corner.
Does this mean I am 100% successful at every challenge I take on? No. But it does mean that nothing defeats me the way it used to. I seldom feel those dark feelings of dread and anxiety over a challenge. Nothing is as bad as the unhealthy part of my thinking forecasts it will be.
The day may come when I begin to actually lead with my healthy thinking and healthy feeling. But for today, leading with my actions helps get the first few blows in, and doesn’t leave me exposed to start each fight with taking one on the chin.