Constantly. My mind, yours too, will do everything in its power to hold you back from every goal, every dream, and every daily accomplishment you want to achieve. Your mind is content right where it sits. Given its own way, your mind would have you eat, sleep, and lounge on the couch.
Steven Pressfield wrote a great analysis on this, which he calls resistance, in his book The War of Art. He masterfully depicts our daily struggle to overcome our own selves to move one step closer towards our goals. To make today a better day than yesterday we must do what our mind wishes not.
Overcoming your resistance takes blocking out your mind’s trickery and deception to keep you right where you are. It will hit you with some pretty hard stuff, too. Your mind will make you feel helpless, tired, anxious, and anything else to get you to succumb to complacency.
This battle must be fought each and every day. Given just one hour of leeway, your mind will take 12. You’ll have to fight twice as hard to make up lost ground and get back on track. Fortunately, there are ways to combat your self-sabotaging mind.
Your mind is a creature of habit. It will recognize patterns day in and day out. The longer a daily habit continues, the deeper it’s rut is ingrained into your mind as what needs to happen. Put in place the right habits and you can now trick your mind to work with you rather than against.
I have found that setting yourself up for success requires more of an effort to block out the distractions and resistances than it does to actually perform. The hardest part about getting anything done is sitting down to get started. Second hardest is staying focused. Once you factor out the distractions you’ll start to realize that doing the thing isn’t actually that hard, it’s getting started.
It becomes easier to put yourself in environments to thrive once you identify the triggers that your mind craves most. Develop rituals to divert yourself from encountering the mental cross roads of deciding between progress and complacency. Given that chance and you’re back to fighting your hardest against enemy #1.