Why Mindfulness Might Be Spoiling Your Success
As we return to "normal" we are in danger of undoing all of the hard work of mindfulness that we sought during lockdowns. We are in danger of not integrating those practices in practical, helpful ways with our actions.
For entrepreneurial people, mindfulness has likely taken on a whole new meaning during these past few years. Likely, pre-pandemic, mindfulness was not something we made time for that often, if at all. With the adversity of the world taking its toll on the mental health of just about everyone, mindfulness has offered periods of much-needed respite through times of hardship.
Why on earth, then, could the magic of mindfulness be spoiling your success?
Why are you practicing mindfulness?
Mindfulness looks different for everyone. There are stages of mindfulness that I would encourage you to keep in your everyday routine. There is nothing wrong with connecting to your reality in the present moment. In an age of blurred lines, mindfulness can bring us back to who we truly are when we yearn for it the most.
But it's the "why" that matters here. Maybe you're walking through the woods to calm your stressful thoughts; maybe you're practicing yoga with your kids as a meaningful way to re-connect through hectic times; maybe you're taking that post-work bath. Making time for self-care, relations and mental health is more than okay, but, if the soft blanket of mindfulness is leading you further from your intention, it could silently be sabotaging all you've worked for up until this point.
Don't let daydreams deviate your path
We all like daydreaming about our future success. It's what makes us human, and what gives us the drive to navigate the paths set out before us. Yet fall down the rabbit hole too far, and the barrier of anxiety will almost certainly prevent you from climbing back out again.
We can all do our daily affirmations, our gratitude journal entries, our vision board additions, and so on! But what are these things doing to physically move us into abundance, and into success? They are a mental dress rehearsal of what our lives could be like should we experience our own definition of success. This is easily forgotten and before we know it, we've wasted a good few hours "mindless" – the opposite of what mindfulness is designed to achieve. In this sense, you could even argue that the escapism of mindfulness becomes a distraction in itself!
Visualize your success, then go out and get it
Do you want a successful business? Do you crave to live abundantly? These things are yours for the taking, which is what makes your vision a gift. But not if you don't allow it to come to fruition.
Mindfulness is just the first step. When you're putting the feelers out there and getting your mind right, act on those thoughts, and a new trajectory will start to take shape.
The more we look at these things through only our mind's telescope, the further away they become. As our minds start to drift, in creeps the debilitating feeling of doubt. Questions like 'why am I here?' and 'what if I'm not good enough?' begin to permeate. Our everyday productivity — both at work and at home — is suddenly jeopardized. It takes courage to act on your intentions, yet only by doing so can you truly invite the beacon of success into your reality.
Procrastinating? Stop meditating
Procrastination is something we all go through. Why? Because the work we are doing in a specific moment does not light us up. If it fails to align with our goals, we are less inclined to give it our full whole-hearted attention. Procrastination can then lead to impostor syndrome and the "fraudulent" feeling that our success needs other people.
But how is meditating causing procrastination to happen? Before you quit reading, hear me out! Meditation has proven a transformational tool for many on their journey to success. But it can't stop there. If you dream and visualize your way through life hoping that success will fall into your lap, your chances of happiness are slim.
Without action, there will be no change. From my experience, this is what people tend to do over the grand scheme of their lives. They get so distracted by the deep spiritual practice that takes place that they forget to follow it through with action.
Address your unconscious thoughts to enact change
Everything that shows up in our lives is a result of actions, choices and environment. Take these elements away, and we continue on autopilot — quite likely along a path that was never of our choosing. With many of our actions taking place due to unconscious thoughts, this is where the true work needs to take place.
We can pray as much as we want, but without addressing this disconnect, the act of mindfulness will only carry us so far. If we don't do the mindset work to ensure our behavior and environment align with our desired outcome, we will find ourselves — like so many others — stuck in a rut.
Meditation can have an impact on our mindset. But if we are meditating from a place of disbelief and disempowerment, we cannot hope to go any further into the forest. More often than not, we trick ourselves into believing we have success when our version will look and feel quite different.
Only by addressing our thought patterns and limiting beliefs can the magic of mindfulness effectively contribute to our holistic success. So, the next time you're planning your next mindfulness retreat, why not be mindful of your mindset — and what you're going to do to make those pipedreams a permanent reality.
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