Your mindset is a lot like a field on a farm. For the most part, you are growing what you want to grow there, but occasionally you’ll get some rogue corn growing there, as well.
I was recently introduced to the idea of “rogue corn,” which is corn growing where it isn’t supposed to. As you drive along the roads here in Minnesota, you’ll see lots and lots of cornfields. And, you’ll also see fields of other crops, sometimes with tufts of corn growing randomly inside them. That’s rogue corn.
It occurred to me that rogue corn is a lot like Mind Goblins. Let me explain.
How Your Mindset Is Like a Crop Field
A farmer sets aside a plot of land to grow, let’s say soybeans. He tills the soil, plants the seeds, and eventually, soybeans grow in that field.
Your mindset is a lot like that. You decide you want something, such as the goal to be an authorneer. You find out what it takes to be an authorneer, you take classes to learn the skills you need, and eventually, a book begins to grow.
Your mindset is created through both conscious and unconscious means. The careful tilling of your mind’s field and the planting of ideas you want to pursue — that’s conscious. But sometimes Mind Goblins appear like rogue corn — that’s unconscious.
How Rogue Corn and Mind Goblins Develop
Rogue corn is undesired corn. There are three basic reasons it happens:
- Random genetics — In any bag of seeds, some will just not be like the others, producing undesired corn.
- Leftovers — When a farmer rotates crops, sometimes seeds from the previous crop survive and grow the next season.
- The Wind — Seeds can fly over from another field and germinate.
Your mindset can develop Mind Goblins in much the same way.
Random Mind Goblins
Sometimes Mind Goblins just happen. Sometimes they occur because you chose to perceive a situation in a certain way, even though there were alternatives. And you just chose the one that doesn’t serve you very well. Sometimes a Mind Goblin is a mutant of a perfectly good belief, it just got twisted or turned somehow.
For example, your mother buys your little brother a new pair of shoes. You wanted a new pair of shoes, too, but she didn’t buy you new ones. There are several possible reasons for this:
- She likes your little brother better than you.
- She only had enough money in her budget for one pair of shoes and his shoes had holes in the soles, while yours did not.
- Your little brother pestered her for new shoes and she just wanted him off her back.
If you chose the first option, you’ve just developed the Mind Goblin of “I’m not loveable.” However, if you chose one of the other options, you’d realize her buying the shoes said nothing at all about you whatsoever.
Leftover Mind Goblins
Some Mind Goblins started as beliefs that served you well in a specific situation. They were the thought heroes that helped you survive or thrive in a less-than-ideal environment. However, they don’t work so well in your current circumstances.
For example, perhaps you lived in a home with an alcoholic parent. When that parent was drunk, it was a good survival sense to be as unobtrusive as possible. The thought hero was, “I need to be invisible to be safe.” That worked great to help you avoid being attacked. But now that you are an authorneer, being invisible is not such a good idea! Now the thought hero is a Mind Goblin.
Someone Else’s Mind Goblins
These are the most insidious Mind Goblins. They belong to someone else — family, friends, acquaintances — and for whatever reason, you took them on as your own.
For example, did you hear your parents say things like, “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “You’ve got to work hard to get ahead in this life.” Well, money may not actually grow on trees but the Mind Goblin behind that statement is that money is hard to come by. And, in many cases, that’s not true. If you are a victim of that Mind Goblin, you might miss out on opportunities to make money with ease. And, yes, sometimes you need to work hard to get through a specific phase of a project, however, you can get ahead in life by working smart rather than hard most of the time. Victims of this Mind Goblin often spend a lot of their time doing busy work they would rather not do.
How to Rid Your Mindset of Rogue Corn Mind Goblins
There are lots of techniques for vanquishing Mind Goblins, so if one doesn’t work for you, try another and then another until you find one that does. Here is the basic process of ridding your mindset of rogue corn Mind Goblins:
Step 1: Become Aware
You need to be aware that a thought or belief is a Mind Goblin before you can vanquish it. One way to ferret out Mind Goblins is to keep a thought journal. You can do this throughout the day by jotting down your negative thoughts as they happen, or at the end of the day write down the top three things you thought most about. Here are some other resources you might find useful in uncovering your Mind Goblins:
- Blog Post: How To Spring Clean Your Life & Mind by Jim Hjort
- Book: Overthinking: Control Your Thoughts, Declutter your Mind, Stop Worrying, Reduce Anxiety, Turn Off Negative Thinking and Use Positive Energy To Control Your Thoughts and Make Better Decisions by Samuel MacConnell
- Article: How to Become More Aware of Your Thoughts: A Fun Experiment by Manal Ghosain
Step 2: Change or Dilute Them
Now that you’ve found your Mind Goblins, you need to vanquish them. There are lots of ways to do that. Here are some ideas.
- Make nice with your Mind Goblin. If you read my Power Thought about the Blood Ogre, you’d realize that sometimes Mind Goblins are really thought heroes in disguise. If this is the case, maybe you need to stop fighting the Mind Goblin and simply thank it for helping you out when you needed it. Then let it know that you no longer need its help and it can retire knowing it has done its job well. Yeah, this sounds hokey, but I’ve done it with some of my Mind Goblins to great effect.
- Affirmations. Take your Mind Goblin, rephrase it positively, and focus on the new positive thought. I talk about some ways to do this in this video.
- Gratitude. Research suggests that cultivating an attitude of gratitude can make you a happier person. It is also a good way to dilute the power of Mind Goblins. In this Power Thought post, I give a simple explanation of how to do a gratitude journal effectively.
For more ideas, check out this post, as well: Master Your Mindset. (https://www.carmaspence.com/master-mindset/)
Be a Good Farmer of Your Mindset
Rogue corn happens. Good farmers know that one of the tasks they need to do to have a healthy crop is to occasionally go out and get rid of the rogue corn.
Well, Mind Goblins happen, too. Be a good farmer of your thoughts and set aside time regularly to
Gratitude Makes You Happier
Grateful people are happier people. A daily gratitude practice can help you foster thankfulness in your life and improve your mood. Download this Daily Gratitude Worksheet, print it out and complete it each day.
The prompts on this 2-page worksheet will help you identify the things that are going right in your life. And, the more consistent you are with the practice, the more you will notice that you have things for which to be grateful.
Download your copy today!