As a coach, my job is to help my clients successfully transition from the life that they currently have to the life they want. This means confronting and conquering the fear of change.
Think about it like this.
Even though your goals and dreams are exciting to think and talk about, your dreams are usually much less exciting to implement.
Dreams are new. New is hard. New is different. New means potential failure.
The Drunk Monkey, which is my little nickname for the mind, is designed to keep you away from new. Part of your programming as an animal is to stay close to the pack, stay close to what is familiar, and stay away from what is new and unknown. Anything that is new represents the potential for danger, as far as the animal part of your brain is concerned. So you naturally are going to have an aversion to your own goals and dreams.
Isn’t that crazy? Your mind, The Drunk Monkey, is not a goal-achievement mechanism, as many personal development gurus have explained in the past.
After coaching more than 8,000 people to achieve happiness and success, I can tell you with certainty that your mind is not a goal-achievement mechanism. Your mind’s job is to simply steer you toward propagating the species so you can have more babies, as well as to steer you away from danger and keep you safe.
Remember, your house is nothing more than a safety mechanism. Your car is created for safety. Clothes, shoes: safety. Your friendship groups and social circles are nothing more than safety. You wanting to be successful is nothing more than adding layers of safety. Financial freedom, just adding layers of safety. None of these things ultimately leads to fulfillment and satisfaction.
So you will find yourself naturally drawn to familiar comfort-style goals, such as a bigger house, a better car, more friends, and more money. And yet, there is only so much you need to maintain your status quo. More money, a bigger house, a fancy car, and travel all represents the unknown, which The Drunk Monkey naturally avoids.
To overcome this fear of achieving your goals, I practice and teach The Game Changer Process. The first step is awareness. When you see that there is this Drunk Monkey in your head that is steering you away from the fulfillment of your dreams, you can take back your power.
- Awareness leads to flexibility. When you see that your mind is not your friend and that it doesn’t do what you want, you can begin to choose a new behavior.
- This new-found flexibility leads you to new options.
- The options that appear were not available before you became flexible. Before you became flexible you only had one option, which was to do what The Drunk Monkey wanted. Options give you power.
- Options give you the power of choice.
Once you see that your fear is just a biological mechanism that was developed to keep you safe from dangerous situations, you realize that your goals aren’t dangerous and your fear vanishes. This is the key to change.
I love your stuff Matthew!
I need to get out of my own way.
Btw there is a typo halfway thru the last paragraph on Conquer your Fear article.
Mitch thanks for the kudos and the heads up on the typo!
excellent point Matt. When people understand their mind is not them and they can tell it what to do. Being aware and then taking the action creates amazing things for your life.
Ronnie thanks for the comment. I have dedicated my life to helping people realize that they are not their mind. I’m committed to people being free.
One who followed you from the beginning will understand the typo.
Thanks for this perfect reminder!
It’s absolutely astonishing how the brain works. Especially in regards to the “helpful” mechanisms that actually harm us. The labels and generalizations our brain automatically slaps onto situations of the past, present, AND future -aka imagined scenarios aka hallucinations- produces an immediate knee-jerk reaction that has us working against ourselves. It’s quite fascinating. Though not always so helpful. 😉
How do we practice to be at third position and catch drunk monkey every time it start its journey from jungle? And how can we have high Will power and energy through out the day to be at our peak for different roles?
Ajai the key to catching The Drunk Monkey is awareness. My suggestion is that you study all my blog posts and videos about The Drunk Monkey to start. If you are in The P3 Academy, then you need to study Transforming Fear into Action which is the deep dive on overcoming The Drunk Monkey’s grip on your life.
I believe that willpower is a myth. I have found that the way you have energy throughout the day is by being extremely practical. Create structure, create accountability, remove options, remove distractions. Once you have created a structure that makes it impossible to do anything other then the work you are committed to, then you begin to examine and release any perspectives and context that cause you to resist what you have committed to. Finally, you will look at your MEDS. M = Meditation. E = Exercise. D = Diet. S = Sleep.
Most of the time we don’t have will power because we don’t actually want to do the thing we say we want. Consider lowering the bar until you actually accomplish the task you say you want to complete every day. Read my post on Lowering The Bar.