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  • Writer's picturePatsy Burdine

LIFE JUST GOT EASIER: Stop Making Mountains Out Of Mole Hills

Blowing small things out of proportion is an habitual thought process we can all fall into from time to time but the consequences of this behavior can seriously affect everything in your life. You may have been experiencing the frustration and procrastination effects for years.

The expression, making a mountain out of a molehill was first recorded in The Book of Martyrs by John Fox over 400 years ago, alluding to the barely raised tunnels created by moles and imagining them into the expansive size of a mountain. We've had this expression since 1570 but I'd venture to say we've been dealing with this mindset mayhem for thousands of years before that.

Making a mountain out of a mole hill used to be a specialty of mine until I found an effective way to keep all those "mole hills" down to their size. Using our PlayTall Tool, "Release, Retrain, Repeat" I've been able to stop inflating the size of any project or task and become strikingly more productive.

Every week I would find myself taking a simple and even exciting project at work, overthink it and wind up upon Mt Everest with so much confusion, doubt and uncertainty I couldn't even get started. And the project would sit on my to do list until the next week.

Or I would take a simple conversation I needed to have with a co-worker or family member, rehearse it to death, creating imaginary scenario's of what I would say and then what they would say and end up terrified and procrastinating that conversation and even avoiding that person! Talk about a peak to conquer.

Understanding that fears generate negative patterns of thinking, I knew that addressing fears about my capability, my resources, my relationships and being accepted or rejected were central to the habit of augmenting a little hill into a mountain.

So I did two things that led to incredible change.

First, I immediately started rehearsing a list of positive affirming statements that I've used for years to "Retrain" my brain, creating automatic pathways of thinking that are opposite of fears. Apparently I was reverting back to old patterns that were leading me to imagine things were bigger than they were and procrastinating them. To make your own list of affirming statements, pick up the audio of Play Tall Affirmations on our site; listen and keep notes on the ones you like.

Secondly, I knew I'd benefit from confirming and visualizing how easy tasks could be. In sharing this dilemma of making tasks easy with a friend, she said, "oh, like the Easy Button!", referring to the Easy Button made by Staples, the office supply company. It was a brilliant marketing campaign they did years ago to advertise how they could make running your business easier. It was so successful that they actually produced and sold the talking button.

Needless to say, I bought the button and I put it on my desk. Each time I found myself procrastinating or avoiding a project I’d hit the Easy Button to remind me that the task was likely easier than I thought. It would urge me to just get started. And once I got started, the mountain always got smaller and my brain made a new connection of dots that said any project could be easy.

In the end, the Easy Button along with Affirmations did retrain my brain to believe that things are much easier than they look, or I blow them up to be. Now if a project or task seems overwhelming I think to myself, let me just get started, and sure enough, I usually end up saying, “that was easy!”.

For more information on how to retrain and be the boss of your brain, check out my newest book, STOP! Letting Your Triggers Terrorize You or other tools like Mindset Management Cards, easy to carry and memorize!

Enjoy Playing Tall!

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