When you think about the troublemaker in your life, you might immediately think about your next-door neighbor Max, who never picks up the dog doo-doo left on your yard. Or you might be thinking about your brother Roy who shows up drunk to every family event. You might go so far as to think about your co-worker Sam for whom you have to constantly pick up the slack. And you might be right, they might all be troublemakers. But the troublemaker to which I’m referring is even closer to you than that.

The troublemaker I’m talking about is so close to you, you may not even perceive him as such. You’ve been living with him your entire life. This said troublemaker is your MIND! It can mess you up and mess you up bad.

Mind is the worst troublemaker you will ever know. It has no boundaries, no filter. It can say what it wants when it wants to and not be the least bit apologetic. It can convince you to jump off a bridge by telling you that there’s no point in going on. It can make you feel small by telling you that you’re not lovable or worthy of love. It can lie to you and make up stories; stories that will make you sad, make you doubt yourself, keep you stuck by the fear he provokes. Then in the next breath, after the damage has been done, he can change the story and make everything all right again. At this point, some of your relationships may have been damaged.

Let’s say, for example, that your friend Joanie is supposed to pick you up at 3:00 p.m. to take you to a movie. At 3:10 you become concerned. By 3:15 you start to get upset and worried that you might miss the movie. By 3:30, Mind has taken an active role in your life. “Can you believe Joanie? She’s always late. No surprise that she’s late again. Now I’ll miss the movie. No way am I sitting in the front row. Well, screw her. I’ll just go by myself!” Mind has done a great job at turning you against Joanie. And it only took half an hour. At 3:50, Joanie calls and tells you she’s sorry, but that she’d stopped to get you that book you had been wanting and there was a huge check out line. Then she got stuck in traffic. She’s on her way and you guys can catch the 4:30 showing.

What do you think Mind is going to say now? I’ll tell you what Mind is going to say… "That Joanie…always surprising me with books. What a sweetheart. I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions. I knew there had to be a good reason why she was late.” Suddenly, because Mind said so, Joanie is your BFF again.

Do you understand what’s going on here? You’re being controlled and manipulated by your own personal Troublemaker. The worst part of it is, that you live with him. There’s no escaping him. Or is there?

I have good news. There is a way to stop Mind in its tracks. It takes work, unending practice. Here’s how to begin. Every time you perceive a disturbance, you’re going to step back from Mind. Almost as if you’d touched a hot flame. A disturbance can be anything you don’t like. Or anything your Mind tells you it doesn’t like. Remember, it’s not the event that’s happening that causes the angst, it’s your perception of it.

You’ll need to start observing your mind. Begin with these little potential disturbances. Some examples are:

1) It’s raining (Mind hates the rain).
2) It’s 102 degrees. (Mind detests the heat. And it lets everyone know about it. Often.)
3) You receive a B in your French class instead of an A (you’re a Type A personality and this really gets your goat. Mind goads you into throwing a tantrum and the French book across the kitchen.)
4) Your favorite pair of pants rip (and it’s not an intentional rip. Your pants actually get caught on a fence.)

These are just a few of the possible disturbances. There are thousands. They could be small or huge. No matter the size, however, Mind will have something to say about it, a judgment of some sort to make you react a certain way—the way It wants. Don’t give in.

Stand back from Mind and just pay attention to what it’s telling you and how you’re reacting. Watch how you’re feeling.

The goal is to understand what Mind is doing and only by doing that will you become free from yourself. Otherwise, Mind will dictate your every emotion, reaction, and diatribe you start on.


Anytime Mind is talking, listen without judgment. Pay attention to what it’s trying to get you to do or feel. Don’t take any action. Keep observing. The more you do it, the better you’ll become. The goal is to eventually just watch your thoughts without necessarily giving them any credence and immediately reacting to what Mind says.

Mind will always have a place in your life. But Mind is not you; it is a separate entity. It wants to control you. Don't allow it to.

Free yourself from the one thing that has been keeping you a prisoner your whole life.

Break free!

Author's Bio: 

Rossana Snee is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She has worked with individuals, couples, and families. Her present focus is providing counseling advice during daily Periscope broadcasts (@askjoshsmom).

Visit her at inspired@rossanasnee.com https://www.facebook.com/askjoshsmom, Twitter (@askjoshsmom), and Instagram (@askjoshsmom). She endeavors to inspire and motivate, and to be a springboard for her reader's self-growth.