Just look at yourself. No, no, forget the mirror. I’m talking about looking internally. Your eyes won’t tell you that you’re naked, but you feel it, all the time. Am I right?
You know those moments, when you’re faced with an awkward situation, a difficult decision, a dilemma, but you don’t know what to do. Your nerves are acting up, your self-confidence is down, your faith is wobbling. You live with stress, confusion, indecision, depression, undefined anger, gnawing anxiety.
You know you want to be happy and successful, yet you keep letting yourself down, making the wrong choices, same dumb mistakes, over and over. You’re confused, guessing, grasping at straws. You think you’re doing everything right, yet it all seems to keep going wrong. No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get to where you want to go.
Well, this is all happening for the same reason. You’re naked–mentally naked–which means you’re making decisions and choices without properly outfitting your mind with what you need to know and understand about yourself and your situation to make good judgments.
Outfitting your mind is no different than outfitting your body. Since Adam and Eve first invented fig leaf fashion, clothes have had a dual purpose: To protect your body from the elements and to express–or conceal–who and what you are. Yet, as easy as it is to recognize when your body is exposed, chances are you’re blind to how vulnerable and exposed your mind is as you confront Life’s challenges. Where you leave yourself exposed is in how you dress your interior self, or more to the point, how you don’t. Not properly outfitting your mind leads to a serious disconnect between who you are and the choices you make, leaving you unhappy, frustrated, confused, depressed, stuck in a rut, and unable to achieve the happiness and success you deserve.
Just as everything you wear reveals certain things about you, every life decision you make is a reflection of who you are and what is or is not in your mental closet. If there are gaps in your sense of identity, your beliefs are fuzzy or your ethics undefined, the world is overflowing with friends, family, co-workers, ads, news shows, talks shows, politicians, television, books, movies, and blogs, all ready to fill in those gaps, clarify those beliefs, and define those ethics for you. Those outside influences fill your mental wardrobe without you even realizing it. You end up dressing your mind in their style, their design, not your own. Therein lies the source of your problems.
Don’t Think Naked is a philosophy designed to 1. Help you examine what you have in your mental closet, 2. Make sure that what’s in there is authentic to who you are, and 3. Guide you on how to “outfit your mind” in a way that is the best fit for your happiness and success. The great news is, you already have all the talents and ability you need to turn your life around, because outfitting your mind actually involves the same simple process as getting dressed. If you know enough to put shoes on your feet, pants on your legs, a shirt over your chest and a hat on your head, you already have what it takes for making smart choices that are the best fit for you and those important to you.
Here’s what I mean – Man or woman, every day you reach into your closet, pull open your dresser drawer, or even pick from a pile on the floor, to find clothes to wear that reflect who you are and what your goals are at that moment. Before you set out for work, school, the gym, a day of chores, meet up with friends for dinner, rendezvous with a lover, go hunting, compete in a triathlon, or even prep for bed, without even realizing you’re doing it, you utilize valuable innate critical thinking skills to prepare you physically.
As you get dressed, you automatically ask and answer a series of questions that start out broad, but then guide you to your final choices of what to wear. You sift through your wardrobe, assessing what you’ve got, narrowing down your options, comparing this piece with that, eliminating what doesn’t work from what does, until you put together the outfit that best suits your needs. You can be self-conscious and meticulous about it, or simply throw on whatever’s handy that doesn’t make you flinch after a quick whiff of the armpits. Yet, whatever you put on your body, simple or sophisticated, casual or complicated, if you’re like most folks, you will be physically dressed, but mentally naked, as you walk out the door.
To outfit your mind, you simply need to answer the same questions that get answered when you dress your body: Exactly what is your immediate goal or decision? What do you have stored in your mental closet that can help you accomplish this goal or make this decision? Which facts? Which values? Which experiences, emotions, beliefs, information, and perceptions about yourself and the world are most relevant to helping you find an answer that best fits you? Once you narrow them down, how can you coordinate these things with the different choices available for you to choose from? As you mentally try on each option and compare one with another, which potential answer or decision best reflects who you are and what you want to achieve? The better you can match up your choice with the things in your mental closet that make you who you are, the greater your chance for happiness and satisfaction no matter what the outcome.
Ultimately, by making sure you don’t think naked when facing difficult dilemmas and important decisions, you are making sure that the choices you make are a true reflection of who you are and what is best for you.