Now and then someone will say to me “I don’t think I have a Monger.” And my answer is always, ‘Yes you do. Your Monger is just sneaky.” We underestimate how much our Monger chats at us and how accepting we have become to her message. Today I am looking at some habits/behaviors you might have that are inspired by your Monger.
Hi and welcome, you’re listing to the Happiness Hacks Podcast, and I’m your host Nancy Jane Smith. I’m a licensed professional counselor, and in this podcast, I share my stories, lessons, and hacks I’ve learned, and I continue to learn on my quest to live happier. This is episodes 76, Sneaky ways your inner Monger sabotages you.
Hey everyone, so glad to be back here. Today I wanna talk about something that comes up quite a bit when we’re talking about the inner critic and the Monger, is that people will say to me, “I don’t think I have this inner Monger that you talk about.” A lot of times when people are saying that it’s either one or two things. One is we all have a Monger; I fully believe we all have a Monger. Sometimes the Monger is quieter than others. For some people, their Monger isn’t as loud and belittling and shaming as it is for other people. I have a loud Monger, and she is very vocal in almost everything I do. Some people don’t have that loud of a voice. But the other things is, a lot of times we have so minimized the voice of the Monger, or I should say normalized the voice of the Monger, that we don’t even know it’s there. So we don’t even know where it is sabotaging us, so where it’s keeping us stuck.
Today I want to offer just a little insight into how the Monger shows up in some sneaky ways, that you may not be recognizing is the Monger that’s holding you back. Today I want to touch on some of those. I was talking with a friend of mine earlier this week, and she was saying that recently she realized how much of a perfectionist that she is. I giggled because I had known for a long time that she was a perfectionist, I just thought it was something she knew. But in her mind a perfectionist was someone who was prim and proper, and the house always looked perfect, and her hair always looked perfect, and they were perfectly put together. That is a version of a perfectionist, but another more common version of a perfectionist is someone who is pretty disorganized. I call it, being an 80 percenter, meaning they do 80% of a job and they leave the remaining 20%. So they might have a bunch of different projects going, but none of them are finished. Usually, that’s a sign of someone who is a perfectionist.
You may be thinking like, “How can that be, because they have all these different things going, and none of them are perfect?” That is exactly why they are a perfectionist. They can’t finish anything because they’re Monger is constantly telling them how terrible it is, and so their defense mechanism against that is only to do 80%. Then the remaining 20% is there, and when they get to the task, whenever that may be, they will do that extra 20% perfectly. That 20% will be perfect. Because there’s so much pressure on that remaining 20%, they never actually do it. This is one of those sneaky ways that your Monger shows up. If you find that you’re someone that can’t ever complete a task all the way through, or you really struggle with that than it might be because your Monger is shaming you so much that you can’t commit to doing the last 20%. Because if you were to commit to doing the last 20%, the pressure would be too great to make it perfect, so you do 80% of a task.
My husband, he’s actually the one that coined the phrase, because he will run the vacuum and then leave the vacuum sitting out. So he doesn’t put the vacuum away, even though the house looks beautiful, he’s run the vacuum in the entire house, but he’s Monger is constantly telling him, “Well you missed this spot, and you missed that spot, and you missed that spot.” So if the vacuum is out, he can convince himself that he’s not done vacuuming, and so it quiets his Monger. Meanwhile, the vacuum’s still out and he never really gave himself the appreciation for the fact that he vacuumed the whole house, so his Monger still won. That’s a sneaky way that our Monger sabotages us, is if it can convince us that we have to be perfect, and it’s another form of perfectionism.
In that same vein, if you were someone that tends to be a procrastinator, then you probably have a problem with perfectionism, because your Monger is telling you how perfect whatever task you’re working on has to be, and so procrastinate on it. This is coming up a lot for me lately, because I am trying to do more media and really pitch my book and get it out there, out into the world, now that it’s been made public. My Monger is constantly telling me the risks of that and the fear that I have around that and telling me how that could go wrong and I could fail, and so I keep procrastinating on it, and procrastinating on it, and procrastinating on it. That’s a way that I know my Monger’s running the show because I’m procrastinating.
The last one that falls under this perfectionist vain is indecision. A common example of this would be what color am I going to paint my house? It’s a big decision, permanent decision, it’s going to be there for a few years, really gotta have to really dive into that decision. We can’t come up with it, because the Monger is constantly telling us that it has to be perfect and we have to come up with a perfect color, and what will people think? So indecision is a big one, and it goes along in the vein of procrastinating because we put off making the decision because we don’t want to make the wrong one.
The next behavior I want to talk about is in the perfectionism, procrastination vein. It is in the vein of being critical of other people. This happens a lot. When our Mongers are chatting at us all day long, our BFFs will jump in to ease that pressure valve, “You’re not that terrible Nancy, because look at your neighbor, they’re 50,000 times worse than you at this, and this, and this, and this. This is a silly example, but I was driving home today, and it’s been snowing here, and so our car is covered in salt, and it’s just disgusting, and I can’t keep up with keeping it clean. I’ll drive around and look at other cars to make sure if my car is not as dirty as their car, then I feel a little better because I’m not taking care of my car because they’re not taking care of their car worst than I’m not taking care of my car. Which is just silly when you say it out loud, but that’s kind of how our BFF works to protect us from this voice of this Monger, is to tell us, “It’s okay, their car is so much worst.”
These four ways of perfectionism, not finishing something, procrastination and indecision, and the judging of other people are ways that our Monger shows up in sneaky ways. We might not be aware that it’s the Monger that’s causing us to behave in these ways. To really start paying attention to when is it that you are indecisive when is that you can’t finish something, when is it that you’re procrastinating on something, and when is it you’re super judgmental of other people? And then stop and ask yourself, “Wait a minute, was that my Monger chatting? What is my Monger chatting on about?” Then to go into the A.S.K. process, and you can hear from your Biggest Fans, Acknowledge what you’re feeling, Slow down and get into your body and Kindly pullback to see the big picture.
But I really think the key to all of this anxiety reduction and reducing overwhelm, and all the stuff that I work on is recognizing when our Monger is chatting, so we can reduce that voice and bring in the voice of our Biggest Fan. But when we are constantly allowing the Monger voice to chat unchecked it weighs on us, and it’s heavy, and it’s exhausting. The more we can start paying attention to what are the ways our Monger is sneaking in there, what are the behaviors I engage in when my Monger is sneaking in and how can I do this differently and how can I bring in my Biggest Fan? That’s where the real crux of this work is. I know for me that I’m a huge procrastinator, that is more of my favorite go-to than 80% of doing a task. I’m not so much of an 80 percenter, but I am a huge procrastinator, I’m a master procrastinator. I know when I am feeling my Monger overwhelming me and I’m spending way too much time on Facebook and heading down the social media rabbit hole, that I need to get my Biggest Fan in check. It’s been very helpful in my productivity noticing when my Monger is chatting because our Monger keeps us stuck in not only anxiety and overwhelm, but just for moving forward with our goals, it just keeps us out of productivity.
Those are some sneaky ways that your Monger is sabotaging your life. Thank you so much for listening to the show. I will see you guys next week, have a wonderful week, that’s the show. Here’s to Living Happier.
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