I recently stumbled onto a concept called Vampire Thinking articled by Carol Gignoux. Vampire thinking is the compulsion we all have to suck the juice right out of our possibilities and opportunities. Instead of acting on a good idea, we excel at finding a slew of reasons we should kill it as soon a possible and move on to continuing our “safe” existence. I’m sure you can relate to this idea because you engage in vampire thinking more frequently than you know. How often do you talk yourself right out of what you really want in order that you may choose for the safe option? And your reasons? Silly and ridiculous?
Like all successful vampires, vampire thinking has a lot of tricks up its’ sleeve, which most people never notice. These tricks, however, are the true disguises worn by vampire thinking and they are important to recognize if we want to fend them off. So we’re going to take off the masks off the vampire tricksters and see what they are really up to.
How many of these Vampire Thinking Tricksters can you recognize in YOUR repertoire of behaviors? Be aware! The more honest you are here, the better your chances to save what you’ve been squandering and retrieve lost opportunities!
Can’t ‘Cause I’m Not Sure
“Well, I would do it if I could be sure it was the right thing or I could be sure it would work”. We can hardly be sure we will take our next breath, let alone do things guaranteed to succeed. We know there are no guarantees. We think we’re being smart about our choices, when what we are really doing is shrinking from our responsibilities and hiding from our true gifts and talents. We like things that we feel we have control over and that are predictable.
Striving to Always Be Right
Many of us find it very important to engage in “I’m right and you’re wrong” thinking. There’s something about being right that feeds our ego and our need to compete in the pecking order around us. Being right actually restricts our ability to develop naturally because all of our energy and our focus goes into being right. We don’t ask questions because we may be wrong, and we don’t allow ourselves to risk making mistakes.
Looking Good at All Costs
Its basic vampire thinking premise is to always do whatever we must do to not look bad. If we have to lie, cheat, steal (even on a small scale) we will do what it takes to look good. Of course many unethical, unlawful, and harmful things are done in the name of looking good. There are also many less obvious and smaller scale actions that we take regularly such as telling little white lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations, gossip, and putting down or competing with others all to make ourselves look better.
Can’t make a Decision
“I wish I could decide but I just can’t so I guess I won’t do it”. In this trickster thinking, the person tries to take themselves off the hook by backing down as the safe thing to do since they can’t decide. If you look at this reasoning you can easily see the flaws and the smoke and mirrors in this way of thinking. Of course you can decide – unless you are too busy coming up with all of the reasons why you shouldn’t do it!
Justifying my Actions and Rationalizing my Behavior
Justifying and rationalizing are the excuses and so called “causes” we use every day in the place of growth steps and taking the right actions: “I was sick”, “I was tired”, “I was too busy”, “It was too late”, “It wasn’t my fault”, “They don’t care any way”, “It makes me uncomfortable”, and on and on and on. Those excuses continually rob us of opportunities to do good things in the world for ourselves and others. And because they are so commonly used and accepted, we have lost our awareness of them and the thieves they are.
Is there a day that goes by when you don’t justify your behavior or actions either to yourself or to others? I doubt it. Do yourself a favour and count the times you rationalize in a day and the times you rationalize in a week and see what number you come up with. Then look at that number of cowardly acts and “copping out” choices as the number of good acts you were not able to do for yourself and others as a result.
I wish you luck as you uncover and expose the vampire thinking tricksters that are sucking the fun and satisfaction from your life every day. I wish you the courage to face the vampire thinking tricksters squarely and bravely and put them in their place! All the richness, variety and spoils of the life you’ve been avoiding await your courage and determination. You can let go of these sucking pests and live boldly by YOUR rules – not theirs! We welcome your comments.