Tue | Dec 6, 2016

Get rid of that tape

Published:Sunday | March 22, 2015 | 12:00 AMCorine La Font

I grew up in the era of the cassette recorder and tapes. Hey, I don't feel any way about sharing that, and no, I am not old! Anyway, these types of tapes were unique compared to the modern-day CD and MP3. Cassettes had to be pushed into a rectangular space in the recorder; the lid had to be shut and then you had to press Play to listen. You could also pause, rewind and fast-forward as many times as needed if you wanted to repeat a particular section in the audio.

The worst thing that could happen is when you press pause, rewind or fast-forward once too many times, the stretch of tape got all coiled up, pulled apart or twisted and now you no longer have a tape to listen to; unless, of course, you spent the time to use a pen or pencil and tried to wind it back to its original state. I tried that many times and it got twisted and you just had to give in after several attempts when you realised that with all good intentions, it just made no sense to continue.

I use this experience as an analogy that I am sure most, if not all, of you reading this can relate to. You see, there are many tapes that we play and listen to that need to be coiled up, pulled apart and twisted. Why? Because we shouldn't be listening to them at all! The funny thing about our senses is that they are so sensitive to external and even internal triggers that we have to be careful what we see, hear, touch, taste and feel; for it will have long-lasting impressions that can be good in some cases and bad in others.

Have you ever had a situation where something plays over and over in your head and it's like you can't get it out? It may be something you need to do that you have been procrastinating on for days, months or years that keeps resurrecting. It shows itself in words on the TV, in the newspaper, in ads, people you meet casually may say something related to it or you open an email and bam! There it is again!

It may also be a situation where you want to pursue something you genuinely believe in and your sixth sense - your gut feeling - tells you to go for it, but you shared the idea with someone and they totally discounted any positive thoughts you might have had. You go through a struggle deciding whether to follow your gut or your friend's advice. And that conversation plays over and over in your head like a tape. In this case, however, you can't pause or stop. It just rewinds and plays and sometimes even fast-forwards to all sorts of unimaginable and unjustified fears and visions.

 

Rewinding the mind

 

How many of you wish you could take a pen or pencil, stick it in your ear till it comes out the other end to try to wind the tape back into its original state, or just give up since it is clear that the contents on the tape are of no use to you anymore?

While my quite graphic suggestion may sound extreme and literally painful, there are some tapes we still keep playing out in our lives and it has become so much a part of our DNA and habitual behaviour that we are not even aware that it is happening. This can have an impact on our personal and even business relationships, as well as with our own children when we play tapes that are passed down from one generation to the next.

Isn't it time we got rid of those tapes? But first, we must be aware of what those tapes are. Here are some tips to help you identify them:

n You look back at your life in the last five years and if you see no progress, then that is an indication that you have been replaying one too many tapes in your life.

n You look at your children and you see the same or similar characteristics being displayed that you tried to break. Clearly, whatever you tried hasn't worked.

n You are surrounded by people who are going nowhere or have no intention of going anywhere, i.e., no ambition, goal, vision or dream.

n You find yourself not being as sociable as you used to be. It's like you lost yourself or the real you somewhere along the line.

n You are stuck in the same job for the past 10-15 years when you had only planned to be there for five.

n You fuss about everything and complain each day about one thing or another, i.e., you begin to get grouchy and have lost your zeal for life.

n You get comfortable within your own skin when you know you can do better and be better. You have lost your energy and discipline to take care of yourself and bring back that attractiveness you once felt and had.

Yes, those tapes can have an impact on all areas of your life. You see, once you start playing with the mind, the mind starts communicating with the rest of your body to follow and stay in line with your thoughts. So, to change things around, you need to be careful what you feed your mind in both audio and visuals, as well as in your interactions and environments. The decision is now yours to take.

n Corine La Font is a speaker, author, coach and self-publishing consultant. She is also an award-winning publishing resource in the 2013 Small Business Book Awards. Get a copy of her book at http://amzn.to/TFHQka, Subscribe to her magazine at http://bit.ly/1IDj7pQ tune in to her radio programme at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/helpdeskja and check out her website at http://www.helpdeskja.com She can be reached at corinelaf@gmail.com.