Ever since Adam and Eve became the world’s first fashion designers with their fig leaf haute couture, 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 can end up exposed is in how you dress your interior self, or more to the point, how you don’t. Not properly preparing or “dressing” your mind leads to a serious disconnect between who you are and the choices you make. Leaving yourself “naked” this way can leave you unhappy, frustrated, confused, depressed, stuck in a rut, and unable to achieve the happiness and success you deserve.
Thinking naked is when you make important decisions and choices without properly considering what you need to know and understand about yourself to make good judgments. 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. Of course you feel disconnected from your life–if you’re not coming up with your own answers!
To dress your mind before tackling any important decisions, you simply need to answer the same questions that speed through your mind when you dress your body: Exactly what is your goal? What do you have stored in your mental closet? What facts? What values? What experiences, emotions, beliefs, and perceptions about yourself and the world? Where do these things come from? What are they made of? Are they your own, chosen by you, or were they imposed on you by others? Does it matter what others think of them? Are they best suited for your needs? Will they stand up to the task? Is what you have there flattering to you? Does it fit you properly? Does it protect you, support you, enhance you, express the inner person you strive to be? Are there things missing or that need updating? Better yet, do you know how to coordinate the information and skills you’ve got in your mental closet to outfit yourself with what you need to make choices that are the right fit for you?
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. Smart choices are as easy as knowing that you put shoes on your feet and a hat on your head. You know what makes sense without anyone else having to tell you. When you get dressed, whether it’s for work, running errands or hitting the gym, even heading out to a party or special event, as you put on each piece of clothing, spend some time dressing your body to mentally prepare and protect yourself for what’s ahead. See if this helps to keep you more in control, better able to do the right thing at the right time.
Are you tapping into the straight-forward powers of critical thinking that you already use everyday? Don’t think naked!