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  • Writer's pictureParker Hewes

Undressing Your Inner Demons (Part 1)

We all have demons that live in the depths of our minds. Our demons have names like fear, worry, frustration, disappointment, and anxiety (or Mushu).

Mushu Mulan Scary
I know Mushu is a dragon, not a demon, but bear with me because he's the perfect character for this blog series

These demons show up when we don't get what we want, when we are feeling dissatisfied with our lives, or when a specific event doesn't turn out how we hoped. But these demons also show up to sabotage us from getting what we want. They infiltrate our minds and take control of our behaviors, creating perpetual cycles of mistakes, missed opportunities, and regret.


But I learned a strategy for showing these demons who's boss...I get 'em naked.


Yeah, you read that right.


There's a saying that, "Everyone puts their pants on the same way," and it essentially means that we're all human. When you're about to give a presentation to a room of big-time investors, or you have an important interview coming up, this phrase helps level the playing field in a way.

demon in pants

When you think about the fact that we all wear pants (nudists excluded) and put them on with the same awkward pull-jump-shimmy sort of thing, it makes the whole experience entertaining rather than scary. I smile every time I think about it. And it really is helpful for calming my nerves when I'm about to meet with, or talk to, someone important. But what makes me smile even more is thinking about how everyone also takes off their pants in the same way. Wait, actually, that's creepy. I'm not smiling...


"Everyone puts their pants on the same way."

Let's get back to the demons thing. Because thinking about taking the pants off our demons is way less perverted. Demons don't wear pants, anyway, so it's fine if we embarrass them with a little disrobing, right? WRONG! Demons have feelings, too. But you don't care about their feelings because these demons are holding you back from your fullest potential. These demons are keeping you from your ideal life and stopping you from achieving your goals, meeting your needs, and fulfilling your desires!

Mushu Sad

So, you are going to metaphorically rip the pants right off those demons and expose their hairy, ugly, nakedness for all the world to see! You're going to make all their imperfections known and then play with their vulnerabilities like an older sister plays dress up with her little brother. You're going to show that demon who's in charge. You're going to sit it down, put pigtails in its hair and lipstick on its cheeks, and by the time you're done, you'll have given that demon a full-on makeover. Better yet, you'll have tamed the beast entirely. Because from the moment you stripped off its power suit and exposed its birthday suit, your demon became nothing more than a memory, a feeble shroud of what he once was. That’s right where you want your demons because your demons shouldn’t have control over your future. Demons are just stories from the past, stories that you can undress, rewrite, and makeover in a way that suits you.

Demons are just stories from the past, stories that you can undress, rewrite, and makeover in a way that suits you.

I'll be the first to admit this is not an easy task. When you undress your demons, you'll feel like a teenage boy trying to take off your first bra. But in the wise words of Michael Scott, "You just twist your hand until… something breaks."

Keep trying to undress your demons; you'll get the hang of things eventually. And I hope it's as good for you as it was for me because undressing your demons is going to be a lifelong process.

You'll have to keep stripping down your demons because they'll continue to show up in your life acting like they own the place. Sometimes they'll succeed. Truthfully, they'll succeed more often than not. But once you realize what's going on, you'll get a nice, tight hold on those britches, and you'll get ready to rip (although, instead of britches, I prefer to picture my demons in a pair of hilariously form-fitting Lululemon leggings).

Devil in legging, demon in leggings, Devil in fishnets, Demon in fishnets, Devil costume

Let’s drop the fun analogy for a minute.


Another word for your ‘demon’ is your Conditioning or Past Programming. Conditioning is like what the neurologist, Ivan Pavlov, did with his dogs; he trained them to expect food every time he rang a bell. Your experiences have had the same impact on you, they've trained your mind to expect certain outcomes and therefore subconsciously manipulate your brain to behave in specific, predictable ways. But the thing of it is, your experiences are not to blame. Your mind did this to itself. Because in an effort to keep you alive, your brain avoids pain. And if you've experienced some form of pain in the past (physical pain, emotional pain, or just the possibility of pain), your brain will quickly lock that experience in your memory and say, "Let's never do that again."

Unfortunately, these negative memories and painful associations, if left untested, can fester, and grow into the demons that hold us back from success. Worse still, some negative memories will begin from just one bad experience, And despite having lots of positive experiences to counteract the negative ones, these memories can still grow into a demon that sticks with us for the rest of our lives.


Now, here's the rub. Most of those negative, painful memories form in your childhood, and there's no way to undo what's already done. You can't control it, so you must move forward.

You'll also get no use out of blaming your circumstances or blaming other people for your experiences. You can only control yourself and how you respond, therefore the only thing worth focusing on is your own behavior. Even if you are justified in blaming someone or something else, focusing on the actions of others will only create a perpetual cycle of being haunted by your demons. You’ll never be able to change the past, and you can’t control how others behave, so it’s not worth your time to dwell on it.

You can only control yourself and how you respond, therefore the only thing worth focusing on is your own behavior.

Since demons form in the past, from circumstances you largely can’t control, the most logical first step is NOT to eliminate those demons from memory (I promise, you’ll never succeed).

Rather, you’re better off simply preventing your demons from growing any bigger. That way, your demons won’t continue to impact your future and hold you back from your goals.


“Undressing” your demons is one way you start to stop their growth. In other words, undressing your demons means you strip your negative experiences down to their origins. You need to investigate your past with a fine-tooth comb and uncover those specific moments that may have birthed a baby demon (aka a moment of pain or some other negative emotion).

By figuring out the origins, you can practice awareness, forgiveness, and, ultimately, release. You undress your painful demons so you can take away their power, and then you can let go of their harmful effect on you.


This all sounds great in theory, but theory isn’t all that practical. And I hate to break it to you, but we’re going to stay in the non-practical world a little bit longer. Because undressing your demons isn’t as simple as "twisting your hand until something breaks." You’re going to need a little more information before we get to the action steps. That’s why, in part 2, you’ll learn about how your brain works, and then we’ll get to the actionable stuff in parts 3 and 4. I promise you’ll be more effective at undressing your demons if you understand these basics first. For now, you’ll just have to wait on the edge of your seats as I leave you with this incredibly effective cliffhanger…


 
Parker Hewes DC chiropractor sandy utah salt lake city

Written by Parker Hewes, a chiropractor, author, American Ninja Warrior, and serial adventurer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Parker believes learning and growing are the keys to living a full life. He started Getting Gooder to help others learn and grow, so they can create the happiest, healthiest, and wealthiest lives imaginable.

Parker also knows that our ideal life gets even better when we have others to share it with. So, keep following Parker and the Getting Gooder community as we build our ideal, together.

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