Is your mental filter serving you or distracting you?


It’s December again, the season for getting together with family and all those people you may have not seen in a while. A time for checking in and catching up with past clients and friends. And if we know what’s best for us, a time for clearing our mental filter so we don’t let anything completely derail our attitude and ruin our focus.

Was that a joke? Well, yes and no. Yes because I’m sure there’s no one you know who can dominate your thoughts with just a few harsh words. No because your mental filter has a greater determination on your mindset and your focus than anything else.

We’ve set our goals and prepped ourselves to enter what some are predicting to be an incredibly challenging market which isn’t likely to get better any time soon. It would be easy to get discouraged and let things begin to bother you in your life. Right now, you need to keep your mindset up and stay focused on doing what is best for your family, for your business, for your community, and for yourself.

That’s why in this blog, I’m going to talk to you about what your mental filter is and give you some tips on how to clean yours out, so you can feel and perform at your best.


What is Your Mental Filter?

Is there anyone who gets on your nerves as soon as you see them and has the ability to ruin your day with just a few words?

You could say that this person is a jerk or doesn’t like you, or you could say you just don’t have good communication, but really what this looks like is your mental filter at work.

Your mental filter is the lens through which you see the world. It’s the tint your brain puts on all the information that’s coming in, and it’s determined by past experiences. We see it at play most obviously with negative people, but it works the other way around too. Have you ever seen someone who is so in love that they can’t see the bad signs that their partner is putting in front of them?

When your filter gets out of whack, it causes you to reason with heightened emotion instead of logic, to talk bad about people, to ignore the things you should be focused on. And we need that focus, don’t we?

Let’s look at some of the techniques I’ve seen help people when their filter gets a little clogged up.

Questions to Clean Your Filter

You’ve probably seen a few of my podcasts or read some of my blogs that are about questions you need to ask yourself for certain situations, and that’s because questions get your brain thinking differently.

Most of the time when our mental filter is getting in the way of our best interests, it’s because our brain is making declarations about something that might not be true. A question acknowledges that you may not have all the answers and allows you to change your perspective.

Here are some of the questions I recommend you ask in those moments:

  • Are you going to let this one little thing ruin your day?
  • Are you reasoning with emotion instead of logic?
  • Are you only seeing the good or the bad in this situation?
  • Are you looking for a reason to feel self-pitying?
  • Is thinking about this the best use of your time?
  • What else could you be focusing on?


Focus On What You Can Control

After you ask yourself those questions, there’s one more you need to ask whenever something puts you in an emotional storm: What about this am I in control of and what am I not?

There is absolutely no point in wasting your mental and emotional energy on things you have no control over. The only way that anyone moves forward, ever, is by controlling the things they can and letting go of the things they can’t.


Check Your Content Intake

Your filter determines your mindset but it’s also a part of your mindset, so what are you feeding it? Are you watching the negative news reports and letting them get to you? Are you watching shows or listening to podcast where people obsess over petty problems and throw blame on to others?

If the answer is yes, I’d refer you back to two of those questions above:

  • Is thinking about this the best use of your time?
  • What else could you be focusing on?


A More Focused You

Taking notice of your mental filter can change the quality of your life but ONLY if you’re being completely honest with yourself. Remember, your filter can lie to you, and if you don’t think you’ve ever lied to yourself, then that’s a lie right there.

Putting ourselves in check is hard. It’s uncomfortable and humbling, but when we let go of frustration and all those endorphins produced by allowing our thoughts to run wild with emotion, the rewards will be more than worth it.

The market is going to get harder. That means you’re either going to get more focused or you’re going to suffer the consequences. So I challenge you to take a good hard look at your thoughts and see just how much of them you need to let go of.