Even though your brain is very powerful, in fact, it’s the next most powerful thing next to Nature, there are some simple facts about how the brain works that can help you master and create the experiences you want to have in life, whether it be in your career, relationships, contributions or health.
- Always does what it thinks you want it to do.
- Tries to move you away from pain and towards pleasure.
- Only responds to the pictures in your head.
- Likes to stay in what is familiar.
Let’s unpack the above with some examples so you can see, even TODAY, how powerful you can be by understanding how the brain works.
If you go to the gym and say, “I hate sit-ups and weights and cardio!” then that’s what you’ll experience. When you can say, “I love how I feel after going to the gym. I love that I’m taking care of my body because it feels so good after” then that will be your experience. You get to choose. The mere fact of being aware of how you relate to yourself on a topic is powerful. Choose to use your brain in your favour. Practicing this will shift the dread to appreciation.
So many of you think your brain is there to make you happy but that is not accurate. Your brain is there to make you survive. If you say, “This job is killing me”, your brain will want you to stop and move you towards pleasure. If you associate pain to your job, your mind will get you to check out so your ability to perform will be compromised. Fun fact, Olympic athletes are trained to associate pleasure to waking up at 5am!
The simple truth is the way you feel about everything comes down to the pictures you use in your head and the words you say. When you make the pictures good and the words good, this will change your experience and your life.
To change a bad habit or to transform anything, you have to make what was familiar, unfamiliar. For example, let’s say you just gave your first speech. What often happens is our Inner Critic shows up and berates us for what we didn’t do. “You said “um” 23 times. You forgot the most important point in the opening segment. Blah. Blah. Blah.” Instead, always praise yourself. “Hey, I did a great job. I showed up and gave my best.” Make praise familiar and criticism unfamiliar. What else is familiar (and not working for you) that you could make unfamiliar?
I hope this information inspires you to take some new action on an old habit. When you collaborate with yourself better, you’ll have an amazing life!