Updated: Oct 23
Your mind is your vehicle. Lasting change requires a change in mindset and an understanding of the how the mind is able to influence the brain and body. The mind is that part of you that is your essence, what makes "you," the unique being that you are.
Conversely, how we think is a "blueprint," that was created during our formative years (birth until approximately age 8). During this time we are in a highly suggestible state and learn best through observation (mirror neurons). We watch our significant caregivers and learn how to talk, how to walk, and how to relate to the world. Those teachings along with the brains hardwiring for survival can create several false starts when we desire change. Often, it is not until we have a deeper understanding of how the mind can influence the brain that we find lasting change is possible.
So, let's dig in. The brain will habituate to what it has learned so that it can have maximal bandwidth for threat assessment. This is great to keep us safe, yet often leads to a life of wanting. Additionally, as a means to promote safety and survival, the brain has what's known as the "negativity bias." Because of this bias, the brain looks for what's "wrong," not what's "right," in our environment. According to research, the brain has approximately 6.5 thoughts per minute, or 6,000 thoughts per day. If these thoughts are mostly negative, what do you think happens to your desire and motivation for making lasting and meaningful changes in your life? You guessed it... your motivation lasts a few days, maybe a few weeks and ultimately flames out. This result happens because your brain feels so uncomfortable with the changes you are attempting to make, that it perceives the changes as a threat. The brain says "start tomorrow," or "this didn't work the last time, either!" Anything to keep you in the same pattern of thinking and behaving.
To change what you are currently experiencing as your life, you will want to become more mindful and to do the inner work to install a new mindset.
What is mindset? Mindset is a set of attitudes and beliefs that you and I use to make sense of the world. Mindset influences the way each of us thinks, how we feel and how we behave in various situations. A change in mindset is an intentional shift that takes awareness and effort. Becoming aware, requires that you set a clear intention and combine it with elevated emotion and excitement as if you already have the change in your life. What does the success of your new habit feel like? How do you reach success? You reach success by mindfully engaging in the new activity or habit you wish to cultivate in your life repeatedly and consistently, while also holding the vision and feeling of reaching that success. If you are able to maintain these activities consistently over approximately 66 days you will install a new habit and your desired change will begin to occur. "We are talking about practice!" Creating a new way of life is an ongoing practice. We practice choosing the desired thoughts, experiencing the desired feelings that the change will bring to our lives and by engaging the desired habits. When you do these things, that is when your life will change. So, do you really want to change?
Want to learn more? Stay tuned for the next entry, or apply to work with me today.
Next Time: Why Change?
It is my belief that three things tend to precipitate change and they include desire, some sort of chronic pain or crisis. Why wait for chronic pain or crisis when you can change your life now?