Everything that we do begins with a thought. Even if you think you “react” you first have a nanosecond of thought before you actually act. So what is happening in that nanosecond that puts us in a tail spin?
Recently I have been learning (on purpose) about the brain and how it works in order to better serve my own coaching clients. What I have found is that the nagging question of “Why do I do that?” seems to preoccupy the thoughts of clients more than anything else. Everything that happens after that initial reaction is a by product of what happens in that moment of thought in the brain.
Think about all the compartmental areas in your own life. We have about 9 of them give or take a couple based on what season of life you are in. How are you doing in each of those areas in terms of “optimal outcome”, “optimal behavior” and so on.
The areas where you are not at the level that “You Want To Be At” (and this is significant, because it is important that the level be “truly yours” and not a peers or trendy or politically correct), you most likely have long deep ruts in your brain like a dirt road which is driven on in the same pathway daily by lots of cars. In our case these long deep ruts are thought pathways which are used millions of times a day.
You know our brains are very smart. They use the roads which are well traveled. When we have negative thoughts over and over again, the ruts become deeper.
When we want to change this involves the brain to “WORK”! It must find and make a new path on that smooth surface. Our brain resists. Will power is not strong enough to do this.
In order to make a change we must really do some heavy lifting of our own. We need to take very small steps repeatedly all day long and keep the goal in front of us. Since most people are visual, I suggest using a photo of what ever it is that you are seeking to obtain.
The second thing which is important in this process is getting your “expectations” into a realistic place. Let’s say you want to loose weight or become stronger. You go to your local “Y” and they give you a trainer and a meal plan and a grocery list and tell you that if you do these 10 things daily you will loose 1 pound a week, and ask do you have any questions and then send you on your way. Look at this last sentence again. Their expectation of what is required is most likely way more than you can commit to and when you don’t loose 1 pound the first week, you throw up your hands and quit.
It is very, very small steps. For you it might be just getting up one half hour early for a week to take that very first step. Then you wake up early and drink one glass of clean water. Then you wake up early, drink a glass of water and go and walk around your block or maybe it is just down your driveway and back.
Do you see the progression? With each small success you begin to make a new pathway in your brain. And those old pathways grow weeds and are incorporated back into the brain and the brain uses the new road and you begin to move forward. Excitement builds as you see success!
Staying in the groove of unhealthy thinking will keep you stuck for life.