Why You Shouldn’t Always Trust Your Brain
When it comes to your success in life and with change attempts, you now understand (from my newsletters) that it is beneficial to know your brain and understand how it works. There is just one big problem:
Our brain is capable of greatness but hardwired for survival.
For example: Did you know that one of its principal goals is to be energy efficient because it needs—relative to its size—a huge amount of our biochemical resources like water, oxygen and minerals. It has learned through evolution to make its own processes as efficient as possible, giving it an evolutionary competitive edge over brains that aren’t wired this way.
One strategy for saving energy is to quickly forget things that are not important to survival. Our brain is committed to our survival as a species, so the highest-priority items for memory include things, situations and words that threaten us. Things that are beautiful, joyful or harmonious—and therefore not a threat—are easily forgotten.
You might say, “Ok, sad, but why is that a problem?”
This a problem because…
- It trains us to learn only from our mistakes and not from our successes.
- It fixes our attention on the things that are not working in our life, omitting those that are working.
- It makes the process much more difficult for those who want to learn, grow and change themselves for the better.
In every past success is hidden information about our power to create and manifest. If you took the time to remember your past achievements and analyze precisely how you accomplished them—what your mindset was, what you felt and did when and how—you could write your own personal “how to be successful” book!
If you would regularly relish your beautiful memories of past achievements and successes instead of wallowing in your worries and concerns about momentary problems or future threats, you would be much more confident, fulfilled and powerful.
But don’t worry! I found a solution and created a 5-step process to train your brain in such a way that it has a long-term “rewiring” effect. The initial cost is merely the effort and discipline it takes to follow it for a few weeks, until it becomes a natural new habit of thinking. I promise that the process itself is doable and joyful, and after you have established it as a new habit, it is easy!
The Reinforcing Positive Memories Process™
Step 1: Brainstorm 10 past achievements or successes. These can be related to your career, relationships, health, travels… anything you accomplished that made you happy and proud.
My list includes big things like my great high school and university degrees, an award for my start-up concept for my business, my wedding… but also small things like a series of small paintings I created 12 years ago and saying “no” to a contract that was financially attractive but out of alignment with my sense of integrity.
Step 2: Go through them one by one and remember as many details as possible. Consider where, when, who was involved, what you thought, felt, did, etc.
Step 3: Enjoy the memory. Make it as bright and intense and fulfilling as possible.
Step 4: Remind yourself: “This is more proof of how powerfully I can manifest.”
Step 5: Repeat steps 2 to 5 daily for a few weeks with the same list, trying to remember one new detail about each achievement. This will help you to stay curious, excited and focused.
After a few weeks brainstorm a new list, adding to your wealth of positive achievement memories. When you feel a sense of growing fulfillment, confidence and an ability to remember positive things, you’ll know you have retrained your own brain! The amount of anxiety and worries in your life will drop significantly, and your ability to be aware of your personal “best practices” will be stabilized. You will literally be more resourceful for future challenges and change attempts.
As always, keep in mind that just reading this self-coaching exercise will not make any difference. Only by taking action and really going through the process will you benefit from its power. And don’t forget to share what you are experiencing—either on my blog or by email, both of which are accessible via links at the bottom of this page.
Disclaimer: This process is created for mentally stable and healthy people to conduct self-coaching and research into their own brain. If you suffer from strong traumas or mental diseases or brain dysfunctions, please don’t try this process alone; do it only under the supervision of your mental health provider. Sylvia Becker-Hill is not responsible for its proper use or outcomes for you or anyone else.