Mental blocks. They’re referred to as limiting self-beliefs, negative anchors, and hereditary fears. They are the things that stop you from doing what you want to do, not because you don’t want to do them, but because you fool yourself into thinking you can’t.
Here are the first steps to reprogramming your brain and changing how you see the world.
Rethink the Language You Use
The term “programming,” has been intentionally used. Language has a direct impact on your brain chemistry, which simply does as it’s told. Importantly, your brain has no option but to agree with what’s suggested if it’s offered no compelling alternatives, so when you tell it something is going to be hard, or huge, or impossible; it agrees. Through changing the terminology used, you can adjust your perceptions subconsciously, and in doing so adjust your brain chemistry ever so slightly, giving you an advantage over fear.
It’s hard to overcome fear, but easy to reprogram something.
Going for a long run on a hot day is difficult, but popping out for a jog is enjoyable.
If we make things large in our minds, they will become large in reality. Remember, your brain follows direct instruction, so offer it easier and more digestible presuppositions.
Teach Yourself That Life Is Good
You know that overwhelming feeling, when it seems like all you do in life is work? The tension in your chest that comes from feeling like you can’t escape, the headache that results from stress and the mysterious muscular pain that shouldn’t exist after sitting at a desk all week. Contrary to popular belief, stress doesn’t eventuate through hard work, but rather through not seeing any way out, or a light at the end of the tunnel. When you forget why you’re doing something, the relevance of it in relation to life diminishes – and you begin to question its validity, and then yours as the person completing it.
“Why am I doing this?”
Through offering yourself a reward, you can put your brain in a more positive frame, thinking less about what needs to be done, and more about the end result. However, this can come with dire consequences, as anyone who’s been exposed to drug addiction, or alcoholism will attest to – make sure your reward creates a positive impact and doesn’t become your reason for doing everything. Addicts will look back fondly to their first years of substance abuse, the efforts they would put in at work, looking forward to that drink at the end of the day, before the drink became the only thing that mattered.
Discipline Yourself, and Your Mind
Most of us just think reactively, allowing in whatever images or comments that happen to be floating around. Through this, we are also reactive in our moods, which are dictated by our thoughts. It’s important to note that your experience of anything is simply an interpretation; it’s why one person can love an experience – skydiving for example – and how another can be terrified at the mere thought of it. Same experience, different interpretation.
The same applies to daily living. We may choose to take other people’s behaviors or actions personally, and in doing so make ourselves angry, producing chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol, which were used by our ancient ancestors to prepare for battle, or retreat hurriedly from a predator, but serve little purpose when someone runs a red light in front of you.
Instead, depersonalize the event and treat it as an occurrence, rather than something that, “happened to you.” Realize that the world isn’t personally attacking you, and don’t allow feelings of self-pity or self-importance to cloud your judgment. You’ll experience an increase in the chemicals that produce happiness and inner peace, such as dopamine and serotonin, and most importantly, you’ll be able to handle stressful situations much more easily.
Your brain is a computer, and when programmed with intention, it can reduce the impact of negative events, and encourage focused action towards the things you love.
Featured photo credit: Andrew Jasso via unsplash.com