Your brain is a funny organ.
On the one hand, it wants the best for you. On the other, its definition of “the best” would probably terrify you.
You see, your brain’s on the same mission it’s been on since your ancestors were fighting off sabre-toothed tigers and huddling in caves to stay warm; it wants to keep you as safe and alive as possible.
Your brain doesn’t care if you spend your life in a comfort zone.
It’s perfectly happy if you never challenge yourself, or say yes to that dream job in an exotic city, or make that investment your gut is telling you to make, or work out 4 times a week for that sizzling beach body.
To your well-meaning brain, all these pursuits are a threat to your safety — just like sabre-toothed tigers. Which is why…
1. Your brain stops you from questioning your own beliefs
Have you ever scrolled through your Facebook feed and noticed that almost everything you see is a reflection of your interests, beliefs and people you like?
Facebook has an algorithm to show you content that it thinks you’re going to like — and your brain does the same thing to your life by drawing you to opinions, people and places that match your own belief system.
The problem? It also blocks out anything it considers a threat to your comfortable worldview — which in turn, stops you from discovering alternate perspectives about life, work, love and everything that matters to you.
This keeps you trapped in a restrictive “Reality Bubble.”
Solution: Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with a variety of opinions and personalities, and stay open to evolving your own beliefs over time in a way that serves your higher needs.
2. Your brain makes you lazy
Procrastination. Jumping to conclusions. Not finishing what you started. Stereotyping people and situations, just so you can write them off and put them in a box. There are many ways your brain takes sloppy shortcuts to try and save its computational power — but often at the expense of the greater good.
In trying to preserve its energy, your brain also robs you of the opportunity to maximise your productivity, learn new skills, understand others on a deeper level, and do work you can truly be proud of.
Solution: Create systems that encourage your brain to avoid shortcuts. Reward yourself when you finish a book, for example, and practice daily rituals that prevent procrastination.
As you keep doing this, your brain will build new neural pathways for your desired behaviour, making it more and more effortless as time goes on.
3. Your brain will blame anyone but you
One of the hardest things in life is admitting you were wrong. Why? Because this forces you to take an honest look at yourself, knock down your ego a few notches, and adjust your behavior or beliefs so you don’t make the same mistake again.
Your brain would rather not put in this effort, and would much prefer to point to another person, situation or outcome as the source of the mistake. Just so you can dust your hands off and say, “It wasn’t my fault!”
Solution: Constantly remind yourself that mistakes are normal and can even be healthy stepping stones towards a better you. Making a mistake doesn’t disempower you; what’s disempowering is when you handle that mistake in the wrong way.
4. Your brain traps you in busywork
Life coach Brian Tracy often reminds people that the secret to maximum productivity is to “Eat That Frog!” – which means starting your day with your most challenging and impactful task.
Your brain, on the other hand, tries to make you do the opposite — which is to set aside the uncomfortable high-impact tasks in favour of the easy, but ultimately meaningless ones.
If you’ve ever found yourself putting off that crucial presentation or phone call until the end of the day, then you’ll know how easy it is for this to become a bad habit.
Solution: Keep thinking about that lingering sense of dread at the back of your mind, when you know you’ve still got that one big task to finish at the end of the day — and how much better you’d feel if it was already done.
Stick a post-it note at your workplace reminding you of this (feel free to borrow Brian’s “Eat That Frog!” phrase).
Your brain’s a smart one, so you’re going to need deeper tools and strategies if you want to get it consistently working for you instead of against you…
On it, I’ll dig far deeper into what’s actually running around in your subconscious mind wrecking up the place, and provide some great additional techniques to help you pin them down and get rid of them… for good so you reach unlimited success in every area of your life!
If you got some good actionable information out of this article, you’re primed and ready to dive in to this online training with me and my special guest Mary Morrissey.
Here’s a handy link that you can click to secure a free ticket. I’d truly love to see you there!