By Brianna Wiest: Your brain is built to reinforce and regulate your life. Your subconscious mind has something called a homeostatic impulse, which regulates functions like body temperature, heartbeat and breathing. Brian Tracy explained it like this: “Through your autonomic nervous system, [your homeostatic impulse] maintains a balance among the hundreds of chemicals in your billions of cells so that your entire physical machine functions in complete harmony most of the time.”
But what many people don’t realize is that just as your brain is built to regulate your physical self, as does it try to regulate your mental self. Your mind is constantly filtering and bringing to your attention information and stimuli that affirms your pre-existing beliefs (this is known in psychology as confirmation bias) as well as presenting you with repeated thoughts and impulses that mimic and mirror that which you’ve done in the past. It is also the realm in which you can either habituate yourself to expect, and routinely seek the actions that would build and reinforce, the greatest success, happiness, wholeness or healing of your life. Here are a few ways to start retraining your mind to be your ally, not your enemy:
1. Be willing to see the unchangeable change
The first step in creating massive change in your life is not actually believing that it’s possible, it’s being willing to see if it is possible. You are not going to be able to jump from being a complete skeptic to a wholehearted believer. The step between those is just being open to seeing what could be possible. You could maybe try sending a few “scary emails,” in which you proposition a client or partner for something that they do not have any reason to respond to. You might have a few dozen ignored messages, but eventually, someone will respond.
The point is that you’re willing to see if its possible… that’s what will change your life.
2. Give yourself permission to be successful
Instead of regurgitating the same old narrative of believing you’ll be happy once you’re 10 pounds, one promotion and two life events down-the-line, work on changing your inner monologue to: “I allow my life to be good.” Give yourself permission to be happy and successful, and not feel guilty about it. If you have a subconscious association between success being amoral, or corrupt, of course you’re not going to do what you need to do to live the life you want to live. Instead, give yourself permission to step into a whole, happy, healthy, grounded and meaningful existence.
3. Don’t allow other people’s fears to cast shadows of doubt.
The way people respond to news of your success will tell you how they are really doing in their lives. If you announce your engagement, people who are in happy marriages will be elated for you. People who are in unhappy marriages will warn you that it is difficult and that you should enjoy your remaining time as “single” individuals. The point is that other people’s fears are projections of their own situations. They have nothing to do with what you are or aren’t capable of.
4. Surround yourself with positive reinforcement.
Keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge. Change your morning alarm on your phone to read the message: “CONGRATULATIONS!!!” Make sure that the items that you see and touch most often bring you positivity and hopefulness. Keep an inspirational note on a post-it next to your computer. Unfollow people who make you feel bad about yourself and follow those who are constantly posting motivational messages and interesting ideas. Make your newsfeed a place that can catalyze your growth, instead of lessening your perception of your worth.