Our brain is listening to what we say
That’s why it is critical that we choose the words that impact our brains positively. Our dialogue – both internal and external – has a profound impact on what our brain subconsciously decides to take seriously. When we say to ourselves – “I can do it” or “I will try” – our brain sees through our lack of commitment. The brain interprets this information as not genuine. Our brain then chooses to focus on other areas where there is an authentic belief. The brain is constantly preserving its energy, and chooses to save that energy for things that instinctively matter to our survival. By choosing to use limiting, or even worse, negative words, we keep our brain parked in survival mode. When we choose to use positive, forward-focused, genuine words, our brain slowly moves into neutral, then hits high gear when we reinforce it over time.
Trust me, before coaching, I did not take the brain seriously. I had painful flashbacks to psychology 101 brain anatomy and physiology, memorizing useless facts. It just did not interest me. Now, having achieved my Master Coach certification, ravaged books on the brain, and having been a part of numerous coaching successes where self-talk mattered, I am a believer. By simply tweaking the words we use, we achieve far more.
Our brain is primitive
We’re only a few hundred years from our more primitive days (in most parts of the world), and our brain just has not caught up with the more complex, yet easier to survive world we live in today. Considering the time humans have been existence, the time of survival mode has dominated our existence. For that reason, our brain still sees two choices – fight or flight – both emotional reactions vs. a more rational response. Our brains have not evolved at the same pace as our evolution. We still imagine new scenarios as opportunities to meet a predator, when that is unlikely in today’s world. In a meeting with a customer, peer, or manager, we fear the worst. And, we limit our own abilities with negative self-talk that limits the outcomes possible from the discussion. Our brains are wired to fear the worst possible scenario, and actively prepare to escape or fight at the first sign of danger. Yet, running out of a meeting is not likely helpful.
So, how do we re-wire our brains?