‘The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.’ Robert Frost
We have an inbuilt autopilot in our brains called RAS (it sits at the base of our brain at the back, if you are interested). If we do or think anything that deviates from this it pulls us back on course. A bit like setting the course for a boat, you can turn the boat in another direction but it will soon right itself back on course. This is a good thing, it means we don’t have to keep remembering what we want to do, or need to do. And it kindly reminds us, and sometimes even shouts warnings if we wander into new territory just as a boat would if you started going off course – it would alert you.
The brain absorbs about 400 billion bits of info per second, and all this goes into the unconscious mind so that our thinking mind doesn’t overload. The way info is filtered through to our mind is also through the RAS, and it does so according to what you deem important to be aware of.
Now the interesting bit is that we program the RAS by what we think and do. If you keep telling yourself you will never succeed then it kindly filters out any evidence, or opportunities for you to succeed. You see it doesn’t distinguish things as good or bad, just what fits and what doesn’t. And every time you attempt to turn it in another direction it pulls you back. This is why you can want to change but find it hard to do so. You are fighting against an autopilot!
So how do we reset the autopilot – by frequent repetition of the thoughts and behaviours you want to be the new autopilot. It’s no good waiting until you need to go a new direction and then fighting with the autopilot – get it on board to help you so you easily glide in the direction you want. And the good news is reading or watching people do the behaviour you want (or visualising yourself doing it) also helps you reset.
Now I am not exactly the poster child for doing this, but now I understand that I’m fighting with nature by not practising changes I want I find it easier. And I am all for an easier way to change!! This is why reminders, vision boards, surrounding yourself with people who have changed work, and the opposite (ie surrounding yourself with people who are behaving how you don’t want to) makes it harder. I now set something I want to focus on and put a mark on my hand every time I remember during the day, then transfer it to a wall chart. So far it is working amazingly.
So literally use your brain and make change easier, rather than working against it and then feeling like a failure. Your brain is working perfectly, you’re just giving it the wrong commands, lol
(Your auto pilot is also influenced by your underlying beliefs, so changing them resets it, eg believing you are worth treating better will help make it easier for you to leave an abusive situation than if you believe you don’t etc.)