Updated: Sep 25
Your brain is an amazing piece of work. The sub-conscious calculations that it can make in order for you to catch a ball in mid-flight is just one example of the effortless ease of your brain. Your mind can do many things, however there are a few myths about your brain you should be aware of and decide to do something about them.
1. Only the person you are speaking to is listening
When you speak, you are the only one truly listening. Our brains are taking in every drop of nuance of our speech. What we tell ourselves has deep meaning for ourselves. Sometimes when we speak to others, we are affirming a deep-seated belief that may or may not be helpful to us. I remember someone telling me, after I gave up smoking: “Once a smoker, always a smoker.” Be careful what you tell others.
2. What I tell myself has no impact on my behaviour
Our Internal dialogue has a profound impact on our performance. We have 65,000-75,000 thoughts a day. It’s obvious that we repeat many of our thoughts many times over. That’s why it’s not a good idea to beat yourself up or tell yourself you are no good at something. You’ll be repeating it more than you realise to yourself, thousands of time a day. There is a link between what we tell ourselves, our self esteem and our behaviour. Be careful what you tell yourself.
3. What I believe to be true must be true
Not all beliefs are true. The reason for this is that your amazing brain only collects evidence to support your belief. It filters, deletes or distorts any evidence to the contrary. Therefore, if you think that you are no good at something, your brain will nudge you consciously every time you fail at that something. What your brain will not do is let you know when you are successful at that something. You will write it off as a one off, or even deny you did it. Your beliefs aren’t true, you just have to find the evidence from others to support a new belief. If you are reading this and don’t believe me, this is the power of your brain giving you false evidence over a life-time.
4. I can’t choose my emotions
Many people think that any emotional response is an automatic function of the mind. Whilst your amazing brain learns the behaviour you usually want or need in any situation, you have the power to choose the response you want, rather than just being a victim of your emotions. We learn most of the behaviours that will see us through life at a very early age and we find it difficult to change some of the immature responses, such as sulking or withdrawing when we don’t get what we want. As a mature person, you can choose your emotions by unlearning the less resourceful emotions and behaviours. Be aware of your emotions and then you can control them. If you don’t believe this, see 3 above.
Your amazing brain can empower you to amazing performance, starting now.
Have a great week!
Mervyn is an inspirational leadership development specialist and keynote speaker.