When I was thinking what I wanted to focus on this week in relation to sustainable changes, I decided I wanted to bring a fresh perspective to the topic. I did not want to give you a list of what you have to do to create change in your life because it is 2021 and you can google a bunch of articles on that. What I want to discuss here is all the brain BS that comes up to sabotage you when you EVEN think about making changes, let alone actually making them. I am also going to share personal examples of how brain BS disguised as my intuition have held me back and caused me years of unnecessary suffering.
Okay, let’s start with some of the most common brain BS that we can all agree on that can keep us from making changes. We hear it all the time when somebody wants to lose weight that they will start right after an upcoming event. Why start now if we are going to have a weekend a month and a half away from now where we get off track? Well, because you have a month and a half to learn new habits and actually lose weight. Another common one is I don’t want to quit drinking now because there is a family wedding coming up and I have to be able to drink at that. Only problem with that, is there is always some event coming that makes us want to keep putting it off even it is just the weekend!
In terms of brain BS that keeps us from goal achievement, the list is long. We are afraid of failure. We are afraid of success and what that will require of us. We are afraid of what people will think of us? We are afraid of rejection. We are afraid of all the uncomfortable emotions that come with trying to achieve something that is new and unfamiliar. We are afraid of anything that requires us to leave the cave and evolve to the next level. Why bother? It is so much more comfy in the cave.
Other brain BS that is common but maybe not mentioned as much is when somebody is struggling in their marriage and they do not want to see a counselor because they are afraid they will be told to leave their spouse. Yep, I hear this often. I want to assure all of you that nobody can make you leave your husband. That is your decision and yours alone. This fear just illustrates the lack of personal power the individual seeking therapy is experiencing. Another example is when we decide to live a more deliberate life and make living consciously a priority and we are fearful this will lead to distancing ourselves from our spouse. Again, we are the only ones who have the power to make these decisions and to avoid personal growth in order to maintain the status quo is the worst kind of brain BS!
So far, most of the brain BS I have mentioned is easy to spot once you have some awareness of what is going on in your brain. There is, however, brain BS that can come disguised as good intentions and even our intuition. For instance, I had a thought for years that the only way I could have a REALLY good life was if I quit drinking alcohol all together (even though I had a good life it was not enough). I determined that was what the Universe wanted from me and nothing less would be sufficient. That sounds like a good plan, right? How could stopping drinking be negative or brain BS? The problem was I did not want to stop drinking all together. I was very conflicted over this for a long time and caused myself so much unnecessary suffering. My husband witnessed this and was always puzzled and confused as to why I was making this such a big deal. I now know it was my primitive brain making me think it was an all or nothing proposition. Like there was no middle-ground or flexibility in how I approached my life. It was not until I learned about thoughts being optional, that I finally realized that continuing to drink and keeping that thought was total brain BS. Once I let go of that thought, my life took off in ways I could not imagine! I no longer make this a problem and focus my energy on my new business, staying present, and living a deliberate life aligned with my divine purpose.
Okay, let me give you another example of how brain BS can come disguised as intuition and be hard to detect. When I was in my thirties, I believed that God had a plan for me to be on my own. I truly believed that he did not want me to get married and have a family and that was why I was still single. Of course, I know now that I was the one who wanted to be alone and was making decisions that ensured that happened. I always found a reason to not stay with anybody and get back to the comfort and safety of being alone as soon as they did anything the least bit questionable. I spent the majority of my 30s suffering as a single woman, while all my friends were getting married and having children. Imagine though, how disempowering it was for me to think God did not want me to be with anybody. That pretty much generated a feeling of powerlessness in me and that led to very little action on my part to try to find somebody.
Another thought or “message “from my intuition that was with me throughout my adulthood was that the second half of my life after 40 was going to be better than the first half. I have no idea where this thought came from, but I believed it to my core. I agree it is not a totally bad thought but imagine what kind of actions that thought generated in me before 40. Not a whole lot. If my thought is that my life does not get really good until after 40, that is not going to inspire me to take many chances and risks before that time, so I think it is fair to say it was brain BS. However, the thought was so deeply entrenched in me that it turned out to be true! In fact, I am pretty sure I manifested that I got married at 40 without consciously knowing I was doing that!
Creating sustainable changes is definitely possible but your brain is immediately going to protest when you make any sort of goal. Your brain likes the status quo and does not want anything to change or upset that balance. While some brain BS is easy to detect, some is disguised as our intuition and less easy to identify. We all have examples of how brain BS has impacted our lives when we take the time to think about it and reflect. Are you ready to become more self-aware and deal with the brain BS that is keeping you from making meaningful changes? Join me in Episode 14 of the Brain BS Podcast to discuss this further.