Last week I spoke about the three primary things we need to know about our brains. In review, we believe thoughts to be true that are not. We have two different "brains" competing for our attention with different objectives. Our brains have good intentions but they are trouble makers. For this reason, we need to manage our minds and identify brain BS when we see it, and then learn how to deconstruct it.
This week I am going to show you how to do that. I am going to explain the foundation for my coaching and share with you how I have tweaked what I have learned from my mentors to create my own way of managing the brain BS that our primitive brain and ego offer us. I am going to speak about the importance of first understanding our brains and how they operate when they are not being supervised and why this is so valuable. I will then discuss the concept that our thoughts are optional and we can actually choose how we want to feel.
Let's begin with my foundation and system for deconstructing brain BS. I was certified at The Life Coach School and my teacher is Brooke Castillo. She created The Model , which is the basis of my coaching, based on what she learned from her own mentors ( )and thought work over decades. I have tweaked what I have learned from her and many of my own mentors, to create my own take for how to understand what is happening in our brains.
This is what you need to know. The Model tells us that circumstances cannot cause us to feel anything, only our thoughts can. Circumstances (factual information that cannot be debated and can be proven in a court of law) are neutral until we have a thought about them. Once we have a thought about them, that will generate a feeling in us. That feeling then inspires us to actions or lack of action, and gives us a result. The question then becomes, is the thought serving us or not? Even if the thought may be true, is it useful for us to continue to have? The Model which is actually a formula where you can plug information into each line to answer these questions.
I have found this tool quite effective for myself, but not as much for my clients who want to be coached but do not want to learn a formula or a model. This inspired me to create Deconstructing Brain BS, which includes the Brain Drain and the Brain Scan as a way of examining our thoughts and determining if they are Brain BS. This is the way it works.
We start with a Brain Drain. Write down all of your thoughts on paper every morning. Don’t edit or censor them, just let them flow on to the paper. Get them all out of your head so you can look at them and see what you are thinking and explore the feelings associated with the thoughts. Keep writing as long as it takes to empty your head. Now look at the paper and choose a thought and complete a Brain Scan on it.
1) What are the facts?
2) What is one thought I am having about the facts?
3) How does that thought make me feel?
4) What actions or inactions does the thought generate in me?
5) Does this thought serve me or is it Brain BS?
a.)Is the thought true for sure?
b) Is the thought useful?
c) Do I want to keep it?
At this point, we learn what happens in our brain when we are not supervising them. The more we Deconstruct Brain BS, the more we learn what thought patterns are prevalent in our brains and what situations trigger those thoughts. Deconstructing inspires us to explore why are we choosing to have these thoughts and how are they serving us. Even if the thoughts make us feel bad, they must be serving us in some way or we would not continue to have them. This is very valuable information to know because our thoughts in our brains create superhighways of negative thought patterns and they are not going away without a fight. The only way we can fight them, is if we know they are there in the first place.
Now that we have an understanding of why we need to understand what is happening in our brains when we do not supervise them and how to deconstruct our brain BS, we are ready to learn how to actually choose our thoughts on purpose so we can feel however we want. This leads me to the last question in the brain scan which is:
6) Is there a thought I can purposely choose to replace this one that I can believe and makes me feel the way I want?
This is where the prefrontal brain takes the wheel, and the ego and primitive brain are kicked to the back seat. When we choose a new thought at the end of the Brain scan on purpose, we can take the thought through the Brain Scan to deconstruct it for Brain BS and confirm we want to keep it. We will never prevent thoughts from popping up in our brains, but we sure can decide how much attention we will give them and replace them when we choose. This is where our power lies. It all begins with our thoughts. That is why we need to know how to mange our minds and pay close attention to what we are thinking. Join me in The Brain BS Podcast to continue this discussion!