And How I Manage My Mind Around Them
My alarm goes off at 4:15 a.m.
I look at my phone screen and have to make the dreaded decision – “off”, or “snooze”?
I know what “off” will mean. It will mean falling back asleep and missing my 5 a.m. CrossFit class.
“Snooze” means I can delay that decision for another 10 minutes, but I will ultimately still have to decide.
Meanwhile…outside it’s cold and dark, and I’m inside under my king-sized comforter with my little terrier, Sam, snuggled beside me.
And so the battle begins.
Brain Lie No. 1 – This is Too Hard
Of course I don’t want to get up at 4 a.m. to go to the gym, even though I’m the one that set my alarm and literally labeled it: “Get up and go to the gym”.
- My brain tries to convince me:
- It’s too cold outside
- It would be easier to stay in bed
- It would be easier not to put myself through a workout
And I get it (primal) brain, you’re just trying to keep me safe, comfortable, and in the cave.
But I try to give my (prefrontal) brain the chance to rally back:
“That’s true, all of those things would be easier, but would those actions get me the results I want?”
- More fit
- Connected to a community of like-minded people
Will “easier” challenge me to move forward towards the goals I’ve set for my life?
(Then I also remember those cute leggings I bought and planned on wearing today – never discount external retail motivation).
I throw back the covers and get moving.
Big Brain Lie No. 2 – This Won’t Work Anyway, Why Bother?
My brain loves to pull this one out of its virtual back pocket anytime I want to do something creative, like write this blog post, create a post on Instagram, or develop my elevator pitch.
And it goes a little something like this:
- I’ve tried this before and it didn’t work
- No one else cares if I do this or not
- No one will like it anyway
All of which adds up to = why bother?
Rally brain: You may be right, it may not work…
- But what if it does?
- What if my message reaches just one person?
- What if my message HELPS just one person?
- What if creating this makes me better at creating?
That’s usually enough to get me to pick up a pen and start writing, or pick up my phone and start posting.
Big Brain Lie No. 3 – aka THE BIGGEST LIE OF ALL – What if I’m Not Good Enough?
This lie needs no introduction.
In fact, if I were a gambling woman, I would wager (for some reason I hear that in the voice of Captain Jack Sparrow), that half of you reading this right now would also have this as your Biggest Lie of All.
It’s the belief underlying most of my inaction.
This lie usually comes from what we learned to believe about ourselves while we were growing up (which is a whole other blog post in itself, so stay tuned).
But let’s give equal airtime to what could also be true:
- How AM I already good enough?
- How AM I already capable of doing hard things?
- How AM I already capable of evolving into a better version of myself?
You don’t need to make your brain do a complete 180 and go from “I’m not good enough” to “I am good enough”, because it won’t stick if you don’t believe it.
Just pick a 10% better thought:
- I have already evolved this far
- I have gotten myself through x, y, and z, and I can get myself through this
- I know so much more today than I did a year or six months ago
And then ask your brain to find evidence of those truths…did you learn to ride a bike? Drive a car? Start a new job? Raise a child?
I guarantee your brain will find the evidence of the positive if you tell it to.
We all have negative thoughts.
But we don’t have to believe or accept them.
We can ALWAYS choose to rally.
My unhelpful thoughts will always be a part of who I am. And on some days I may not rally. I may decide to sleep in or put off writing that blog post or creating that IG reel. And that’s okay.
But repeating those actions will not get me the results I want for my life.
I want a full life. I want to see what’s possible. I want to see what I am capable of achieving, and who I am capable of becoming.
And I chose to manage my brain in order to get there.
Who’s with me?