Car Shopping! I hate it! Not because I don’t like cars, because I do. I just hate the games that are part and parcel of buying a car.
I remember when I was in the market for my Mini. I had my heart set on the Red Mini Cooper S, with the twin white stripes. Not only did I think they looked uber cool, they also seemed like a fun car and weren’t too common (or so I thought).
Suddenly everywhere I went, there seemed to be Red Mini Cooper S’s with twin white stripes. Everyone seemed to be driving them. So much so, that I nearly didn’t want to buy one anymore as they were all too common!
In reality, was that the truth? hell no, but to me it was.
So what had changed?
My brain. Or more specifically, the Reticular Activating System (RAS) in my brain had switched on to filter in all the Red Mini Coopers that I came into contact with.
The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information so the important stuff gets through. It’s kinda like the “bouncer of the brain”. We are bombarded with so much information, now more than ever, way too much information for our senses to take it all in. So the RAS cleverly deletes, distorts and generalises the information to match what we are focussing on (in my case Red Mini Coopers).
In the same way, the bouncer of the brain seeks information and filters in the information that validates your beliefs. It filters the world through the parameters you give it, and your beliefs shape those parameters.
If you think you are bad at public speaking, you probably will be.
If you believe you are really adventurous, you most likely will be.
If you think you could never have a tough conversation with your boss, you probably won’t.
What does all this mean?
Our beliefs impact our behaviour!
The way we think (our beliefs), impact how we feel, which impacts how we behave and ultimately impacts our outcomes.
If you want to influence positive outcomes, we gotta get really intentional as to what we are thinking and focussing on consistently. Remember, the bouncer will let in the evidence needed to match your focus and beliefs, so you want to ensure you are focussing on the right stuff.
If you are unhappy with something (an outcome) in your life, career or business:
Firstly, check in:
1. What am I focussing on?
on what you want or don’t want?
on the times you felt confident or those few occasions where you stuffed up?
on your strengths or your limitations?
2. What am I consistently telling myself ? (your inner voice) and;
how you can or you can’t do something?
how something is possible or impossible?
I am….. I can…. I have…?
3. What am I consistently doing or perhaps, not doing? (your behaviour)
The bouncer of the brain is there to protect us. But what if the bouncer is keeping out the exact information you need to enable you to get what you want and deserve?
Then, ask yourself:
What else could I focus on or do I need to consider to achieve my goal?
What do I need to be telling myself?
What is the next best thing I can do to get closer to what I want and who else can help?
Next blog we will look at how the bouncer of the brain could be getting in the way of working relationships and what to do to Smash Stigma in the workplace!
Until then, keep smiling,
BLYTHE ROWE & Her Life on Heels.
The founder and director of Human Incite, is widely recognised for her passion, energy and her ability to shake things up. Blythe is brilliant at revving-up productivity and performance in organisations. She is on a mission to rid our workplaces of toxic behaviours, build meaningful relationships, personally and professionally and create workplaces worth belonging. Her enthusiasm simply is infectious!