...that your brain can be easily confused.
And the “I will NOT!” declaration is the most confusing of all; because we are giving our brains two completely contradictor messages…all in the same short sentence. “I Will Not!”
“I will NOT” tells our brain we will do something, and then…in the very same sentence…we are declaring we will not.
What in the world?
So when I say to myself, “I will NOT have that piece of warm apple pie…with ice cream drooling over sides!” my brain has to visualize two steps:
First…it must visualize the apple pie and how it will taste.
Second…it must delete that vision.
IT NEVER GETS TO THE SECOND STEP.
Just before the Flagship Hotel opened its doors on Galveston Bay, the hotel manager took a last-minute tour of the rooms on the upper floors with his assistants. As they went from room to room, he expressed a concern. “Do you know what will happen? People with fishing gear will fish off the balconies, and the fishing weights will break the glass doors in the balconies below.” “Good point!” they all agreed.
“What can we do?”
“I know!” exclaimed one assistant. “Let’s place signs in each of the upper rooms.” So in each of the rooms on the second floor and above, a sign was secured on each balcony glass door reading,
“Absolutely no fishing from the balcony!”
You already know what happened.
Within the first week, four glass windows had been shattered.
“What shall we do?” groaned the manager. “Take down the stupid signs!” suggested another assistant.
They did, and have not had a broken window since.
When you tell yourself what NOT to do, your brain wants to automatically do it.
When your server at a Mexican restaurant warns you, “Don’t touch this plate; it’s REALLY hot!” what do you have to do?
Touch the plate!
“I’ll really try” doesn’t work either!
Imagine my asking you to try and pick up my iPhone on the table in front of us. When you reach over and pick it up, I protest, “No! No! Don’t pick it up! TRY to pick it up.”
You then give me a very puzzled look, and when you timidly pick it up a little, I protest in the same way! Finally I smile and say, “Do you see the point?” Either you do or you don’t; but “trying” to do something is completely meaningless.
And yet our brains LOVE it when we say we’ll try!
“Great! Try the rest of your life! I won’t have to do a thing. You won’t change a bit, and I’m doing my job by keeping you safe from all the dangerous vagaries of change.”
“I should!” also doesn’t work.
We declare, “I really should exercise more!” or “I should make more money!” or “I should spend more time with my loved ones!”
We should ourselves to death.
And how does our brain respond? “Yes! You really should! But you probably won’t!”
How about “I can!”
How about “I can!” Your brain responds, “I know you can, but you probably won’t”
Or “I must!”
Same thing. “I know you must, but you probably won’t!”
And finally…I WILL!
Do you know how our brains respond when we declare at the beginning of a year (which is now just around the corner), “I WILL lose 20 pounds!” or “I WILL make more money!”
“Wonderful! I’m so proud of you! Good luck!”
“I’M GOING TO TAKE A NAP!!
Your brain cannot directly change the future and it knows that.
It is quite busy dealing with the present, thank you very much!
It does NOT like change! In fact, its job is to keep you from changing. It doesn’t want you to lose that weight! If there were a famine, it is that extra weight that keeps you safe, and your brain’s job is to keep you safe!
“So you just create your goals for somewhere out there in the future someplace, and I don’t have to do a thing!” (Your brain speaking)
So Steve…what does work?
THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION IS WONDERFULLY SIMPLE AND WONDERFULLY WISE.
Rather than “I will!” or I’ll try!” or “I should!” or “I must!” or “I can,” the answer is; I AM!”“I am 180 pounds!
“I am spending more times with my loved ones.”
“I am liking myself even more now!”
“I am having a great day today!”
“And I am an amazing person!”
“But Steve, I am NOT 180, neither am I an amazing person, nor am spending more time with those I love!”
However...when we choose to see ourselves that way...when we choose to lock onto being 180 pounds when we sit down for a meal, or we choose to spend more time with those we love...or we choose to like ourselves more...our brain then looks for ways to make those choices become true in our lives.
That’s its job!
It is when we lock onto the amazing people we are, and the amazing things we are learning, and the wiser we are becoming, that our brain becomes our best friend, and helps us lose that weight...or love those around us more...or make that money...or have a great day...or like ourselves even more!
And since our brain believes everything we tell it, it will then do everything it can, to make what we are saying to ourselves...about ourselves...true in our lives!
Steven Campbell is the author of “Making Your Mind Magnificent.” His seminar “Taming Your Mind, Unleashing Your Life” is now available on line at stevenrcampbell.teachable.com. For more information, call Steven Campbell at 707-480-5507.