‘Use your brain for a change’ – Dr Richard Bandler, co-founder of neuro linguistic programming.
No crazy, rollercoaster life
If that’s what you’re hoping for in 2018, then stop what you’re doing right now and pay attention. No seriously … stop what you’re doing, and listen up!! Put that smartphone down. You can take a selfie once you’re done reading this!!
That’s because you are about to learn simple hacks that’ll fixer-upper your life and save you tons of time and money – more so if you’ve been paying a therapist to tell you stuff you’ve really known all along, or burying your nose in self-help books (okay, so that may not be so bad really ‘cos I plan to write a few this year).
So how does the magic happen? Here are five simple things that you can start doing right now to ensure that life truly rocks in 2018.
#1. Hearing voices is not a bad thing: We’re all constantly yammering to ourselves – yes, even you sorted, strong, silent types. What matters is being able to tune into those thoughts that really help keep us on track with our goals. Listen closely, and you’ll soon be able to tell the difference between the nagging, discouraging voices, and the one that drives you. Notice the marked differences in direction from where each inner voice comes to you, the tone, the pace, volume, and even pitch. When you turn up the volume on the ‘good’ voices, you won’t be hearing that negative record again.
#2. Don’t think about what ‘you don’t want’: Have you been tearing your hair out wondering how your worst nightmares are all coming true? The jury is in with undeniable proof that you get what you focus on. I’ll spare you the science lesson… but don’t take my word for it. Instead, spend some time today ‘playing a game of catch’: Each time you hear yourself say “I don’t want …” ask yourself “What do I want instead?”
AND, BE SPECIFIC… Do you want to be ‘successful’? What does that really mean to you? Is it an X amount of money in the bank? Maybe that special car in the drive or the coveted position and corner office? Maybe you want to be 20kgs lighter because that means you get to run, trek, or simply just breathe better. And then some … Focus on that…and watch the magic happen!
#3. If you’re feeling like shit, perhaps it’s because you’re full of it!! Again, at the risk of sounding all new-agey, and like one of those organic-food fanatics, I have to go out on a limb here… if you’re really, really blue for no apparent reason, then you want to check if you’re pooping alright. There’s tons of research out there that’s exploring the mind-gut connection. Set curfews on the frat parties bad bacteria are throwing in your intestines, and rebalance your ‘happy hormones’ so you can stop holding yourself back.
#4. Activate your own brain filter: If the change that’s been eluding you keeps coming up against a well-meaning fan club who’ve ‘got your back’, chances are they’re looking at things through a different lens of beliefs that don’t work for you. Growing up, who wasn’t told “Never talk to strangers?!” Hell, if I believed that, I would never have gotten so far in my line of work. Of course, it still holds good when it’s the person next to me on the plane that’s making the hairs on the back of my neck rise, and not my fear of flying.
Here’s a challenge for you: List the beliefs that are limiting you from getting the change you want. Now, examine them from a whole new angle. For example, if you’ve written, “I can’t do…,” what happens when you flip it to “What if I did …?”
#5. Declutter outside and within: Make your bed and close that drawer, and not just because someone’s coming over. Think about your physical space and how many tasks you leave unfinished. Okay, if you’re hyper finicky like me, skip to end – you’re probably doing this in your sleep. A simple task of just putting the lid back on that jam jar helps your brain build better programmes that generalise into other areas of your life. But don’t go overboard. A need for perfection could also be keeping change on a spin cycle.
Over the many years, I’ve been studying and applying these techniques, I’m always fascinated at how brilliantly our brains work. From playing pretend in preparation for an important meeting to virtually stepping into another person’s shoes to resolve a conflict, you can change how your brain is wired and get the responses you want. The irony of it all? They were right …it’s all in your head.