April 20, 2019 Stacey Mendelson 0 Comments

I find it so interesting how we often determine what is possible for our future based on what we have done in our past. I was a veterinarian so naturally my next job will be as a veterinarian, right? But what if I want to do something different?

How can you take the leap to creating something completely different in your life? It might be a new career. Perhaps you want to change your relationship with another individual. Perhaps you want to stop over-drinking or over-eating. Maybe you want to start a business. Maybe you want to learn to have your own back.

If we took the philosophy that we can only achieve what we have done before, then we would never have learned to walk. Our uninformed, fearless, toddler brain kept venturing forward into unknown territory as we took our first steps. This is an incredible metaphor for what is possible.

Our adult brain will always look for evidence of why we cannot achieve something new. This evidence is pretty easy to find. We can just add it to the folder of reasons we shouldn’t go there. I like to call this our default drive or primitive brain. From an evolutionary standpoint our primitive brains have functioned to keep us safe by pointing out danger and steering us clear. That primitive brain is most happy when we stay in our cave don’t attempt to achieve new results in our lives. Our primitive brain, left to it’s own devices, is the biggest barrier to achieving different results in our life.

Fortunately we are no longer being chased by lions (although some days it may feel that way) and it will benefit us to leave the cave. We can do and achieve things that we don’t have evidence for by becoming a Badass Brain Boss. Our ability to use our prefrontal cortex to plan, strategize and intentionally create thoughts is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.

Being a BBB involves several steps and daily practice. Once we have decided on a goal or desired result in our life, we need to identify the thoughts or beliefs that hold us back from achieving this goal. This must be done with compassion as these beliefs have often been passed down from generation to generation and have never been questioned. The real work is in consciously having these long held beliefs step aside to make room while we try on some new thoughts. New thoughts will not feel natural and will take a lot of daily practice if they are ever going to become beliefs. Over time we can collect a folder of evidence to support these new thoughts and that will really help cement them as new beliefs. Intentional thoughts that serve will fuel emotions of commitment and optimism toward the new goal. They will fuel massive action toward the desired result.

Sound airy-fairy? Let me give you a concrete example. I am taking a cruise with my parents. I love my parents a lot but when they fight, which like many older married couples they do, I become upset, offended, angry and I pull away. I have a goal for this cruise not to react this way when they fight. You see, I know that I cannot change who they are and their dynamic. If I want a different result, it is all on me to change. I need to change my thoughts. I need to be a BBB.

Old model:

Circumstance: parents have an argument
Thought: I hate it when they fight, they shouldn’t do that in public!
Feeling: angry
Action: pull away
Result: everyone feels bad

Intentional model being a BBB:

Circumstance: parents have an argument
Thought: it is hard to be married over 50 years and they both have a lot to deal with
Feeling: empathy for them both
Action: be present and loving to them both
Result: fight dissipates, I have strong loving bond with both parents.