Evolve Your Mind Create Choice
On the average day each adult will have around 35000 decisions to make. Each decision has multiple choices and it’s your mind’s job to make the best choice for you
An example of making a conscious choice is when you go to a restaurant; you pick up a menu and before you is a large list of options. Instantly your subconscious mind discards a number of dishes – maybe you are allergic to nuts or there is a particular meal that you dislike.
Often you are left with 4 possibilities; maybe a salad (because you want to lose weight), a pasta dish because it’s filling but sounds healthy and two chicken dishes both served with chips; not healthy but really tasty.
Your conscious mind now debates these options. Part of your mind argues – it’s summer and you want to lose weight, you want to look good, slim and trim when you are lying on the warm beech in your tight bikini. Your summer vacation is just around the corner you know deep down that the salad dish is the best option. Buuuuut, the another part of your mind reasons; the chicken stuffed with fatty cheese, wrapped in smoked bacon, served with chips and a BBQ sauce taste sooooo nice….plus….you can always start your diet next week
Most decisions, in fact most of your choices are made unconsciously. When you get up to walk you don’t consciously choose which leg; the right one or the left one, to move first, you just start to walk. When you drive to work each day, you don’t sit down and consciously plan your route, like a well programmed sat nav, instead you drive there without thinking.
This is the subconscious at its best, reacting in unconscious thought.
A reporter was stood at the side of a baseball field interviewing the star player as his teammates practiced pitches behind them. Half way through the interview, the star play suddenly turns and catches a wrongly hit baseball that was flying towards the interviewer’s face, saving her life. The star player had reacted without thinking.
Imagine that he had to consciously choose his options. A ball is flying towards the reporter stood in front on me at 80mph towards, and has a distance of 40 meters to travel. Im currently stood side on, which means i can privet on my right foot turn and catch the ball with my left hand or I can reach with my left hand saving the time i need to turn my body… that would be ridiculous, ending with the ball hitting the reporter in the face.
You have two minds, one is a conscious, analytical mind which is slower when it comes to making decisions because it has to way up consciously all the data, all detail, all the stimulus’s. The other mind is the emotional, habitable mind that reacts instantaneously without thinking.
The mind has evolved this way to help you make better choices to help keep you alive. The problem is, the way the mind has evolved to help you make better choices, has a negative side effect, it also makes poor choices
Fear Created From Experiences
This is why some people are afraid of public speaking, afraid of small harmless house spiders and any other stimulus which isn’t a real threat. Your emotional habitable mind creates quick decisions based on association; my mum was scared when she seen a spider which means i must be scared to – there is no logic to this limiting belief
Did you know that public speaking is the number one fear in many phobic polls? This is because many of us go through a negative public speaking experience when we are young. This reminds me of a client I was working with called Sara who always got highly anxious even at the thought of public speaking, job interviews and anytime she was the centre of attention.
This all stemmed from a negative school experience. When at school Sara got asked to stand in front of the audience and to read out loud shakespeare’s romeo and juliet. Being dyslexic she really struggled to read and pronounce the words, stuttering she felt highly embarrassed as her classmates laughed at her poor performance. She looked pleadingly at the teacher who replied sternly “carry on sara we haven’t got all day”
Many of us have negative experiences like this one, a negative experience that stays with us. The mind when in a new situation looks for a frame of reference. When Sara was offered her first job interview, her mind made a connection. Job interview = public speaking = anxiety, she now, without knowing why, felt anxious about a task, the job interview, that she had never undertaken before.
This quick automated response happens in all areas of our lives. If I asked you to think of a can of cola, you will think of a famous brand, as we have been influenced by the brand’s marketing campaign. This is why we pay more money for items that are truly inferior. In many blind food test it is often the supermarket brand that is rated higher in quality than the famous brand.
To live a fulfilled live, you need to evolve your mind. You need to delete the habits and automated processes that are no longer useful to you, you need to make more conscious choices and you need to create positive ways of automatically responding to different stimuluses.
Create Your Own Reactions
A group of friends and myself recently climb snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. Rather than follow the standard path we went of route and scrambled up the side of the mountain. For those of you that don’t know scrambling is a mix between a hike and rock climbing but with no ropes.
Imagine this; you are half way up the steep slope of snowdon. As you look down you notice the fog has settled, its like looking into the abist. An eerie feeling settles over the group. As we climb higher the rock becomes more unstable, small pebbles come loose, the holds are smooth and harder to grip. There is no way down, we have to keep going. My heart beats faster as the climb becomes harder. I stop and as I look down at my friends climbing below, I see a massive boulder come loose above where my friends are climbing.
Time slows down, everything is in slow motion. The rock picks up momentum bouncing down the side of the steep mountain. Quickly I realise that there is no escape, someone will die today and I will witness it.
Whenever you are in danger your body sends a rapid signal to your brain “danger” overwhelming the amygdala, which is the part of the brain which fires of the fight, flight or freeze response. When a massive heavy rock is bouncing towards you your only choice is to flight, to get out of the way, to get down the mountain.
Logically this doesn’t make sense. You are holding on the mountain face, you can’t go left and you can’t go right, if you try to make your way down you will still be in the path of the rock. But the flight response is so powerful, that you are compelled to move.
But this automatic response isn’t the only choice. You can instead turn off the emotional mind and use your analytical brain. The group instead of trying to get down the mountain, instead made the choice to stay where they were. Instead of moving they push themselves into the rockface, making their body, the target, as small as possible. The rock bounced over them, missing one of the climbers by a couple of inches.
What you focus on your feel
If you focus on the rock crashing down towards you, you will feel fear. If instead you choose to focus on what action you can take you will feel in control. This is the same for any situation, if the public speaker focuses the feeling of nervousness they will feel anxious, if instead they focus on how their will inspire the audience they will feel more confident.
The more you focus on a positive response to a stimulus the more this feeling will be associated to the activity. You will know this to be true. How many times have you been invited to a job interview and days before the interview date you imagine yourself being anxious, answering the questions wrongly, imagining the interviewer looking down on you. If your focus is on the potential negatives you will feel negative on the day in question.
But if you practice being confident, if you imagine confident, if you focus on the feeling of confidence you will be more confident, because what you focus on you feel, creating a new positive automated system in your kind, evolving your mind.
Chris Delaney NLP Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Career Advisor is available for booking for One to One Private Sessions, Group Training Sessions and Public Speaking Events
Chris Delaney is also a published author “The 73 Rules of Influencing the Interview – using Psychology, NLP and Hypnotic Persuasion Techniques”
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Chris Delaney Specialise in:
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