When we are looking to change our lives and create greater success in whatever we are doing, we are ultimately faced with ourselves. Wherever we go, there we are, as the old saying goes. There are quite a few things we can do in order to improve upon our success and our self-image in an extremely powerful way. Let’s take this opportunity to focus in on some of the more profound things we can do right now to drastically create results in our lives.
We Are Our Memories – Or Are We?
What makes us uniquely human is that fact that we have memories and can take them and ask the proverbial question, “What If?”. We, as human beings, can shape our present moments and future moments by using our past experiences and memories in a conscious, self-choosing way.
The problems arise when we have lots and lots of negative or less than pleasant experiences and memories that we get to choose from. Perhaps we were abused, neglected, left out, made to feel worthless – you can literally insert anything that you want to here that works for you. Over time, you brain begins to collect more and more of these memories that it will use as the basis of forming your personal identity and reality with.
The Hippo-campus is the part of the brain that is responsible for using memories as the basis of planning for future action as well as for allowing you to believe what is possible and what isn’t. The interesting thing to consider at this point is that this part of the brain is largely responsible for why so many people can’t seem to “break through” their limitations and walls while trying to achieve their goals. They may understand personal development and self improvement better than anything or anybody else alive, and yet they can’t apply it to themselves.
How come? Why should such a thing be possible?
As it turns out, the answer may be more neurological then we could have ever have guessed. Your Hippo-campus is responsible for telling the rest of the brain that we can’t do something based on our past memories and experiences.
Have you tried to start a business, lose weight, increase your income, go back to school or do just about anything else, and fail at it? We all have, and your brain remembers each and every single time you’ve tried and failed. Over time, as you start to work on trying something again and again, the past “failure memory” pops up and tells the rest of the brain that what you are trying to do is impossible.
And you know those feelings of never feeling motivated to take action? It’s all part of the mix. If you brain has determined that what you are trying to do is “impossible” based on your memories and accepting the past memories of failure as reality, then your brain is literally signaled to never take action. And why should it? If you have convinced yourself, in this present moment, that your past memories of failure are reality, then why would you brain ever be expected to be persuaded into taking action?
The thing to remember here also is that your brain cannot tell the difference between actual “reality” (what is really taking place in your external world and life) and your “fantasies” which are just your thoughts, beliefs, expectations and internal dialogues taking place within your mind. When your memories arise, if you cannot separate yourself from them and observe them, then your brain is going to believe that your reality is whatever memory you are recalling at that moment.
This will ensure that if you try to start that business again, you will fail because the memory of your last attempt will be triggered. As long as that memory keeps recurring and you accept it, then you will come to believe it as true and so this will create your reality.
The GPS of the Brain
Your brain has it’s own built in GPS system that will guide you to your most dominant thoughts. Always remember this. If you are always seeking opportunity and trying to do new things, but don’t believe that they are possible, then guess what? Your brain’s GPS system is going to lead you straight into failure. Think about it: why would you brain ever want to put your whole body into motion and have it take action towards something that it has already proven to itself is impossible? From a biological and evolutionary standpoint, this is suicide. Your brain will only be committed to taking action towards the things that it believes are possible.
And always remember – your brain cannot tell the difference between your reality and what you believe to be reality through your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and expectations. It is going to make value judgements to determine is what you are trying to do is worth it based on the reward that you believe it can produce for you. If you believe in what you are trying to do 110%, believe the reward to be worth it and be willing to die for it’s obtainment, then your brain’s GPS system is going to kick in and provide you with all of the action and energy you need in order to achieve it. Don’t fool yourself, because your brain is already way ahead of you.
This is why, I believe, that we always hear the advice of “following one’s heart”. So many celebrities and other successful people preach that they were always following their heart, would never dream of anything else etc until they obtained their goals. What is really happening here is that they were neurologically wiring their brains for success. They aligned each and every single part of their brains around their goals and so their brain rewarded them for this by setting its GPS to allow them to drive straight to their success. Truly unlimited potential is opened up to the individuals who can do this. So many people set goals for things like “making more money” or “losing weight” and fail. Why? Because they either don’t believe that it’s possible (because they have failed in the past or don’t have the confidence to succeed) or because they don’t believe the reward is worth it (they would have to give up eating the food they love, for example).
The Secret of Success
Here’s the secret of success:
It never matters how many times you try something. It just doesn’t matter at all. Every time you try something and ask yourself, “Is this for me?” and then answer with, “I don’t think so” or “I just don’t think it’s right for me” then you have just told yourself a huge load of BS.
The main question you must ask yourself, is this one,
“Are there a few things that I could have done differently, that would have changed everything?”
That question is where the money is.
Say for example, you tried to start a business. You researched everything you needed to know, you learned all of the knowledge, the skills and you got the training. You bought the tools and got everything setup. But you just didn’t succeed. This failure burned a deep memory into your brain and every time you think about starting a business again, this memory comes back to haunt you – you identify with it as it permeates your being and you feel so much of a failure that it’s palpable.
You can say to yourself, “I don’t think that starting a business is for me” and you can almost fool yourself. However, as the months, weeks and years go by, all you think about is starting your own business and you can’t understand why…
That’s why you must ask yourself, “Are there a few things that I could have done differently, that would have changed everything?”.
Maybe I could have developed better work habits…
Maybe I should have learned to better over come my fear of selling…
Perhaps I should have been more responsible…
I guess I could have developed better communication with my clients…
Maybe I could have become better at asking for the sale…
These things could come to mind, but don’t make the mistake of pushing them out. Go into them and explore them. So many people try to push these answers out of their heads when they are your brain’s purest and more honest feedback. Embrace the answers and the realizations and use them as the springboard you need in which to grow. Deeply explore each and every thought and feeling that comes into your mind and understand it inside and out. Don’t be afraid of doing this.
This is where being brutally honest with yourself is going to help you overcome the mental blocks you’ve created through your memories. You have to be honest. There must have been something you avoided doing, perhaps, that contributed to the problem you are currently experiencing. I find that a lot of people tend to avoid doing things that make them feel uncomfortable.
If you are afraid of being rejected, you might never reach out to potential clients.
If you aren’t convinced that your business will work, then your brain is going to prevent you from doing any work at all. Period. Without doing work, how can you be successful?
If you have a fear of success, you’ll never want to work towards success because the results of it will be too overwhelming to bare.
If we are trying to lose weight, but don’t want to give up our diets of sweets, junk food and fast food, then we’ll never lose the weight.
When the major fears we have are critical key components and action steps that we must take in order to be successful, then we have arrived at a huge problem. This is where the heart of personal development must kick in. We are usually required to grow beyond our own comfort levels in order to obtain the success and results we are looking to experience. As long as we cannot do these things, we will continue to experience failure and lack of any good, meaningful results.
You must be brutally honest and ask yourself what you could have done better and what habits you could have changed. Then, revisit the question. Suppose your business didn’t do well because you didn’t have enough clients and sales and you’ve honestly identified that if you would have over come your fear of being rejected, that things could have been different. You must allow this memory to grow and arm you with a newly found confidence, instead of your previous memories of failure. As long as you keep identifying and accepting your memories from the past, you will never be able to grow in this present moment and in the future. Move into every thought and feeling you have and try to get to the root of the issue. Find out what you could have done differently and then do it.
The Answer Is Not More Work, Usually
Sometimes greater actions and effects are not needed. Instead, sometimes we just simply need to redirect our effects and our actions.
I remember one time I was standing in my backyard watching my small dog bark through the glass door to come outside. I thought about the situation and couldn’t help but laugh because I knew that just around the corner in the other room, the side door was wide open (and he damn well knows about this door). I watched my dog bark at me for a good 5 minutes relentlessly. If I didn’t do anything about it, he would have barked there for hours until he either passed out or I came back inside. Needless to say, my dog is as equally stubborn as he is persistent.
This blind persistence is often idolized in our world, however, it is also not in our best interest sometimes. All my dog had to do was snap out of this blind, angry persistence that ONLY THAT DOOR was the one that he wanted to open. He tried too hard, barking, screaming, jumping to get attention and to try and open it himself. All he had to do was stop being ignorant and think about what other options were available to him.
I often think about human action like this as well. Sometimes we just have to stop being stubborn and recognize that there are all sorts of different ways to achieve something. If something is too hard at first, it might simply be because we are going about trying to achieve it in the wrong way. Once I showed my dog the side door, he learned very quickly to always look for it and check if it was open the following times he wanted to come outside.
Turn Away From the Memories That Hold You Captive
We have to learn to turn away from the memories that keep us held captive. Our past memories of failure happened in the past. They are not now. Every time they come up, if we believe and identify with them, the brain will interpret this as reality and so it will signal to cause disharmony between the mind and body in order to stop you from taking action. You will find that you can take unlimited action once you achieve the necessary balance in the brain, this requires:
The belief that what you want is possible
The willingness to work for it
Not willing to quit after major setbacks are experienced
The mind truly cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is fantasy.
I remember reading once in Seth Speaks – The Nature of Personal Reality Seth’s own opinion about memories. He said that basically beliefs are like organ systems in the body and that thoughts are like the individual cells. When our belief systems are acting like organs, they guide the tasks and the actions taken within the body and are more fixed and permanent until they are changed. Thoughts are like cells because they are always coming and going, being born and dying… The thoughts are always consistently made of the same “stuff” as the belief systems just as the nature of these cells are always similar to the organs in which they came from.