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You are the Captain of Your Brain. Are you Steering Your Brain Well?

Jan 18, 2022

You have probably heard the statement, “manage your thoughts and manage your life”, or some version of this. What I think can be confusing for many is really understanding what this means, and more importantly, how to actually do it. I believe that our thoughts dictate the outcomes we get in our life. I also believe that many of our thoughts are unconscious, so they are running the show without us even knowing…until we decide to pay attention.


You have tens of thousands of thoughts each day so there is no way it would be possible for you to see them all and decide if they are serving you or not. Many of your unconscious or “autopilot” thoughts remind you how to do things like brush your teeth, drive your car, run the washing machine, or use your phone. Some of your other unconscious thoughts impact how you feel, what you believe about yourself and the world, and the actions you take in your life. Sometimes you are aware of the thoughts that impact these things but many times you are not. They are happening without your conscious awareness; however, they are impacting your life.


An example of this would be if you have an underlying thought that you will never be at the weight you want because, “I am always going to be heavy”. Another example could be that you will never make over a certain income because, “I don’t have the education that other people do”. Another example may be that you are single when you wish you were in a healthy relationship because you tell yourself, “There is nobody out there for me. If it hasn’t happened yet, it is never going to happen”. I could give a hundred more examples but hopefully you see the pattern here.


In all these examples, you are telling yourself that you want something in your life, however the thoughts that are running on autopilot are telling you that it will never happen because of the reasons you created in your mind. What is even more concerning about this is that once you start telling yourself that thing you want can’t happen, your brain will start looking for more and more evidence, whether based in truth or lies, to support your thinking. You are the captain of your brain, and it will do what you tell it to do. If you tell it enough times that something can’t or won’t happen in your life, it will agree with you, and then find you as much evidence as is possible to support your negative thought.


Not helpful, right?! The good news is that you can raise your awareness and become a better captain of your brain. If you are like many people, you may be thinking, “I am not getting the results in my life, but I don’t even know what negative thoughts I am thinking so how can I change what I don’t even see”? This is a great question and I have a strategy you can use if you struggle with this.


  • First, look at the results you have in your life currently. Whether it’s around health, career, relationships, finances, or any other area ask yourself, “What are the results I have in my life that I wish were different?”. Get as clear and as specific as you can about this.


  • Next, take the answer from the question above and journal about it without overthinking and without censoring yourself. For example, if you came up with something like, “I wish I was not 30 pounds overweight and that I had more self-confidence and energy.”, ask yourself, “What are the thoughts I have ongoing related to my weight, self-confidence, and energy?”. Keep asking and keep writing without overthinking or censoring your thinking. You will likely dig up some of the less obvious thoughts you have been carrying around.


  • Now that you have uncovered some of your thoughts ask yourself, “What would I need to do on a consistent basis to lose 30 pounds, which would result in more self-confidence and energy?”. Don’t get technical on the “how”, just list the things you would have to do. Next, ask yourself, “What would I need to believe to be true about myself, my situation, the people around me, etc. to take these actions on a consistent basis?”. This will help you come up with the thoughts you need to be thinking on an ongoing basis to steer your brain well so that you get the results you want in your life.


  • Finally, here is the work that you will need to do ongoing to change your thoughts, which will change the results you get in your life. As the captain of your brain, you need to intentionally think these new thoughts as often as possible, and ideally multiple times throughout the day. Put them as a screen saver, add them as alarms in your phone, write them on your bathroom mirror, or put them on sticky notes around your house. The more you think them and repeat them, the louder they become. The louder they become, the more they will drown out your old thoughts that have not been working for you. In addition, this will result in your brain finding more evidence that supports and reinforced them. Science has shown that you will actually rewire the way things fire in your brain so that the new thoughts  become the automatic thoughts over time.


Since you are the captain of your brain, I encourage you to consider if you are steering your brain well. If you think things could be better, go through this activity and then stay focused on doing the work to rewire your brain so that your thoughts create feeling and actions that support you in achieving your goals and in creating the life you desire. You’ve got this!

Live your best boss lady life.

~ Karen

If you want my free "5 Common Thought Distortions" guide. You can grab it HERE. In this guide I will help you understand what thought distortions are, how they negatively impact you, and teach you how to mange them, so that they don't manage you!

Do you want more tips and strategies ongoing? If so, you can follow me @bestbossladylife on Instagram HERE.

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