How to Reprogram Your Brain for Happiness…(Pt1)

As we talked about last time, your Reticular Activating System can be trained to open your awareness to new opportunities. It’s simple, but it takes time.

” From the day you were born, it’s been programmed with your basic beliefs about life, the world, and yourself. If you believe life is hard, it will filter out anything that says otherwise. If you believe the world is brutal, it does the same thing. So, if you believe your not good enough, too stupid, ugly, it will work to reinforce those beliefs.

“To train it, you have convince it that things are different. That means you have to change your beliefs.

“I am bold. I am brilliant. I am beautiful. I am worthy of all.
I love you.”

“If you’re telling yourself you’re dumb, if you’re telling yourself you’re ugly, if you’re telling yourself you’re not worthy enough to have anything that you want, then that’s going to be your future.”
~Ashley Graham

Recognize and Reboot

Most of us hold an ideal image of ourselves – ten, fifteen, thirty years down the road. It’s the person that we really want to be, but can never quite reach. I want you to understand that you’re already that person.

Yes, that’s what I said. The person that you really want to be already exists within you, you just dont act like it. You’ve picked up so much negative junk from people – parents, teachers, bosses, people who are supposed to know — that you’ve forgotten who you really are.

The key to changing your belief about yourself is to start dropping things that arent true. The very first thing is, I’m not good enough. Usually, the sentence goes something like this –”I’m not good enough because…”

When we boil things down, this is the basis for most of our dissatisfaction. Somehow, sometime, we began to believe it, and it’s wrong. What’s your because?

What about you? Has someone told you that you’re weak? stupid? fat? ugly? skinny? unfocused? unlovable? FORTGET THEM!

Everyone is good enough – We just need to change our expectations. Both my brother and I play the guitar, and he blows me away with his blues. I can carry my own, but he is just plain spectacular. He can do Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter, BB King and all those guys. On the other hand, when it comes to folk style fingerpicking, I have him beat. James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg and the rest, he just cant play. Of course, neither of us can do that high energy bluegrass flatpicking.

Here’s the thing – We could each learn any of it. We really are good enough, and we know it. We just choose to focus on what’s working.

Know who you are –  One of the most common things I hear is, “How do I even know who I am, anymore?” My best suggestion is to make a list. You have to be completely honest with yourself, though. Are you an idea person? A math whiz? A painter? Maybe you’re good with words, or you’re a great golfer. Write it all down.

Know who you arent – You also have to look at what’s making you unhappy. This one is a little trickier, because we want to label the symptoms. For example, you might say, “I’m unhappy because I’m out of shape.” The deeper question is, Why does that matter to you? What is missing in your life that you think getting fit is going to change?

Accept the Truth – For over forty years, I lived a false life, built on other people’s standards and beliefs, and it made me miserable. In 2013, it all came down and by 2015 I was praying to die. Unemployed for two years, let down by the people I trusted and loved the most, I felt abandoned and worthless. Every night, I went to bed saying, “God, please let this be the last time.”

In December of 2015, I was talking with someone that I’d recently met, and I told them I was 58 and waiting to die. They asked if I had cancer or some other terminal illness. When I explained, their response brought me up short. “That’s bullshit! You’re gonna spend the next thirty years waiting to die?”

In that moment, I was faced with the truth. I’d been playing the victim, wallowing in my pain, and it was ridiculous. That wasn’t me.

Determine Change — So, I began to work on my self-image, reminding myself of all the good that was in me.

When I did this, my RAS began to allow new information in. I was able to see different options, and this resonated with people around me. New, supportive people came into my life. Opportunities materialized.

Within two years, everything had turned around. I was happy to see the morning. Why? Because I no longer saw myself as a useless loser. I forgave people, became more grateful, and focused on my strengths instead of my failures. In those two years, I dropped the false expectations that I’d picked up from others and was beginning to reveal my authentic self.

Understand, this is not about simply repeating lines every day, although it may begin that way. It’s about truly believing in what a marvelous person you are. When you believe that you are worthy, and smart, and amazing; then amazing things begin to happen.

In my next post, we’ll talk about how to begin. Until then, Enjoy the Life you’re living.