Boost your self-esteem and confidence with this simple but powerful brain training exercise.
“I am not good enough, I am unlikeable, ugly and I don’t belong”….I didn’t know it at the time but my mind was slowly being programmed with new poisonous brain patterns by the bullies I grew up with to believe that I was just mostly wrong inside and out.
I wouldn’t have known back then but some of these kids were heading for an awful life of violence, prison and crime and because I didn’t belong I did my best to escape and build a new life for myself. That is one heck of a silver lining that I am truly grateful for as who knows what would have happened?
The programming though was tough to deal with, how do you change what you think about yourself if that is what you truly believe and have other benefits?
Despite escaping, my unconscious brain patterns of being unlikeable etc were still with me and also influencing how I perceived reality. They were also creating self-sabotaging behaviours where I wouldn’t really connect with people who were trying to be friendly or I would find myself being defensive and unkind. I didn’t recognise what was happening at the time but the benefit of being “safer” was outweighing the risk of really connecting and opening up to people. That was just way too risky!
I began to “lie” to myself
Training as a therapist helped change my programming and one set of techniques which made a difference were the ones where I began to “lie to myself.” After all, that is what I had been doing anyway as that is what I had been told, so why not lie to myself and undo the damage? You see the brain pattern that I had accessed and used so many times had to change and could be changed once I began to say and do something different.
You are only a brain pattern or two away from changing!
I said to myself “I am likeable.” Now that felt as wrong as it could but with some repeating, I began to have some realisations that I was no longer lying to myself when I said: “I am likeable.” Of course, I can be likeable, of course, I can belong and I am definitely good enough and I do really enjoy the journey to evolve and be even better. The more I said it the better I felt as thoughts and words are extremely powerful.
My brain patterns were shifting and changing, the chemistry created such as dopamine and serotonin made me feel good and alive and with that my reality began to change.
The Act As If principle is shown over and over again to have a powerful effect on the mind, chemistry and how you behave. It’s an important part of brain training!
Now over to you. What unhelpful programming have you got?
Here are some common examples?
I’m not good enough.
I can’t cope
If you have any of the above or something else which hurts and holds you back, begin to say to yourself the opposite, it may feel strange, alien and untrue, but so what? Your original lies feel like your true reality because they have been repeated so often and gives you the familiar negative chemistry to match. No wonder they feel so right at times!
Now it is the time to begin to undo what has been done to you with a cognitive jump!
Here are some common examples:
I am good enough
I totally belong / I am loved
I am beautiful
I am motivated and focused
I am more than capable of coping
If you find yourself saying a negative then immediately do a cognitive jump to the opposite.
I know that I shuddered when I began saying the opposite but keep at it. Remember that the examples are totally subjective anyway! “ I am beautiful” is a tricky one for some as they are being nice and compliant to whoever told them they were ugly and what societal fad says is beautiful right now. How rubbish is that?
Clients who work with me can use the left and right brain methods as well as some other techniques to enhance and embed this even further if you would like to find out more than contact me for a chat.
Let’s Get Proactive
Whilst words and thoughts are powerful enough in changing your brain, your next job is to begin acting as if you are saying is true. Some of you will feel good already so this will be more than easy. I know some may find it hard but each step you take no matter small will keep taking you in the right direction.
What would someone who feels good enough do? For me contacting a friend to ask if they want to meet for coffee was once a big deal as it was a bit dangerous according to my old brain pattern to do the social thing.
I took that step and dared myself!
Do something that is kind to you and makes you feel good.
Feeling unwanted? I dare you to contact a friend or family member and reach out!
Dress in black or down to hide? Dare yourself to dress up in what you really want to wear!
Those tasks you keep putting off? Dare yourself to do one, two or even more? Get on a roll and kickstart your brain training with the chemistry you need!
Tired of box sets in the evening? I dare you to do something fun, creative or whatever makes you feel alive!
You get the picture.
Kick Compliancy to the Kerb
Life is short and precious, I keep on saying that as a reminder to myself and clients not to drift back onto auto-pilot and fall back into old “safer” habits. I know that if I am becoming stressed or anxious then my old patterns of thought rise to the surface. This is a wonderful alarm bell for me and says that I need to address what isn’t working. We all need those alarms and wake up calls at times and we need to be more mindful of the signs.
You have the ability with some brain training to be more yourself and I mean your true self, not who you were told you were or think you are. Let’s kick the old brain patterns of compliance to the kerb, wake up and live life a little. You can also use my Podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud to make this even easier for yourself.
You do deserve it, no matter what says otherwise.
If you would like to have a chat about self-esteem and confidence coaching then please contact me Mindset.