It’s all in the mind

It can be un­com­fort­able to be to­tally hon­est about our be­hav­iour

Life & Style Weekend - - MIND - with Nick Ben­nett Nick Ben­nett is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, per­for­mance coach and part­ner of Minds Aligned: www.mind­saligned.com.au.

IT’S fas­ci­nat­ing to hear peo­ple de­scribe what dis­sat­is­fies them about their work, their life, their re­la­tion­ships, health, boss, in­come, footy team, be­ing un­happy - the myr­iad of things that pop up in con­ver­sa­tion that demon­strate frus­tra­tion and in some ways a dis­em­pow­ered view of the world.

What’s in­ter­est­ing to me as a stu­dent of peo­ple, lan­guage and neu­ro­science is what it tells me of the per­son’s view of them­selves, more than what is hap­pen­ing around them.

Think about the state­ment “Wher­ever you go there you are”. To me what it de­scribes is that re­gard­less of the sit­u­a­tion a per­son is in, what­ever their frame of ref­er­ence is to­ward the ex­ter­nal world that will shape how they en­gage with any event.

We all carry un­re­solved is­sues or emo­tional bag­gage that hasn’t been un­packed and that tends to in­flu­ence how we will feel and act as we at­tribute past ex­pe­ri­ences to present sit­u­a­tions.

Un­for­tu­nately our ten­dency is to blame the sit­u­a­tion or oth­ers rather than re­flect on what we con­trib­ute to it. It can be very un­com­fort­able to be hon­est about our own be­hav­iour and to take own­er­ship of mak­ing gen­uine change hap­pen.

The brain is lazy. It has a ba­sic rule – move away from pain or threat and move to­ward re­ward and plea­sure. It likes to work in a com­fort zone of formed habit and to change that re­quires real ef­fort and dis­ci­pline.

Rewiring the brain and re­fram­ing our thoughts is tir­ing. Have you ever given up sugar, cof­fee, smok­ing or changed your diet sub­stan­tially to get healthy? If you have, and were suc­cess­ful, you’ll know what I’m talk­ing about.

Imag­ine how many times you’ve con­firmed a neg­a­tive thought about your­self or oth­ers and done that con­sis­tently. In other words wired your­self to be­lieve that, sought ev­i­dence to con­firm it, not to deny it, and there­fore cre­ated the re­al­ity that is true for you. Re­mem­ber, none of this ex­ists out­side our heads. It’s all in the mind.

So, back to the state­ment “Wher­ever you go there you are”. If it’s all in the mind then we can change any thought or be­lief at any time with a lit­tle ef­fort, a re­frame and re­fo­cus.

Rowena and I do a lot of trav­el­ling and for each trip we get our bags out and de­cide what we will need de­pend­ing on where we are go­ing, how long we are away for and what con­tin­gen­cies

We all carry un­re­solved is­sues or emo­tional bag­gage that hasn’t been un­packed

we may need to cover. We or­gan­ise and clean our gear then me­thod­i­cally pack for ease of han­dling so wher­ever we end up we make the trip easy.

Over the years I’ve learnt to do that with my emo­tional back­pack too. If what you’re find­ing where you are isn’t what you want, take time to un­pack yours and repack it to suit what you want in your de­sired fu­ture. Happy trav­els.

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

Take time to un­pack your bag and repack it to suit what you want in your future.

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