How Your Brain Is Ruining Your Happiness (And What To Do About It)

Let me know if this has ever happened to you…

 

You just got home from a long day of work.

 

Your body is tired.

 

Your brain is fried.

 

Your soul may or may not be totally crushed from a full shift of being a grown up, out in the real world.

 

You walk in the house, sit down, and all of a sudden it starts calling your name.

 

And god no, I am not referring to satan’s clown-baby from the Stephen King movie. But the it  I am referring to is something much, MUCH more frightening.

#true

 

It can be an ice cream sandwich or a bag of chips.

 

It can be a cigarette or a device for smoking marijuana (Meet The Parents reference right there).

 

It can be the urge to text that toxic person in your life who you know you shouldn’t text.

 

It can be choosing to watch that new Netflix show instead of searching for a better job role.

 

It can be mindlessly shopping on Amazon Prime, sucking the life out of your bank account $19 dollars at a time (I buy cheap stuff).

 

Everyone’s it is different, but everyone has some addiction, vice or aspect of their life that they are trying to change.

 

And even though we can agree that your goals are noble and you want to create positive change in your life, it always seems that creating actual lasting breakthrough and improvement is really. damn. hard.

 

Whatever it is, it seems to have a pretty tight hold on you that you can’t explain.

 

WHYYYYY

 

Have you ever thought why this happens so often?

 

Why you declare once and for all that you are going to get healthy, but find yourself binge-eating queso like 3 days later?

 

Why you declare that you are going to start the process of transitioning into the career of your dreams, but find yourself wasting time in the same ways that you always did?

 

Why you make the decision to pay closer attention to your spending so that you can save for something important, but end up falling into the same old spending habits as before?

 

Is it because you’re weak?

 

Is it because you lack discipline?

 

Is it because some people were just born with more willpower and organizational skills and you got totally screwed by genetics?

 

What if I told you that the one REAL thing holding you back wasn’t a lack of commitment or mental fortitude, but was a deeply ingrained (and super outdated) survival mechanism that was designed to keep you safe from death and destruction?

 

What if I told you that it was your brain, that super-computer located between your ears, that was actually sabotaging you at a subconscious level, without you even noticing?

 

Your Brain Is Like…Your Grandma?

 

You see, the mind is this insanely powerful too that, when used properly, has incredible problem-solving abilities. But at it’s core, it’s main purpose is to help you survive.

 

And since our brains developed in the caveman days, when danger was EVERYWHERE, our brains became overly sensitive to fear and overly cautious to keep us alive.

 

Obviously, our brains are just trying to protect us.

 

But in our modern age, when real danger to your well-being isn’t lurking around every corner, the overly cautious brain is actually doing more harm than good.

 

Think of your brain as your over-protective grandma who follows you everywhere, warning you about every single decision, forcing you to overthink everything.

#alsotruth

 

God bless her heart, your grandma means well, but she is SUFFOCATING you and clouding your judgement.

 

So you need to free yourself from the clutches of your overly-protective grandma (aka your brain)!

 

And Here’s The MAIN Reason Why…

 

Your brain craves safety, comfort and predictability over all things. Because in your mind, those things equate with survival. And survival is your brain’s number one priority.

 

So your brain, thinking it’s doing you a favor, would rather have you settle for unfulfilled, unhappy and predictable, instead of letting you stand up and fight for an incredible life that you love the heck out of.

 

You and I can both agree that growth, progress and transformation don’t live in the realm of safe, comfortable and predictable.

 

The incredible life you want lies beyond those things.

 

In the uncharted waters of potential that are just waiting for you to journey through and claim all of the amazing life and experience that is yours to create.

 

You have to venture out into the unknown, outside of the predictability of your comfort zone, in order to design the life you know you deserve.

 

Obviously, your over-protective mind is going to be resistant toward this. It equates the unknown with danger and death.

 

It’s just trying to keep you safe, but like we said, it’s doing more harm than good because there is no real threat that it has to protect you from.

 

And in fact, the actual threat is staying the same.

 

The real danger is settling for a mediocre life.

 

The real tragedy is leaving all of your unfulfilled potential trapped inside of you.

 

But your brain doesn’t know this. And it will try its hardest to prevent you from journeying outside of your comfort zone in order to protect you.

 

So on your journey, you will feel negative emotions as you grow and develop.

 

You will feel doubt, you will feel frustration, you will feel unnerved.

 

You may even feel isolated, anxious and uncertain.

 

You will feel a plethora of negative emotions.

 

And being able to recognize (and expect) these as your brain’s attempts to pull you back to a life of predictability and mediocrity is going to be the difference maker for your progress.

 

Tools For Growth

 

One of the first things I work on with my Transformational Breakthrough clients is how to level up their awareness so that they can start to pick up on when their brain is trying to sabotage their growth.

 

Taking yourself off of autopilot is crucial for freeing yourself from the fears that the brain creates, and to take yourself off of autopilot, you have to be able to recognize WHEN you are no longer in the driver’s seat.

 

The simple action of questioning your fears and negative emotions the second you find yourself being overcome by them will help you shed light on whether or not you are being sabotaged.

 

Question the fear, and see if the feeling is serving you or not.

 

For instance, if you are about to turn down a dark alley at 3am in a bad neighborhood and you start to feel fear and anxiety, question it!

 

Is this feeling of unease and cautiousness serving you? Yup, so listen to it and get the hell out of there!

when you SHOULD listen to fear….

 

In another instance, let’s say you are about to end things in a mediocre relationship or  go workout in a new gym full of strangers, and again, you start to feel that fear and tightness in your chest.

 

Is this feeling of unease and cautiousness serving you? Is there any life-threatening danger in ending a stale relationship that isn’t right for you? Does death and dismay really await you in the gym?

 

Not really.

 

But because our brains don’t associate control and predictability with breaking up or heading into a new gym, they create feelings of fear and unease to try to pull us back into safe and predictable (and sometimes destructive) habits.

 

And if you can recognize this fear and see it for what it is, and ultimately use your grown-up logic to declare that no serious danger awaits, then you regain the control to take the action that is right for you, your growth, and your overall happiness.

 

When you can practice this awareness on a consistent basis, and continue to take positive action when you recognize when these false-fears are present, then there is literally no limit to the amazingness that you can create in your life.

 

So yes, your brain is trying to do you a favor by keeping you safe, predictable and comfortable.

 

But as badass grown ups who want to best life possible, take yourself off of autopilot, decline your brain’s invitation to settle for mediocre, and take action on your own behalf.


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