Hands-up who watches a thrilling TV drama and then spends the rest of the day feeling on edge? or a weepy movie and for some reason, you’re feeling down about life and yet you spend a couple of hours watching a comedian and you’re in a good mood for the rest of the day? What we take in, programmes our minds, and Life and Business Coach Sophie French is here to tell you why, and what you can do about it.
My Mum has this thing about the local park where I’ll go and take a walk whenever I’m visiting. “Don’t go out on your own”, she says. “Be careful out there!” she warns. “I wouldn’t dare to walk out there on my own”, she declares.
She makes out as though she lives in some backstreet of the ghetto with an armed gunman at every corner. She doesn’t. She lives in a pretty little village in the Midlands that has a greengrocers and a co-op and a florist and two cafes and three indian takeaways no less!
The thing is is that she loves a crime or a thriller. If she’s not watching brutal murders on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit or Silent Witness, she’s reading about them in the three books she gets immersed in each week. And what you feed your mind, feeds your perception of reality, you see.
I’d managed to persuade her on a morning mother/daughter walk today, while the sun was shining and we had some catching up to do. Halfway around our stroll, after she’d actively avoided the man with his hood up walking his dog because
“What are the POLICE doing here?” she questioned, her eyes wide and alert.
“It wasn’t a policeman!” I said.
“It was, he was wearing a police hat!”
I’ve never seen her move so quickly, as she marched down the path to check out what was going on.
We finally reached said ‘policeman’ to find that, alas, it was merely a man in a high-vis jacket wearing a baseball cap, walking his dog with some friends.
So why was my Mum convinced that it was a policeman?
According to the law of confirmation bias, our minds look for evidence of what we already believe to be true! So, as my Mum has long-held her belief that she’s going to get snatched by a killer in the woods at any moment, her brain automatically jumped to POLICEMAN and CRIME when she saw something that resembled her expectation.
If you’re immersed in reading terrible news stories or stories about people in their business who have had to close down or are talking to people who are finding things really difficult: you’re going to be more inclined to look for the same for yourself.
It works in the same way if you hold a belief that ‘I don’t know what it is I want to do…’. Keep telling yourself that and you’ll continue to look for evidence of it. All these bright yellow high-vis options might be wandering past your face but you’ll be so caught up in the story of ‘nope, I told you I didn’t know’ that you’ll miss them.
Or, if you hold a belief that ‘my clients aren’t going to like my work’ then you’re on the constant lookout for evidence that that’s true, so even the smallest comment about a change or wanting to refine something will send you into a meltdown about ‘I knew they didn’t like me!’
When you monitor what you’re feeding your mind with: from the things you read, to the people you hang out with, your whole perception begins to change, and then, so does your reality. Because you’re looking for evidence of the GOOD stuff and not the shitty. And alas: you see more of it!
That’s your Reticular Activating System at work: it looks for what you tell it to and what you’re focusing on. So it’s your responsibility to programme it with the stuff you want to see. That YES, there are other people making cool things happen and it’s possible for you too. That YES, you’re talented and brilliant and your clients are delighted with your work. That YES, there are so many people in the world who want + need + will pay good money for the skills + service you bring to the table.
I often imagine there’s a little gatekeeper to my mind, and anything that doesn’t make me feel good isn’t allowed in. A ‘brain bouncer’ if you will.
And YEAHHH I know, you can’t live in a bubble of lovely all the time, cos’ sadly you gotta see: other humans! And this ‘Brexit thing’ can be really hard to avoid. But it’s more about being mindful of what you’re allowing in. And of taking responsibility for that.
Your brain is designed to keep you alive (which is why it looks for danger at every opportunity). It’s not designed to make you happy. That bit is up to YOU.
It might be meditations and visualisations like THESE to help you reconnect with yourself.
It might be inspirational videos like THIS to get you all pumped up.
It might be reading The Happy Newspaper full of inspiring stories HERE.
Whatever it is that makes you feel good and reminds you of all the magic in the world, do more of that.
It’ll work wonders for, well, everything else.
Considering working with Sophie? You can book in for one of her amazing Magic Activation VIP Days where she’ll support you to get out of your business limbo, get you crystal-clear on your next steps, and reboot your momentum and enthusiasm in a BIG way! Use the code SMALLANDMIGHTY when enquiring to get 10% off.
Sophie is a Life Coach & Business Mentor supporting women in business to ‘crush the can’t’ in their head, own their superpowers and share them with the world. To date, she’s helped hundreds of women ignite confidence in themselves. Her clients have quit soul-sucking jobs, launched businesses, tripled their monthly income, launched workshops, become fully booked and much more because they’ve learned how to bust through their limits and pursue their dreams.