Have you ever noticed how quickly your brain shuts you down when you begin daydreaming about something you’d like to do, have or be? It’s like it’s just waiting on the sidelines to pipe up with comments like “Well, that’s not possible” or “That would be nice, but it’s unlikely to happen”. And then it presents us with “evidence” in the form of thoughts that project how things won’t work out, how we don’t have have what it takes to do x, y, z.
Our primitive brain is always scanning for evidence to prove why we’re not safe because it thinks it’s job is to keep us alive. And for thousands of years, it’s done a very good job of that. But we have evolved to the point where we’re not presented with life-threatening dangers in our daily lives, but our primitive brain is unaware of that. So, it’s primary purpose is to keep us safe on an emotionallevel: it tells us WARNING! You might be rejected, disappointed, afraid, hurt etc. if you stray outside of your designated “comfort” zone.
The other way it gives us “evidence” for why something isn’t possible is by directing us to focus on the past and conjuring up memories of how things didn’t work out before. We have difficulty believing that something can be different in the future because it didn’t work out in the past. This mindset can subtly generate feelings of self-pity or self-judgment as we interpret our lives through the lens of what hasn’t worked out.
But, we have the capacity to retrain to our brain to think differently and use a future-focus instead of a past-focus to support our goals. The way we do this is by using our “possibility thinking”: I’m willing to believe that I could do X; I’m open to the idea that this X is possible for me to achieve; I may not know how to get there, but I can learn what I need to know. These kinds of thoughts create the room our brain needs to make space for the New.
Would you like to have a better relationship with your ex? Would you like a future where every conversation doesn’t turn into an argument or a blame game? Would you like to believe that your kids are growing stronger, wiser and more resilient as a result of your divorce rather than suffering because of it? Anything is possible! Don’t believe your brain’s dire thoughts of doom and gloom. Decide that you’re going to prove to yourself that anything is possible and you will.