Trick or Treat Your Brain


Do you see a young or old woman first?
Who do you see first?

I'm listening to a book called Thinking, Fast and Slow by Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman where he discusses, in my most brief of summaries, how we have a fast-thinking, intuitive mind which makes (often incorrect) judgments and assessments based only on what it can see, and a slower-thinking, more rational mind that utilizes more information than what is immediately apparent to form its conclusions.


One idea that has stuck with me is that the intuitive mind comes up with an idea and if the rational mind has supporting evidence, that initial idea becomes a belief.


I've been taking notice of this lately in my pursuit to realize my goal of being a successful coach. I've noticed my intuitive brain trying to trick me into not believing in myself. My rational brain has managed to bubble up selective memories that reinforce a limiting belief instead of canceling the idea outright.


Thank goodness I've had some great coaches in my life and am able to draw on tools from working with them. The first is similar to Mel Robbins' Five Second Rule, only I use cancel-cancel-cancel to negate the bullshit, limiting idea before it can be affirmed and start to settle in as a full formed belief. It's subtle, but I'm telling my subconscious mind what to do, and that is to cut the shit.


The subconscious mind doesn't distinguish the nuance of tone, it doesn't understand sarcasm, or joking, or hyperbole. The subconscious mind is like that friend who you have to actually call because they just don't read your texts the way you wrote them. It's all just words on a page to the subconscious mind.


So what do I do when my two minds seem to be in concert working against me?

  1. I recognize the fallacies of the supporting information being fed to my intuition.

  2. Cancel Cancel Cancel the initial intuitive thought and the false evidence appearing real.

  3. I being to change the story by thinking of actual evidence from my past that supports the more expansive belief I want.

  4. I journal about it so I can reinforce what's in my head on paper in my own handwriting.

  5. If I'm really on point, I'll work up an affirmation to help cement what I want as a belief.

This isn't an instantaneous process and it rarely sticks the first time because it takes slight effort to remember to oppose the thoughts that come first, and our brains are lazy (or, rather, they're more concerned with our survival than reality). But step 1 does happen faster and faster, and then steps 2 & 3 tend to happen almost immediately since I've already laid the groundwork for them to be recalled, and in time I effectively forge empowering beliefs with neural pathways that have deeper grooves than their limiting-belief predecessors.



If you want help expanding your toolbox and shifting your internal monologue, contact me for a free sample coaching session to see what it's all about.

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