In the previous post/episode we’ve seen that the way we feel is the direct result of what we think (and I strongly suggest you to read/listen to it here). It’s only through the filter of our thoughts that we’ll feel either motivated or frustrated. We’ve seen that life’s circumstances are neutral and this is why two people with the exact same situation will react differently.
So, how to be the best version of yourself?
Table Of Contents
- The human brain: understanding how your brain works in its natural mode & how it evolved with human evolution.
- Limiting beliefs: we’ll talk about how limiting beliefs affect us.
- The observer: I’ll give you a specific tool to start becoming the best version of yourself.
I. The human brain: understand how it works in autopilot
The human brain has an average of 50 000 thoughts a day and 80% of those thoughts are repetitive, meaning that we dwell on the same problems & situations, over and over. 95% of these same thoughts are negative.
So in fact, we can say that we spend most of our days thinking of negative situations whilst in our autopilot mode.
We think that the human brain has a natural negative bias meaning that naturally it will focus more on negative aspects of our lives and experts think that this bias is linked to human evolution. Let me explain: if we imagine a caveman trying to survive or even simply someone who faces a survival situation, we can imagine that it’s preferable for the brain to focus on the worst-case scenario right? In order to survive and face it the best way, it’s more important to think “How am I going to feed my kids?” rather than “The blue sky looks amazing today” don’t you think?
The problem is that:
- If you read this article you likely not to be in a direct survival situation, so unconsciously this mode doesn’t always serve you.
- The thoughts that you dwell on are thoughts, situations, events & memories that you have accumulated over the past, especially from your childhood.
- With technology and because we have access to so much more information in the new world, without realizing it, the media & advertising agencies are spoon feeding us their negative opinions.
- With time, we can assimilate those ideas & opinions so deep in ourselves, that we don’t question them anymore. This is what we call “limiting beliefs” (a quick example could be: “rich people are evil”).
Discover more about your brain
- Paradoxically the brain doesn’t want to think too much.
- It’s easier for the brain to always have the same thought process so that it can use the same circuit in order to think less.
- If the brain questions things too much, it uses lots of energy that it can’t utilize for surviving, it’s primary function.
- The brain functions this way to help us and operate in its best optimal way. You can imagine that if we’d spend our time to question absolutely everything, we couldn’t live.
II. Limiting beliefs
With human evolution and the society we live in, we all ended up with what we call limiting beliefs. A belief is something, an idea, thought, or concept that we don’t question anymore. It can be dangerous in a way that it prevents us from evolving & limits us somehow in our lives.
We all hold limiting beliefs about ourselves, our physical appearances, about life in general, about our relationships, about others…etc.
Some examples are:
- Ourselves: ‘I am shy’, ‘I need to be thin & fit for summer’ or ‘I am not good at drawing’
- Others: ‘American are (loud)’, ‘gay people are (abnormal)’, ‘men are (liars)’ or ‘women are (complicated)’
- Life: ‘you need to work hard to earn money’, ‘no pain, no gain’ or just ‘life is hard’
- Work: ‘it’s hard to succeed as a woman’, ‘you need to work hard to create the job of your dreams’.
Where do all those beliefs come from? Is it something that I truly think or is it a program that I downloaded when I was a kid? Did I get this from myself or from my friends, society, family? Did I hear this on TV?
If we don’t do any work on our thoughts & beliefs, it’s important to realize that they”ll always stick around. They won’t go by themselves & they’ll prevent you from using your full potential and create the life you want AND deserve.
III. The observer: best tool to become the best version of yourself
When we become aware that our brain spends most of its time on autopilot, it’s easy to guess that there’s a level of consciousness that we don’t have access to and that no one taught us: the one of the observers. The aim of becoming an observer is to be able to observe our thoughts and how they link to emotions. The observer allows us to become aware of patterns of behavior/thoughts/beliefs that we carry and this holds us back from being the best version of ourselves.
Using the observer as a tool:
- allows us to become aware of the thought chatter in our mind.
- to create a detachment & perspective to reflect on situations, events, self-talk…etc.
- to step back from our own perception that often creates confusion.
We are not used to questioning our thoughts & beliefs and even less to observe them. This is why I suggested in the 1st post to write down for at least 5min in the morning the flow of your thoughts with a timer. Observing them and trying to notice if there’s anything that sounds weird or doesn’t feel good. Ask yourself: is it something that I believe or is it a program that I downloaded being a child or through media influence?
Also, ask yourself: is it something that serves me? Or is it something that hinders me?
Through this exercise, you should be able to take the position of an observer of your own mind and take a look at your thoughts from a different angle. Over time, with these new perceptions that you’ll have of your life, you’ll be able to take back control and feel freer.
I hope that you liked this post and that it will help you in the future! Feel free to ask me anything if it’s not clear 🙂
Summarize: how to be the best version of yourself?
- Challenge your negative bias: understanding the way your brain works, allows you to take perspective & become more objective on your thinking.
- Determine your limiting beliefs: it’s the first step to overcome them.
- Get in the habbit to observe more: it will allow you to feel more in control of your life