I love today’s writing in the book. These two lines taken together are right on with my experience.
“It is not things that upset us but our judgements about things.” -Epictetus
“Your mental health takes a huge leap when you realize this fact.” -Chet
I remember many a night, pre-BTL and when I first started working with David, where my brain would circle and run amok with anxious thoughts. Particularly at night when there was nothing to distract it. So I’d lay awake thinking about the big meeting I had coming up, worrying about if the job I had would work out, if my financial plan was on target, if I’d cared enough for an employee, or held them to a high enough standard, or if I had us on track for our year goals, or if I’d been a good enough friend, or if I’d worked out hard enough…on and on.
The game changer for me was the moment I realized my thoughts are not me. My thoughts don’t get to control me or even what I choose to mentally linger on. Once I realized that truth everything started to shift. The same is possible for you. You can learn to engage with your brain. The brain is hard-wired to tune in to fear, remember? It’s just trying to do its job. In fact its great as an indicator, alerting you to danger. The problem is when we let it move from an indicator to a driver – it’s a TERRIBLE driver. If the brain is driving, we crash. So fight back. Put it in the passenger seat where it belongs.
I started fighting back by working on my CORE. Deciding what I believed about my brain, my thoughts, where I wanted to put my focus. As my CORE got stronger, I had truth I could use to fight back. I would literally, out loud, say “Brain, shut the F up. You don’t get to control me. My CORE decides.” When I first started it was hit or miss. Sometimes it would help, sometimes my brain would win. But I kept practicing and getting stronger. And now? I fall asleep like a baby every night. The rare night I don’t is an outlier that I don’t sweat. My CORE dominates the day (and night) rather than my brain.
So practice. Come up with a phrase for your brain. Remind it of the CORE work you’re doing. Build your CORE stronger than your brain. Practice more, even when it’s hit or miss. You’ll get better. That’s literally why we practice. You got this, simply do the work.