Episode 108: Believing Impossible ThingsJun 07, 2021
Our brains are amazing prediction machines. They take the past and they use that evidence to inform us about our future, to tell us what we are capable of and what’s possible for us. But so much of what we want to create in our lives doesn’t exist in the past and so to get what we want we have to be willing and able to believe things we’ve never believed about ourselves.
In this episode, I share the tools that will help you suspend your disbelief and allow yourself to believe impossible things about yourself and your life. It’s easier than you think and you already have the natural ability to do it. You just have to give yourself the permission to practice and strengthen your skills to believe impossible things, so that you can create a future that is everything you want it to be.
Episode Tools and Questions
To accomplish a new goal, we have to believe things about ourselves we’ve never believed before. When confronted with a belief with no evidence of success, our brains make us think that we’re believing in something impossible. That we are pretending to be someone else. What I’d like to offer you is that this is not a problem.
Nothing bad happens when you decide to believe. In fact, all kinds of amazing things start to happen when you do. If I allow myself to believe impossible things, I show up in a different way. I’m creative, I problem-solve, my energy shifts, and I start to change from within.
Because the point isn’t to achieve the new, impossible goal. The point is to become the person who does the impossible things. When you become that person, your life will change in only good ways.
In this week’s episode, I’m explaining why it’s worth believing in impossible things and how to do it when you’ve never done it before. Whether you realize it or not, every day you choose to believe lots of impossible things. Now I want you to see how you can believe impossible things about yourself and your life.
Todd Herman, The Alter Ego Effect
Welcome to the 100% Awesome Podcast with April Price, you might not know it, but every result in your life is 100% because of the thought you think. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome!
Hello, podcast universe! Welcome to episode 108 of the 100% Awesome Podcast, I'm April Price and I want to welcome you to the podcast and to the incredible possibility of your life. Like sometimes in the day to day in the ordinariness, we forget that. We forget about the truly incredible, and endless possibilities that exist out in front of each one of us. Our brains, as you know, our amazing prediction machines, and they kind of create a feeling of safety, and certainty for us by looking at the past, and then extrapolating that past out, and predicting the future from there, right? You can depend on the sun coming up, you can depend on gravity being a factor in your life tomorrow. But sometimes it uses the same prediction mechanism to say things about you, and what's possible for you, right? You could depend on not exercising again tomorrow, you can depend on failing as a mother again tomorrow. And we start to predict our own futures from our past. And then our present, and our futures start to look remarkably like the past we have already lived.
But I want you to know that it doesn't have to be this way. The future is up for grabs. Tomorrow, you could be anything you want to be, you could have anything you want to have in an hour, you could be anything you want to be. And I just want to remind you of that. Of the non-setness, right? Of the un-inevitability of your life, and how you have in front of you, in fact, an endless array of possibilities available to you always. And I want you to know that for sure. Now, your brain, of course, is going to protest. It's going to go to your past, and it's going to let you know what's possible for you, and what you can expect from yourself, and others, and and what you can expect from your life, and what you can and can't do. But I want you to know you don't ever have to believe your brain. Did you know that? Your brain is just offering you one opinion and you don't ever have to believe it. And the best way that I know to stop believing your brain is to hire a coach, and get coached, and see your brains assessment of you for what it is. Just a thought, just one opinion, and always 100% optional.
We have all of us, we have so much chatter, we have so many rules, we have so much evidence from the past about who we are, and what we're capable of and all of it our brains have just made up. And a coach can help you sort through all of that nonsense, and choose the most useful thoughts to you, the thoughts that will help you get what you want, not just keep creating more of what you don't want.
So, my next coaching group is filling up, it starts next week, next Tuesday on June 1st. And it is going to be amazing. And I think the best thing that you could do for yourself, for your family, for your life is to be in that group. I know that your brain has a million reasons why not to do coaching. Before I started coaching, my brain had a million reasons to, right? It thinks that, like, you should have figured this out by yourself, or that it's too much money, or that group coaching just isn't for you, or it's not really going to work, right? Like maybe it works for other people, I mean, April is probably amazing, but it's not going to work for me because I am definitely not amazing. But I promise you that none of that is true, well, except for maybe the April is amazing part. But you should not have figured it out, right? It may seem like it should be easy to change your life, but most people don't. Most people don't change. Most people don't figure it out like we don't just accidentally stumble upon extraordinary lives and most of the humans don't.
And of course, we need outside help to see our own inside brains, right? And that is help worth paying for. It's not too much money. This is your life, and there is not too much money to pay for what you want to get out of it. It is the best money you will ever spend, because the understanding that you get of yourself, and your brain in the way it works, and how you use your agency are worth every penny that you invest in it, and it never stops paying you back. I think group coaching is the most powerful way to get coached, and it is going to be a safe place where you are going to get lots of personal coaching with that amazing added benefit, and perspective of seeing other brains do what brains do.
And this perspective just makes changing your thoughts so much faster, and gives you tons of compassion for yourself. And it really works, and it will really work for you. Right, like your brain, isn't like especially broken, your brain is just like all the other brains. And when you understand how it works, you can change anything you want in your life. But most of all, you are amazing, really. And I know you can't see that right now because your brain is running the show, but you are amazing. And I will show you how to see that for real. Coaching will change your life. And I know that sounds kind of impossible, but that is because you don't really know right now how much impact your current thinking is having on your current results. Like you sort of think your results are what they are and then you're just having true thoughts about those results. But actually, the opposite is true. Your thinking is creating all of your current results. And I don't say that ever to make you feel bad, but to show you how amazing it is that the way things are, doesn't have to be the way things stay.
It's not you. It's just your thoughts. And if you want to feel better, and love your life, and love yourself, and do all the amazing things you came to Earth to do, I think the best way to do that is to be in my coaching group. I'll just tell you that straight out. We're going to start on Tuesday, and you can be there, too. It is so powerful, it is so fun, and it will be the best thing you ever do for yourself.! You can sign up for a free call and just see the difference that coaching can make, right? To look at your thoughts in a different way. And if you like that experience, and you can see power, and benefit in it, then I can tell you more about the group and how to be a part of it, okay? So, you can sign up for a free coaching call at my website, aprilpricecoaching.com, or you can just follow the link in the show notes.
Okay, so today I want to talk to you about believing impossible things, how we believe impossible things, right? Not just believing what you've always believed, or believing, like the reasonable realistic things. Not just believing the things that your brain has categorized as possible for you, but starting to believe really impossible things about yourself, and your life. Because like I said in the beginning, if we only believe what we've always believed, we are just going to keep creating what we've always created. And to create new things in our lives, to create new results, and new possibilities in our life, we are going to have to believe new things. And in fact, in many ways, we are going to have to believe impossible things, or at least things that are impossible to our brains right now, right? Because everything we have ever done at one time was impossible, right?
There was a time when walking was impossible. There was a time when finding someone to share a life with was impossible. For me there was a time when having a business, and making money was impossible. When doing a pull up was impossible. When loving my body, or approving of my mothering was all really impossible. And really, if you think about any aspect of our life, right, indoor plumbing, automobiles, electric lights, phones without cords or an operator, landing rovers on Mars, like it's all impossible at one point. And I just want you to know that there are thousands more things in each one of our futures that right now are impossible, but someday will be.
So, to start this up today, recently my coach gave me, and everyone in my master-mind a challenge to earn twenty-thousand dollars, in the last thirty-days of our master mind together. And when she gave us this challenge immediately, my brain was like, no, that's impossible. Right? Like I was between launches for my group program, and I just felt like, no, that's just like out of the realm of possibility for me. And I wasn't the only one that thought so, right? Like there were several people, actually, most of the people in the group who had brains that protested like mine. And we're like, no, can't be done, right? Like you don't understand me, and my business, I am not a place where I can do that. It's just impossible. And my coach said, I want all of you for one moment to allow yourself to suspend your disbelief. I want you to allow yourself to be delusional even, and ask yourself if it were possible, what would I do, right? What would I be thinking, and feeling? And then, what would I do if I knew it were possible? And then she said something that I think is powerful for all of us to realize. And she said, like, when you were kids, you were really good at believing impossible things, and you still have that capacity to believe in impossible things. It's just a muscle that you have stopped using.
And I really want you to think about that for a minute. Okay, so a couple of weekends ago, we sat down as a family and we watched the movie Kong versus Godzilla. I'm like even embarrassed to say that out loud on the podcast, right? So, like, I didn't see the Oscars last weekend, but I'm pretty sure Kong vs Godzilla was not nominated for best picture, right? Like, it is just not good you guys. Like as my son said, like, well, if you can suspend science, and logic, and reason, that is a really great film. But like, obviously, I wasn't going in totally blind. I mean, like it's not like I was being fooled by the title, right? Like it wasn't a mystery what this film was about. I knew going in I was going to get Kong and Godzilla, right? And it wasn't going to be this amazing piece of like cinematic history happening, right? Like it's about a giant gorilla, and a giant lizard, okay? But my point is, and I do have one, is that when I go to watch a movie, right, whether it's Kong vs. Godzilla or like a Hallmark Christmas movie, I am engaging in an activity in which I have consented to suspend my idea of reality for a couple of hours.
I have allowed myself to be delusional, and believe in giant gorillas, and city lawyers who want to give up the rat race to become a Christmas tree farmer. Like we participate by willingly surrendering our ideas of reality, and our ideas of what's possible. And we just believe in the story in front of us. We do this with books too. I have a daughter who is a huge reader, and I have found her many, many nights sobbing her eyes out in her bedroom at three o'clock in the morning, just like wailing because something terrible happened to some made up fictional character in her book, right? None of whom actually exist, right? None of whom actually had anything bad actually happen to them, because they are all made up. But what I want you to see is that our brains, of course, are perfectly capable of believing impossible things. When we give our brains permission, they are amazingly powerful at being able to be absorbed, and believe all kinds of imaginary, impossible pretend things.
And yet I still I have people all the time tell me when I suggest that they go ahead, and believe something different about themselves. I have people tell me all the time, well, I can't believe that, that's impossible, right? And what I want you to know is that it's not. It is not impossible. Your brain is very, very good at believing made up things. It is perfectly capable of believing lots of impossible things. And even now, all the negative things that you believe about yourself are actually just made up, right? You've just thought them for so long that they don't feel made up. They feel true, but it's all just made up. And I just think that you should make up something good because whatever you believe is going to show up in the results of your life. So, I think you should believe all the amazing, and possible good things you want, so that they will show up in your life.
Okay, here's the secret I really want you to know. You get results in your life, not if the thing is possible. Instead, you get the results of whatever you decide to believe is possible. It doesn't matter if the thing is possible or not. The only thing that matters is if you believe it is, and your brain can believe anything, you give it permission to believe. Okay, so that is the first thing I want you to know, you can believe anything you want, you just have to give yourself permission. And if you feel yourself resisting that, resisting giving yourself that permission, I want to offer you a thought that nothing bad happens when you decide to believe. And in fact, all kinds of amazing things start to happen when you do.
Okay, so when my coach gave us the challenge of 20K in 30 days, I sat down, and I tried to assess my commitment level to this challenge. I wanted to find out why I was so resistant to participating in the challenge at all, why my brain was like, no, not for me, right? So, I asked myself, why not? Why wouldn't I participate? Like even if it's impossible, what is the downside to taking the challenge? And I realized that because my brain thought it was impossible, my brain also thought that failure then was inevitable. And so, then I asked myself, okay, well, what's the downside to that? What's the downside to failing? And that's when I could see that the problem was giving myself the challenge, and setting the goal to achieve this impossible thing, the problem was that I might fail, and if I did that, I would feel bad. But why would I feel bad? Remember, I create my feelings, including feeling bad, or feeling disappointed, which would mean, in fact, that if I failed, I would think thoughts that would make me feel bad.
And so, listen, I didn't want to do that challenge because it was impossible, and when I failed, I would think thoughts that made me feel bad. So, I was like, wait a minute, what if I didn't, right? What if I didn't think thoughts that made me feel bad no matter what happens? What if instead, I committed to not think thoughts that made me feel bad, and I let myself believe impossible things, let myself believe I could achieve the goal. And this is what I think is in the way of all of you giving yourself permission to believe impossible things.
You don't want to give yourself permission to believe amazing, impossible things about yourself in case you're wrong, in case you fail, and then you think terrible things that make you feel bad. But I want you to know you don't have to. You could just go on believing the impossible things, and not make it mean anything negative. If you don't reach your goal, choose not to think thoughts that make you feel bad. Because, well, I figured it out, is that even if it was impossible, even if this goal in this challenge was impossible, I would be different if I took it. I would do things differently in my business if I believed it was possible to achieve the goal, meaning that if the only risk was thinking thoughts that made me feel bad, and I committed not to do that, then I could totally allow myself to believe impossible things, and only good would come from that. If I allow myself to believe impossible things, I show up differently in my business. Like I said, I work differently. I work from a different energy, I get creative, I get focused. I use my beliefs to fuel my action, I solve problems, I show up differently when I allow myself to believe impossible things instead of just assuming it's impossible and not going for it. And that is the whole point. And that is true in your life as well. The whole point of believing impossible things is not to achieve them even. The whole point is to become the person who does them, right?
The 20K doesn't matter. But in those thirty-days, what I do, who I become as a person, who could create that much money is what is important. And that is the same for any impossible thing you want to do. If you want to create a previously impossible result for yourself, the real reward for you will be who you have to become in order to achieve that thing. And that's why it's worth believing in impossible things.
Okay, so how do we do this? How do we believe impossible things about ourselves? Well, in addition to committing not to choose thoughts that make us feel bad if we experience a disappointing outcome, I want to suggest that you spend time in the impossible belief. You make it a point to spend more, and more time believing that impossible thing, just like watching a movie, or reading a book. You set aside time to, like, suspend your disbelief. And I want you to do the same thing about what you're trying to believe about yourself. When you watch a movie, or you read a book, you know that for a couple of hours you just get to disappear into the impossibility of that. And you give yourself over to that, and suspend your disbelief. And the same principles apply when you're trying to believe impossible things about yourself. If you can't believe the things you want to believe about yourself, or your life all the time, just commit to an hour or two, every single day, and then increase that time a little bit every day.
We have a good friend who suffered a stroke last year, and the effect of this kind of stroke that he had is that it makes you want to sleep a lot, and it's hard to wake up once you're asleep. Anyway, he had to be able to stay awake for a certain number of hours before he could start his therapy. And at the time, he was taking like a three hour nap in the morning, and having some lunch, and then going back, and having a three hour nap in the afternoon. And his wife had this idea that she could just wake him up five minutes earlier every day from his nap, and that slowly those five minutes would add up. And I think you should do the same thing with believing impossible things, spend an hour a day thinking that thought that you want to believe, but that feels totally impossible. And then tomorrow add five minutes, okay? The day after that, add five more. And if you keep adding the amount of time you spend believing that impossible thing, eventually you won't be able to think of yourself in any other way. To spend more, and more time in the belief.
This is what I did with my 20K every day, I made my brain spend time believing it was inevitable, believing that it was already done. And of course, I got there, and it was completely possible, and feeling what that would feel like. And every day that thought became a little bit easier. So, give yourself permission to believe impossible. Think there is no downside. Commit to not thinking thoughts that make you feel bad no matter the outcome. And then spend more and more time in the belief you can put time aside every single day, and then continue to add to it.
Okay the other point that I want to make today is to just go back to the idea that our brains like to be right, right? Even about us, even when they're like negative things, like even when we know that the current thing we believe about ourselves is not serving us, and we really want to believe differently about ourselves. Our brains actually want to be right even more than they want us to be different, like they would rather be right about all the things that are negative about us, then be different in any way. So, if we have a belief about ourselves, our brains hold on really, really tight to those thoughts. And they like to produce a lot of evidence for those beliefs, evidence that they're true. And I have recently been reading a book by Todd Hermann that's called The Alter Ego Effect. And in that book he talks about how each of us want to believe impossible things about ourselves. But our brain gets in the way and it says like, well, who do you think you are? That's not who you are. You're kidding yourself, and everyone else, right? You're an impostor, and everyone is going to find out the truth, okay? And our brain can be kind of relentless about this, right?
In fact, he tells the story in the book about Maya Angelou and she said, I have written 11 books, right? 11 books. But each time I think, oh, they're going to find out. Now, I've run a game on everybody, and they're going to find me out. She had written 11 books, and her brain was still telling her that she couldn't believe that she was a good writer, and that she had something valuable to state. Her brain was still telling her she was an impostor, and people were going to find out about it. This is what brains do. It's not just your brain, it's everybody's brain. It's Maya Angelou's brain. And it's not because we are actually impostors. It's because our brain is programmed to find all that is wrong with us. Notice all of our faults, and then it seeks to be right about all of this, about all this negative assessment. And it has tons of evidence that, of course, it is right. And all of this comes up for us when we dare to think something new about ourselves, when we dare to believe impossible things about ourselves. In other words, it's not because we aren't capable of impossible things. It's because our brain thinks we aren't. And it is certain that it is right about this, but it is not.
Okay, so how do we get around this? Well, first, of course, I think you should have a coach, because whenever I'm believing my brain's story that I'm not capable, and it's not for me, and I just can't think these things about myself. My coach helps me see that these are just thoughts, and none of it is true, okay? It's always just my brain. But something else that might be helpful for you today is to set up what Todd Hermann calls the "alter ego." So, an alter ego is like another version of you that's like stronger, and more powerful, right? Like think about like Clark Kent, and Superman, right? It's a version of you that you can give the jobs that your brain says you can't do. So, a really good example of this is Beyonce. So, as you know, Beyonce grew up singing in a church choir, and then when she started performing, and singing for her career. Her brain was like, no, this is who we are, we are not capable of this, and this is not you, right? And so, she adopted an alter ego that she called Sasha Fierce, and Sasha Fierce could sing, and dance, and perform, and do all the things that Beyonce needed to do to be good at her career. And it was this amazing workaround for her brain so that she could do all the things she needed to do, but which her brain told her she had no business doing.
And in an interview, she said, When I see a video of myself on stage or TV, I'm like, who is that girl? I have someone else that takes over when it's time for me to work, and when I'm on stage. This alter ego that I've created protects me, and who I really am, I think that's so powerful. And I want to say that not only does the alter ego protect Beyonce, and who she really is, and allows her to be open to criticism, or public opinion, right? Because it's not her, it's the alter ego, but in so many ways, also the alter ego also protects her dreams. It protects her work. It protects her dreams from her own brain, and from her brain who says, hey, you can't do this, this isn't you. And then, she gets to do all the things she wants to do in the world because her brain is out of the way. It's never that we can't do the thing, it's just that our brain is back there telling us that we can't. And using the alter ego is just a way to get around your brain's need to be right. And what I want to be sure to point out to you is that, of course, it's still Beyonce in there, right? It's still her. It's still her talent. It's still her voice. It's just a way to suspend her brain's disbelief, a way to suspend your disbelief and your critical brain long enough to be able to do your work in the world.
So, there was a study done at the University of Minnesota. They took four to six year old children, and the researchers put them in this room with a toy that was in a locked glass box, right? And then they gave the kids a ring of keys, but none of the keys actually opened the box, and would open the the box so that they could get to the toy. But the researchers were trying to see how long they would try, and all the things they would try in their thought processes to be able to to work out this problem, right? And so, they told the children that they could pretend to be Batman, or Dora the Explorer, and they could even dress up, and wear a cape if they wanted to. And they found that the most persistent kids were the ones that dressed up, and impersonated Batman, or Dora and talked like them. The next most persistent were the children who pretended to be Batman, or Dora, and followed last by the children that didn't pretend and they just remained in their own first-person perspective.
And the study concluded the kids impersonating Batman, or Dora were more flexible thinkers. They tried the most keys and they were calmer. One four-year old even said "Batman never gets frustrated." Okay, so cool, right? Like, here's the thing about using an alter ego. What you're trying to do is access the characteristics that that alter ego has. You're trying to borrow them. In fact, for a moment you're like allowing yourself to believe that you have those characteristics and abilities. But it's important to note that you are not pretending, you do have those characteristics. You are not pretending to be someone else. It's just that you are getting your brain out of the way, it's criticism out of the way long enough to let those characteristics come out to be who you really are. You are allowing yourself to believe impossible things about yourself. Remember, it's not that your brain has the truth about you and we're just trying to pretend otherwise. It's that your brain doesn't have the truth at all. It has lies, and insecurities, and imposter syndrome, and judgment of you, and it's keeping you from who you really are. And we're just like setting that aside, and letting the alter ego be who you really are.
There is a British actor named Rowan Atkinson who's like probably most famous for playing Mr. Bean. Like, you know, Mr. Bean, you can kind of picture him. And all through school, he stuttered and he was really bullied for his stuttering. When he got to Oxford, he kind of developed this interest in drama. And he found that when he was performing, and being someone else, getting into somebody else's brain for a moment, he no longer stuttered. His brain had a story about him. But when he was somebody else, his brain could no longer offer that to him, and the real him shown through without the interference of his brain. It's our brains sort of shame for who we are, like our deep self-consciousness of who we are, and what we lack that gets in our way. Our brain is so quick to find what's wrong, and hold it over us for why we can't believe impossible things about ourselves. And if you can just put the alter ego in charge to do the hard or scary things that you feel inadequate about, then your brain can have a moment to pause in its constant critique, and you can create amazing things in the world.
So, I want you to know that you can use this idea of an alter ego for whatever area of your life. You want to believe impossible things about yourself in your parenting, in your marriage, in your business. I want you to notice what would happen if you adopt the alter ego, and let those characteristics which are already inside of you just be manifest without the interference of your brain telling you this is who you are believing impossible things is like believing anything else. It is a choice, and whether you recognize it or not, every day we choose to believe lots of things that are impossible. If you are a religious person, you believe lots of impossible things. You are good at it. If you enjoy movies, or books, or science, even you believe a lot of impossible things. You are good at it. And I just want you to exercise that muscle. I just think you should allow yourself to be good at believing impossible things about yourself, and your life, because believing impossible things is how you will create all the impossible things that you want to have in your life. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome! I love you for listening and I'll see you next week!
The next round of my group coaching program Made for More starts soon, and I think you should be a part of it. Your brain was program for survival, but you were made for more than that. You were made for more love and more accomplishment and more joy right now. And I can show you the simple way to get all of that. Join me in Made for More where we will spend the next six-months coaching, and reprogramming your brain so that you can get the most out of this life. And the next go to aprilpricecoaching.com to sign up for a free coaching consultation and see how changing your thoughts can change everything else.
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