Changing the Language of Your BrainApr 27, 2023
Today, I’m speaking to those of you who are waiting for something to change in your life. You want things to be different, but you keep waiting for something to instigate that change, to make you a different person so that your life can be different.
Maybe you think that if you could just magically be different from who you are now that you could show up differently in your life.
In this episode, I’m giving you a different way of thinking about this that I hope will be encouraging and motivate you to keep going.
The Language of Your Brain
Recently, I was listening to psychologist Dr. Justin Ross talk about how your brain has a native language system—a natural, native way of thinking about who we are and what we’re capable of.
We have used this language to create our identity and tell us who we are—and that informs what we do.
And just as you can learn to speak a new language, you can also learn to hold different thoughts about yourself. We have to learn to speak to ourselves in a new way, with new words, and new sentences, and practice this new language enough to embed it into your life.
Changing the Language
Think about how you acquired your first language. How many repetitions and patterns did you have to hear? How much time did you spend just observing and listening? How long were you immersed in that language before you built up the capacity to speak?
The same is true when we change our default thoughts.
We need more time, more repetition, more exposure to the new language we want to use with ourselves. Much more than you probably think.
Falling back into old thoughts, patterns and habits is so easy. It feels more natural. But that isn’t because those thoughts are true. It’s only because they are what you know.
You may have used your brain’s critical, self-doubting, limiting story for decades at this point. So changing it is not going to be easy. It takes effort, concentration, intention and practice.
Here are a few essential pieces to acquiring a new language.
When you’re learning a new language, you need a lot of exposure and practice with the new sounds, words and vocabulary. For it to start feeling more natural, you’ve got to build it into your life.
When I was training for the 29029 endurance event, I used my treadmill time as the place where I practiced new thoughts about myself. I strengthened the muscle of what I was going to think when I wanted to stop.
Choose a time in your day when you can practice these new thoughts consistently.
An immersive experience when learning a new language is always better. It means more exposure and more practice.
This is actually why I created my new Coaching Club. I wanted my clients to have access to coaching more than once a week. I didn’t want them to wait to learn and practice new ideas and thoughts.
You've probably heard that old saying that you are the accumulation of the five people that you hang around the most. So, if you’re spending time with others who are also building new thoughts about themselves, you will be exposed to more new ideas and be immersed in that new language.
Willingness to do it wrong
When children are learning to speak, they observe, they babble, they mix words up and mispronounce things. This is just part of the process.
Just like we may say the wrong thing when learning to speak a new language, we have to be willing to try on new thoughts about ourselves and get it wrong.
It’s scary to put our identity on the line. To challenge everything we have believed about ourselves. But until we do, we’re not going to move forward.
Practice is essential, but what if you aren’t practicing the right thing? ”
I know that I was able to make the progress I have in my life because I had a coach giving me feedback all the time, tweaking my thoughts and helping me come up with different ways to see myself.
I didn’t know the other words and thoughts that I needed, but my coach was able to show them to me.
Let it be hard
It’s not supposed to be easy. Your old way of speaking to yourself is deeply ingrained, and it’s easy to fall back into old patterns.
You’re not doing it wrong when it feels hard.
It’s hard to think about yourself in a different way. It takes discipline and energy to keep going.
Give it time
Acquiring a new language happens one word at a time, one realization at a time, one principle at a time.
But what you’re learning and practicing accumulates over time.
We’re going to get it wrong more than we get it right. You don’t need disgust, frustration, disappointment and fear along this path.
You are on your way to acquiring a new language that will change your life. And when that happens, we need to meet ourselves with love and encouragement.
- How changing your thoughts is like learning a new language
- Essential pieces to changing the language of your brain
- Where to immerse yourself in the new language
Mentioned in This Episode:
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