Brain Hack 2: Your Thoughts Create Your Reality
I’ve been reading recently that the word brain should be changed into a verb. I'm all for it. At any given time, our brains are sifting through billions of bits of data, organising and making sense of it all and telling us what to do. And the way our brain does that is by listening to the things we think and say. Your thoughts (and words) create the reality you see around you. No, this isn't crazy, 'woo-woo' stuff, it's actually all down to the part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System.
The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a bundle of nerves at our brain stem that filters out unnecessary information so the important stuff gets through. Your RAS takes what you focus on and creates a filter for it. It then sifts through the data it's bombarded with everyday and presents only the pieces that are important to you. Think about it like a doorman at night club looking at his guest list, if it’s not on the list, it doesn’t get into our awareness.
And of course, all of this happens without you noticing. For example, if someone loves opera, then a notice on the local high street about a concert will attract their eye. Where as I may walk by it 100 times and never once take notice. My RAS will filter out anything that’s not relevant to me – I literally just don’t see it. Pretty awesome, right? But what does this have to do with our thoughts creating our reality?
Well, the same way the RAS filters the information we see, it also will seek information that validates your beliefs. It filters the world through the parameters you give it, and your beliefs shape those parameters. If you think the world is dangerous or that you are bad at presenting, it will likely be true for you. If you believe people are friendly and you are good at your job, that also will like be true. Hence the famous Henry Ford quote, ‘Whether you think you can or whether you think you cannot, you are right.’
The good news is that you can actively influence your RAS by focusing on your goals and intentions. The idea being that if you create a compelling vision of your goals, your RAS will help you find the people, information and opportunities to achieve them. And if you focus on positive beliefs or values, your RAS will find you situations that validate and support those positive beliefs.
But you don't have to believe me, here’s a way to test it out for yourself. In Pam Grout’s book E-Squared, she lays out an experiment for consciously influencing your RAS.
1. Pick something random that you want to see – she suggests green cars, yellow butterflies or purple feathers.
2. Set a conscious intention for 48 hrs to look for that object along the lines of ‘I hereby intend for the next two days of my life to look for yellow butterflies (or insert what you want).’
3. Keep your eyes open and simply notice if you see an increase in the number of butterflies (or whatever) you see. Simple.
For me, creating the reality that you want can be pretty simple. It’s about taking the time to clearly visualise exactly what you want, and then letting your subconscious and conscious work together to make it happen.
Interested in some more techniques to create the life you want? Get in touch today to schedule a free discovery coaching session.