It was the beginning of a new decade. 1990. I had earned my doctoral degree, and I was ready to set the world on fire. I had already had tremendous success with beginning each New Year powerfully. With purpose. With plans. With passion.
However, I had stretched myself so far outside of my comfort zone that year, I began to see myself retreat instead of move forward. I was angry about that! Angry with myself because I couldn’t understand why I was doing that. I think that one of the only reasons I did not lose my entire business was that I was consistent and faithful in proclaiming my power proclamation on a daily basis.
But I learned a lesson …that what goes on in my mind, my brain, was the real culprit. What about you? Are you taking charge of your brain? Your mind? Your thoughts?
In my signature workshop, “The Power of Purpose“, I always teach a piece about two voices, each sitting on one of our shoulders. On our left shoulder we have an analyst. The analyst analyzes everything and uses data to speak to us (ex: that will never work!) On our right shoulder sits a lawyer who is constantly objecting.
For some reason, when I was teaching that concept right after I noted my struggle in 1990, I began to see how it just might apply to where I was. It initiated my early days of studying neuropsychology, understanding how our brain works for us, or actually, sometimes against us.
I hope you have written powerful goals, chosen a power word, and have written a dynamic power proclamation for 2020. (Or whatever year you read this). If you have not, don’t miss my blog about this. Click here to read it!
It was during 1990 that I discovered some powerful things about our brains:
1. Your mind/brain serves you. Your reticular activating system (RAS) is continuously running a search for information and evidence on what you tell it to search for. If you tell it to look for imperfections in other people, your RAS will find them! If you tell it to look for the best in others, your RAS will find it!
For me, that particular year (1990), I had a daunting goal of opening life altering, hope giving, bondage breaking inpatient and outpatient treatment centers that would launch people into great purpose for their lives. Both programs would include treatment for addictions, depression, anxiety, sexual trauma, posttraumatic stress and a myriad of other conditions.
I was telling my brain that I didn’t have enough money, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and that the project was bigger than I was. My brain served me well, and found ways to verify that I didn’t have the resources, I didn’t have enough experience, and I wasn’t “enough” to pull this off.
After understanding that my mind was there to serve me, I made a very intentional change … I began telling myself that I could find creative strategies for the financing; and that I had been given gifts of powerful tools and insights for healing and recovery; and that I could surround myself with people who had more experience in the industry.
You may be thinking … I don’t have a B-HAG (big honkin’ audacious goal) like that. Perhaps you have a goal of wanting your marriage to become even more intimate, fun, and fulfilling. The same concept applies. Even if you set powerful goals, and have a powerful statement about your relationship in your power proclamation, those will not overcome what you ask your brain to research.
If you say to yourself, I know I fell in love with him/her for many great reasons your brain will search for those reasons. If you tell your brain to remember the many “magic moments” you’ve spent together, your brain is at your service. We need to get our brains working in alignment with our goals.
Our brains are here to serve us. But we, as individuals, are the ones who give it marching orders.
What marching orders have you given your brain about the goals that you have set?
2. Our brain responds to the words we speak, and the movies we play in our mind. Yes, you have an iMax screen in your mind. And what ever you play on that screen, your mind will respond to. If you are in a relationship and you play the movie over and over about how he/she hurt your feelings, or slighted you in some way… You will continually feel hurt and victimized. You will probably find yourself living in a funk. You might want to read my blog: “Get Out of that Funk!” by clicking here.
It has been said that the big screen is the world’s most powerful hypnotic device. It is so true! But the screen that is the most hypnotic is the one in our minds that plays movies that we write, direct and produce!
In the beginning of 1990, I was playing a movie over and over in my mind as I considered the weight of the financial situation of opening treatment centers. The movie I was playing was the movie of my dad losing most of his company due to embezzling by business partner. He had worked so hard his whole life, and now all of a sudden, all of his hard work was down the drain. I would watch that movie over and over and tell myself: “You don’t ever want something that bad financially to happen to you. But obviously it could.”
What a horrible movie to watch over and over and my brain responded to it by resisting any sort of fund raising or financing.
The same holds true on every front of your life. Many couples come to me for help when they have been through some sort of crisis, big fight, or huge challenge (like infidelity). One of the things I ascertain is what movie they play in their minds regarding the issue. Many times when there has been infidelity, the injured party has movies of the other partner and their lover being together. They play the movies over and over and over.
Or maybe it was something of much lesser impact. Maybe someone spoke harsh and insensitive words. Yet the other person plays the movie of what was said over and over and over. You are actually telling your brain not to heal and move to healing by playing that movie.
Be very careful and intentional about what movies you play. I am doing something a little bit new and different this year. I have downloaded an app called MindMovies in order to create some movies that will support my goals, my power proclamation, and my power word (who and what I want to be/become this year). You might consider doing the same thing. You simply upload some photos, choose your song, and create a MindMovie that you can watch daily!
Secondly, our brain responds to the words we say. In 1990, I was saying to my team, “I don’t think we can ever get the money together to do this!“ In the natural, I was just speaking facts. But we must learn to not limit ourselves to speaking facts. We must learn to speak faith.
When I learned that my mind would respond and create what I was saying, I changed the statement to my team to this: “I am up to the challenge (with God’s help) of seeking creative strategies for the healing of many!“ It was amazing how things began to come together.
What are you saying about your marriage/relationship? Sir, when you leave the basketball floor and you’re in the locker room after a fantastic game, do you say “Guess I got to go home to a mile long to do list!“ Or do you say, “I bet that beautiful girl of mine at home has something delicious prepared for me to eat!“ If you say statement number A, you are likely to arrive home with an “attitude”, looking for a reason to be upset because any request whatever is made of you. If you go home after statement B, you are likely to find a gal excited to see you! The choice is truly hours.
Now let me pick on the gals a little bit… when he’s meeting you for dinner, and he’s stuck in traffic, do you say to the wait staff, “Well he’s always late so you might as well just take your time!“ Or do you say, “Could you go ahead and bring me a Dr. Pepper for him? He’s stuck in traffic but a little Dr. Pepper will cheer him right up!“ Statement A will likely create a miserable dinner. Statement B will likely create a magical moment. The choice is yours.
One last thing about our brains that I believe will be helpful for you.
3. Your mind will always default to your comfort zone. You may say, “Oh my goodness! What on earth can I do about that? You always tell us, Dr. Neecie, that our dreams and our purposes are not inside our comfort zone.”
That is so correct! Therefore, it requires that we expand our comfort zone. How on earth do you accomplish that?
In 1990, I knew that I needed to expand my comfort zone. Therefore, I arranged a tour to go out and meet with directors and owners of Treatment Centers. They were doing it, and doing it well. And it was their comfort zone. So I thought that a bit of it might rub off on me!
Not only was I correct, but in one of those experiences, the funding solution was initiated.
People make excuses all the time about their comfort zones: “That’s just not how I made…“ or “That’s just not me.“ The truth is, there is very little you cannot accomplish, change and/or become if you choose to.
Recently someone told me: “I’ve been doing it this way for 50+ years. And this late in life, it’s probably not going to change” (when speaking of how he treated his wife). He was quite astonished when I responded, “It will be as you decide it will be, and it’s 100% up to you. If you are happy with your behaviors that are destructive to your relationship, you will likely continue them and use excuses like ‘I’m too old to change now.’ But if you desire to be the amazing partner of that awesome gal you married, 50+ years ago, you can do it!” He was quite surpised when I responded, “It will be as you decide it will be, and it’s 100% up to you. If you are happy with your behaviors that are destructive to your relationship, you will likely continue them and use excuses like ‘I’m too old to change now’ or ‘That’s outside of my comfort zone’ … But if you desire to be the amazing partner of that awesome gal you married, you will begin to move out of your comfort zone to learn new skills, and behave in new and improved ways, and get yourself out of your comfort zone of how you treat women.”
Now this could have as easily been a conversation with a female. But he made note, asked for coaching … and his comfort zone expanded. I ran into them at a wedding not long ago and she was radiant as he treated her like a treasure!
I hope you have set powerful goals. I hope you have selected your power word. I hope that you have written a powerful proclamation. Now … invite your brain to work in concert with you. It will make you unstoppable! How do you do this?
1. Understand that your brain wants to serve you. Give it the ways that you need for it to serve you.
2. Be mindful of the words you speak, and create some Mind Movies that move you toward an amazing 2020.
3. Expand your comfort zone. Get out of there! Nothing extraordinary or fulfilling happens in there!
Always remember … Your dreams, your purpose, your goals, your mission are not inside your comfort zone! Get out of there! Step into amazing. The sky is the limit when you set your brain to work on your behalf. But Ground Zero is not even the bottom of the limit if you set your brain to work against you.
It’s not too late to select your power word. It’s not too late to set some powerful goals. It’s not too late to write a power proclamation! And it’s not too late for you to have an amazing life. It’s up to you! Please choose amazing! That’s my hope and prayer for you!