General
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 min read

How your brain is tricking you and how you can trick it back?

Silvana Paneva
June 12, 2019

There’s a part in the brain called the reticular activating system (RAS) which controls consciousness. Your RAS creates a filter for what's important for you and only this information is conscious for you.

That’s why when you learn a new word, you start hearing it everywhere; and why you can tune out a crowd full of talking people, but immediately snap to attention when you hear your name.

The RAS seeks information which supports your faiths and ideas. It shows you the world through the parameters you give it, and your beliefs shape this framework.

If you think that it is unlikely to find a new job, to leave your relationship, to start a new business, to ever succeed - well, most probably you won’t do any of these things.

You begin to see things, situations, conversations which confirm your belief. Thence, you start to fear that you’ll fail.

This fear of failure is related to people's self-esteem. People protect their self-esteem by believing they are competent, and by convincing others of it.

If a person fails in something that means they are not able to do it and, therefore, not worthy.

When someone doesn’t believe they have the ability to succeed in something, then they won’t engage in new practices in which they might fail. Why should they leave their comfort zone? Therefore they stay at the exact same point, without moving forward. They’ll never achieve the things they want because they are afraid.

They’ll never achieve the things they want because they are afraid. Their RAS shows only information that supports their beliefs.

You can train your RAS to get what you want, by doing these things:

1. Think of the goal or situation you want to influence

2. Think about the experience or result you want to reach in regards to that goal/situation.

3. Create a mental movie of how you picture that goal/situation ideally turning out in the future. Think of the sounds, conversations, visuals and details of that mental movie. Replay it often in your head.

4. For 5-10 minutes a day set a timer, and write in a journal everything that you’ve ever achieved.

Of course, changing your RAS isn’t something that happens overnight. But if you keep believing in something you’ll start seeing the situations around you from a different point of view and eventually your thinking and behaviour will change.