Mind Over Matter: Believing In Yourself
Last week we spoke about the way the mind - in an effort to save energy - tricks the body into thinking that it can’t continue doing whatever it was doing. It was important to draw attention to that mental and physiological relationship in order to understand that our minds do in fact have the power to affect what we can do. Most importantly, through that mind-body dynamic, we can also see that if you continue to have the same thoughts over and over, your body will respond accordingly.
This is very interesting because it demonstrates that the power of our minds may override the nature and nurture concept. To understand this better we can see “nature” as the condition in which your body or mind were always in: a chubby or skinny body, an anxious or depressed state of mind. We can see “nurture” as the lessons and teachings we grew up with, whether from society or family, which shaped the way we perceive ourselves. What this all means is that our minds have the power to override years of beliefs (nurture) about ourselves and the physical condition (nature) of our bodies with just the power of thought.
By now you’re probably wondering what you can do to change how you think and what to do to stop your mind from limiting what your body can do. The process is quite simple, all it takes is discipline. The key is to take control of your perception, which is what your mind latches on to in order to either shut you down or push you to new heights. Remember last week when we used our going out for a run example to understand this mind-body relationship? Well, now, think back at those moments when you’re about to call it quits during your run or workout, and then you get an extra burst of energy (or what some might call “second wind”); this is YOU taking control of perception and pushing your mind and body forward!
In order to train your mind, just as hard as you train your body, you have to push it past moments of discomfort. It’s easy to get comfortable in your current way of life because your mind is always looking out for you and reserving your energy for later. But the moment you step out of your comfort zone – say, pursuing that new job you always wanted but were afraid to go for – you are training your brain to deal with discomfort. You have to make this discomfort a routine to the point that you won’t think about it anymore. If you do this everyday, you will reach the point where coming home tired from work won’t stop you from doing a 30-minute exercise, or from learning that second or third language you’ve always wanted to speak, or from preparing for that career change you always desired.
Once you start believing in yourself and doing the things you believe in, there won’t be any space left in your mind for negativity. After training your mind to automatically focus on a positive routine, you will in turn automatically avoid stress and drama because all of your energy will be focused on getting what you want. You will be able to deal with problems coming your way because your mind will not surrender to stress, just like you did not surrender to the couch instead of doing your 30-minute exercise. The beauty of training to believe in yourself is that your confidence will go up significantly and anything you want to do will get done.