Sometimes when life tosses traumas, fears, anxieties or other challenges our way, it can be very easy to give in, give up, stop trying and send ourselves the “I can’t” message.
The thing is, once you’ve proven you can overcome one challenge, any other challenge that you may face is viewed with possibility and that is a powerful message to your mind.
Sometimes it is necessary to re-frame or reconfigure how we look at the outcome of a challenge. Perfection is not the desired outcome…doing the best we can personally do is the desired outcome….which ironically may appear to be perfect to others.
We all have our own levels of accomplishment and with the right attitude we continue to grow and learn from beginning to end.
One of my favourite poems that illustrates this is titled There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk by Portia Nelson. You can find it on the internet.
I love it because it speaks of repetition of an event until it is realized that a change is required. The key to this realization is our brain.
Dr. Daniel Amen (a neuro-psychiatrist and author) states that ‘the brain is the hardware of your soul’ and if your brain isn’t working right, then happiness may elude you. Brain patterns can help or hurt us according to Dr. Amen.
We can become stuck in the neural patterning that has been likened to a well worn pathway in a forest…….only it is in our own brain.
If you have experienced trauma, (car accident, sports injury, falls, etc.) your deep limbic system (the place in the brain that sets the emotional tone) can be affected by locking the experience into the center of the brain, the home of the limbic system.
In the counselling field, we refer to this as an emotional charge.
It can then form a ‘trigger’ so that if something similar happens, or our brain perceives it might happen, emotions can resurface instantly (i.e. if you have been in a car accident, you can become hyper sensitive when you drive).
By helping you to release the trigger, therapists can help ease recurring emotion when anything similar occurs.
When the limbic system is calm, our state of mind is positive. When it is chaotic or overactive, pessimism can walk with us daily.
The limbic system can also affect motivation and with it, the belief that a goal can or cannot be achieved.
It doesn’t take much to plant the seed of self doubt or low self esteem into a brain that may have been injured or traumatized………and it can be started quite unintentionally by a comment from anyone who represents authority.
Once the seed is planted, it can be sealed into the depths of our subconscious mind and if it is followed with messages such as ‘be perfect, be strong, be busy, please everyone, try harder’, it may undermine our belief in ourselves, simply because there is no allowance to just ‘be’ who we are.
With help, you can give your limbic system a tune up….. you can take charge and move forward toward your life’s possibilities finding your own peace of mind.
Carole Fawcett is a counsellor, clinical hypnotherapist and freelance writer. www.amindfulconnection.com