A Little Lesson on How the Brain Works
Your chimp resides in the limbic “primal” part of your brain. Your chimp is the part of your brain that worries, gets mad or upset. The part of your brain that tells you that you are stupid, likely to fail or that nobody likes you. Whenever you feel like you are not good enough or worry about what other people are thinking about you – your chimp is in control. Your chimp can be male or female, old or young. It’s entirely up to you – it’s your chimp.
In his life-changing book, The Chimp Paradox, Dr. Steve Peters suggests that you give your chimp a name. This helps you to disassociate from his or her negative chatter, so you can recognise when he or she is in control. Mine is called Charlie. I imagine Charlie’s voice as a well-intentioned child. He means well but doesn’t really know what’s good for me anymore.
Let’s start healthy eating.
• No, we don’t need another glass of wine.
• Yes, we should get up and go the gym now.
• Let’s get up as soon as the alarm goes off tomorrow.
• We are good enough.
• People do like us.
• We can do it.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t listen to this part of our brain very much.
Your Subconscious Mind and Your Computer
Your subconscious mind is like a massive computer with a gigantic memory bank. Its capacity is virtually limitless. It permanently stores everything that ever happens to you.
By the time you reach the age of 21, you’ve probably stored more than one hundred times the contents of the entire Wikipedia site!
Your subconscious mind is subjective. It does not think or reason independently; it merely obeys the commands it receives from your conscious mind.
Your conscious mind commands and your subconscious mind obeys.
An important fact to understand about your subconscious mind is that it is listening intently to everything you say. Every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day; it is monitoring what you say to yourself. Especially what you say about yourself when you are by yourself.
It takes the words that you use, and the pictures that you create in your conscious mind, and uses them to create your beliefs and ways of being. These beliefs then become “programmes” that run you, just like the programmes that run your computer.
If you constantly tell yourself that you are no good at maths, public speaking, cooking or dancing – you will never be any good at maths, public speaking, cooking or dancing. Your brain will find a way to make you mess up! That’s what it does.
• If you feel angry when someone laughs at you – you are running the angry programme.
• If you get anxious before public speaking or social event – you are running the anxious programme.
• If you are annoyed because someone was rude to you – you are running the annoyed programme.
What you think about - you bring about! Be careful what you say to yourself!