I recently was a guest on a webinar, speaking to entrepreneurs about how to hack their brains. We covered so many cool hacks and shared quite a few laughs. Today, I want to focus on one comment that I made which really resonated with the participants. In fact, one of the participants wrote that she needed to make a t-shirt with this quote!
“Just because you have a thought, doesn’t mean it’s true.”
It’s interesting how we often don’t question the thoughts that run through our mind, and often just blindly accept that they are true.
I’m just no good at marketing. I’ll never lose weight. I can’t do anything right. I’ll never get ahead. No one wants to buy what I’m selling.
We all have times when self-limiting beliefs run through our mind. Deb recently wrote a blog post challenging you to think of yourself as being limitless. Now I'm going to talk to you about the science of how this works in your brain.
When you stop and pay attention to your thoughts, you will realize that the chatter in your mind can border on the ridiculous. But many times, we don’t question our thoughts, and we just go with them and let them hijack our emotions and actions. This is where metacognition (also known as meta-awareness) comes into play.
Metacognition is the ability to step back and observe our own thoughts. Controlled by our anterior prefrontal cortex, meta-cognition allows us to evaluate whether a thought is actually true. As entrepreneurs, this critical skill allows us to feel more centered in our businesses and our lives.
Next time you find yourself getting off-track, try this process:
1. Stop and take a deep breath.
2. Notice what you are feeling in your body.
3. Now take a mental step back and observe what thoughts you are having.
4. Identify which thought or thoughts are associated with getting off-track.
5. Ask yourself if these thoughts are really 100% true. If so, deal with the situation head-on. If not, what would be a thought that is both true and productive?
By stepping back and letting your prefrontal cortex objectively assess your thoughts through meta-cognition, you are more likely to be successful in handling the situation. Don't let your self-limiting beliefs run away in your mind!
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