Feb 24 2017
Last week I wrote about the problems that arise when we let our chimp (aka our emotional brain) – in my case ‘Sir Louie’ hijack our thought process. A lot of destructive behavior – like ruining our diets and skipping training arises – when we let the chimp roam free…
Last week I wrote about the problems that arise when we let our chimp (aka our emotional brain) – in my case ‘Sir Louie’ hijack our thought process. A lot of destructive behavior – like ruining our diets and skipping training arises – when we let the chimp roam free in the jungle. It can be hard to see how we can stop sabotaging our goals and make progress.
See its Sir Louie who wants me to eat the donut, to skip the gym or looks in the mirror and says that I look like a sack of potatoes. It’s him who pushes an agenda that goes against my long term goal.
Does that mean I don’t have responsibility for my actions? Hell no. I have to control my chimp….but NOT. I repeat NOT with willpower alone!
Is it my Chimp Talking?
The question you need to ask yourself is this “Do I want…” If the answer is no then you are being hijacked by your chimp! That’s the first step to knowing what is driving your decision making process. Then you can begin to change …
A Giant Gremlin Called “Should”
Gremlins are basically our own expectations of how we should behave…. And this nasty little word ‘should’ is a big fat gremlin that appears over and over again. It can bring out all sorts of feelings of judgment, and guilt. If you should have don’t something but you didn’t… well then you must be a failure.
“I should not eat that.”
“I should really go to the gym”
If you say these things to yourself, then don’t do them – tell me honestly how that makes you feel. These are not productive thoughts! Replace that teeny little word with ‘could’ instead – all of a sudden this can bring a sense of empowerment and the potential for change. ‘Could’ gives you a choice, it allows you to be kinder to yourself, make better choices….and in terms of getting the chimp to co-operate, well it works wonders!
Dancing with the Gremlins
Ever had an issue in one area of your life and soon enough EVERYTHING is going wrong? Someone asks you “What’s the matter?” and you start wailing…because one little problem compounds on top of the next and the next, until you have one big mess on your hands!
Well that’s because unhelpful beliefs will all hang around together…they leave you dancing with too many gremlins 😉
So we need to separate them out, put them on paper…then try to replace them with autopilots that aren’t so damaging to our wellbeing.
It might be something as simple as placing an expectation on ourselves to eat perfectly all week…which of course results in failure because its simple impossible to achieve! A useful autopilot might be to say to ourselves that we will eat to the best of our ability all week… that we can only do our best. In doing our best, there is no such thing as failure.
So remember …half the time when you have an issue or difficulty arise, the problem is not the actual problem! It’s how you and your chimp together deal with the problem. Learn how to mange your emotions, rationalize with your chimp and find a much quicker path to success!