1. Look around your room. Spot all the blue objects. Got them all? Great.
2. Now, look around your room. Spot all the red objects. Got them all? Great.
3. Did you see red objects that you didn't notice when you were looking at blue objects?
If you are like 99.9% of my audiences and coaching clients, the red
objects magically appeared. They were seemingly invisible when you told
yourself to find the blue items. Hot dog! You just had an opportunity
to observe how powerful your internal filtering system is. Why is this
important? That filtering system affects the way you perceive the
world. You set your filter on finding the funk or the fabulous every
Think of the blue as lack and red as abundance. What you focus on
grows. When you focus on finding the glowing red of opportunity you
spot it more readily. As a coach I am observing an interesting trend.
If you can change your filter and change your actions into finding
opportunity, you will take a big step toward achieving your goals. Last
week, we looked at the reptilian brain and how to work with it more
effectively. In order to find opportunity in these troubling times, it
is key to understand how to work with your basic brain - so that you
can "change your filter."
Why All The Fuss?
Your reptilian brain is the part of the brain that's in charge of the
massive job of self-preservation. It governs primary functions like
your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and body temperature. It's
the one that's still running while you are asleep. It is also the part
of your brain that sets off your automatic responses. If you want to
watch your basic brain in action, step outside on a bright sunny day
with a mirror in your hand. Watch how your pupils dilate . . . without
you ever thinking about it. The basic brain is programmed to respond
before you think.
The reptilian brain also has the task of sorting through the
onslaught of data coming in through your five senses and up the spinal
cord into the brain at large - at a rate of 100 million impulses per
second. It is in charge of adjusting your body functions, it figures
out what crucial information to send upstairs to the limbic system and
the neocortex, and what to put aside.
Change Your Filter -Change Your Life
How does your reptilian brain handle so much input? By creating a
filing system of patterns, assumptions and habits, most of which gets
set in place during your earliest years. The choices it makes
determines how you translate what's happening in the external world
into your own internal experience, the subjective context in which you
This translation of the external world into internal experience is
key. This is your red/blue filter in action. As a coach and speaker I
work with individuals all over the United States. I am observing that
as clients maintain the focus on finding opportunity and abundance -
they are able to manifest their goals.
Why Let Your Past Ruin Your Now?
Your basic brain is a genius at generalization. How does that affect
you right now? When your reptilian brain hears "financial crisis" on
the radio on the way to work - pictures of soup kitchens pop up in your
brain. If your ancestors once escaped from a mastodon that was hiding
behind a large brown boulder...that brain cued them to be extra careful
every time they trotted past a large brown boulder. Being cautious when
passing the large brown boulder saved many a cave person. Your
reptilian brain is still milking the drama.
Push The Pause Button!
Generalizations are rarely accurate. In fact, most of them are
completely bogus. Put red-alert buzzers around generalizations. They
are fear speaking. "I'll never get a job in this economy," "Republicans
are louses," are some common ones. What are some of yours? The next
time you hear yourself making a sweeping generalization, take a moment.
"Push the pause button," as my author-friend Mimi Donaldson says, and
see if what you are saying is really real. You may find out that the
cagey reptile in your head is reacting before the other parts of you
have had a chance to speak up.
How To Change Your Filter
1. Press the pause button.- Take a moment before you react to a piece of news
2. Look for the good in the situation. Pretend like you are focusing on finding the red in the room.
3. Say no to the nay-sayers. Filter out the people in your life that have a negative focus.
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