Making your mind your buddy

I’ve been doing Headspace, along with millions of others, to try to be a more stable and effective version of myself. I’ve been doing yoga. Eating well. Drinking less. It’s going really well.

If you’re interested in being a better version of yourself, the ‘you’ you know you would be proud of, it is an active process.

I have a short video I stumbled across on YouTube to help you on this journey. Marisa Peer in 17 minutes on how to make your mind work as your buddy – not the one that drags you out to dodgy clubs for one more – but the one who finds you a joy to spend time with, has got your back and trusts your advice. She calls it ‘collaborating with your mind’.

Her top four motivations for making your mind a buddy who’s got your back:

  1. Take your time to tell your mind exactly what you want. Use really descriptive, positive, detailed, powerful words to rewire your brain for success by describing to it what it will do.
  2. Link massive, huge, enormous pleasure to getting to that goal, and pain to staying the same. Listen to music to help soothe you, sing to yourself, reward your positive behaviour when you’re engaged in attaining your goal. If your current repetitive behaviour is not helping you get to your goal, link pain or unpleasantness to it.
  3. Change the pictures you see in your brain, change the words you give it. You may find yourself in a situation where it’s not helpful to be upset and stressed. “I can’t get it all done, I don’t know the solution, I’m afraid it’s because I’m too stupid.” Then change these thoughts to, “this is temporary while I search for a solution, I want to do this, I want this challenge even if I’m not sure how I’ll figure it out”.
  4. Make the familiar unfamiliar. Make self-belief so normal to you that everyone else believes in you too.

Number 4 for me is the biggest change and the one that’s made the biggest difference for me so far. Here it is in a bit more detail.

Your mind loves what is familiar. It will go for what is familiar. So if that is messing about, not believing in yourself, your mind will go here easily and first. You have to make this state unfamiliar by adopting new habits. Create new habits that are more in line with what you want to believe about yourself and this will become ‘familiar’ to your brain and it will go for this new familiar.

Your potential expands as you move towards it so this new familiar place.

If you really can’t shake the idea that you are frozen in your current state, find a psychologist or a friend that firmly believes in you (passionately, they think you’re awesome) and talk through what you could do to make a change. And what you need to forgive yourself for. Saying out loud, “I let go of the need to fix everything” can give you the mental space to actually change one thing.

You may believe you can’t, or believe you can. Either way, you’re right.

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