How Does My Brain Work?

How Does My Brain Work?

An explanation of beliefs & unconscious filtering, and how that affects your life from Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Here’s a little bit about the coaching approach I take coming from an alternative psychology, Neuro-Linguistic Programming background. *

You may have heard the expression “it’s not your circumstances, but how you respond to them that counts”. The beliefs that you have shape the way that you respond to your circumstances. Sometimes you have beliefs, values and ideas that limit your possibilities and responses, locking you into a problem without you even knowing it. If you have a problem or two that you have been struggling with, you probably have a load of disempowering beliefs and ideas that are “supporting” that problem. In order to really let go of the problem, you need to address your thinking and beliefs.

So how do we develop our beliefs anyway?

Your brain is kind of like a living supercomputer. Each second our senses are bombarded with two million bits of information – that’s waay too much information for us to consciously process. So your unconscious brain takes the 2,000,000 bits of information from your five senses and it deletes, distorts and generalises that information down to about 7 chunks of information that becomes what you think is going on, that’s your version of reality.


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How does it know what to discard and what to chunk together?

Your brain only presents you with what it thinks is relevant to you. So the filtering is done according to what you already know; your language, where you were born, what you learned in your life so far; things from your family, schooling, work and friends. All of this creates your memories, beliefs, values and attitudes, which in turn filters how you see and respond to the world.

Your beliefs and values and attitudes are crucial in creating the world you see, hear and feel. Each of us has our own unique map of the world. What we see is a reflection of everything that has happened in our life.

Sometimes you will form beliefs that limit your thinking and possibilities, these beliefs are the basis of many problems. Once you resolve the issues and limiting beliefs from your past, your thoughts are no longer stuck re-creating the problem over and over, trying to resolve them and you can move forward. Here are some common limiting beliefs. You may recognize them in yourself or others:

  • “I’m too short/tall/young/old to do that”
  • “I don’t deserve to have what I want”
  • “I don’t have the time to do what I want to do”
  • “I’ll never earn enough money”
  • “I don’t deserve love”
  • “I can’t lose weight”

I like this model because it is a holistic model that says that people are fine. If there is some behaviour or problem they are doing that is not working for them, then let’s work to change the behaviour and the underlying beliefs and emotions, not the person. The person is fine. Just sometimes they may have some disempowering ideas stopping them from living their potential.

Some other disease-based models that label people as having this or that mental disease or disorder. Now this may be useful in within the medical system, though it is not always useful for the person in helping them to overcome that challenge.

All of the advice and articles I write are based on the NLP paradigm (and my personal belief) that you’re perfect the way you are, if there’s something that’s not working for you, let’s change the behaviour through finding and releasing the underlyng beliefs and values that underpin that behaviour, shifting them to more empowering beliefs that will support the behaviour you want.

*Neuro-Linguistic Programming is an alternative psychology that was based on modelling the techniques and tools of the best therapists in the 60’s. It draws from the traditional therapies of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Brief Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Family Therapy and Hypnosis. It is about how your brain and language affect your world and experience. The NLP techniques are excellent for creating fast and lasting change and getting real results with clients. Read more about NLP here.

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