I recently caught up on one of Derren Browns Fear and Faith episodes, which looked at what happens when people have the experience of fear removed through the use of a powerful new drug. I watched on in amazement as people conquered their fear of heights, social anxiety, singing in public and several other ailments but there was a catch, the drug they were taking was a placebo containing nothing more than sugar.
The mind can be amazingly powerful but it relies heavily on what we consciously choose to believe. If you think you’re a magnet to bad luck then the mind goes on search for information that confirms these preconception, this is known as the confirmation bias.
In the same way that many young people keep telling themselves it’s impossible to find a job the current economic climate, what they are actually doing is priming their minds to go on search for everything that backs this up, before long they can recite every propagandist statistic the papers throw our way and eventually they become paralysed by their own self fulfilling prophecy.
Like the young people in the episode, it’s only when you give yourself the permission to change your thoughts or habits that you realise you’re in control and you already have the resources available to cope. Before long your plastic brain starts rewiring and reinforcing your new way of thinking and that’s when you start getting shit done.
As the wise Buddha once said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become” – What will you give yourself permission to be?