Whether you’re feeling pumped and motivated because things are going to plan or you’re struggling – maybe with email overwhelm, juggling home and work or you’ve set out to achieve something and you’re holding back – do you notice your emotions and anything you feel in your body?
If you’re feeling emotions such as happiness, joy or anxiety, stress or frustration, are you noticing the accompanying sensations in the body? Your face may flush with joy or your heart beat fast or perhaps your palms are sweaty or you have tightness in your chest with stress? This is the lesser known but important sense at work – interoception.
Why do I mention this?
Because the ability to perceive the internal state of our bodies is central to our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, decision making and sense of self. It has a big influence on our lives and performance at work.
This is because according to Neuroscientist, Author and Professor of Psychology Lisa Feldman Barrett:
Emotions are guesses that your brain constructs in the moment where billions of brain cells are working together. And you have more control over those guesses than you might think. Because emotions are not built into your brain from birth.
And your brain didn’t evolve to react to the world but to predict what’s going to happen to you next. So the brain is a prediction machine. And predictions are the basis of every experience and action you take, using past experiences – and how you perceived and sensed them – in similar situations to try to make meaning directing your behaviour and actions.
Your brain work is working to regulate your internal systems by anticipating needs and preparing to satisfy them before they arise. Interoception is your brain’s representation from your own body.
What does this mean?
The consequence of this activity is central to everything – from thought, to emotion, to decision making and your sense of self.
So, mind and body cannot be separated. They’re two sides of the same coin.
What you think and believe influences how you sense this in the body. And what you sense in the body influences how you think. This is guiding your actions and constructing your experiences in every moment.
What has this got to do with your personal performance?
Everything! There are amazing benefits of being aware of your prediction scripts. Prediction scripts include your inner stories, beliefs and thought patterns – and interoception. Awareness helps you to consciously, and with focused attention, do something about them, if they’re inhibiting you and your performance.
Because, it’s possible to use the same neuroscience that helped you write and wire those prediction scripts to change them when you know how. Meaning you’re able to disrupt those unhelpful scripts, stories, beliefs and patterns – the ones that are inhibiting your performance – and create more supportive ones that will influence your behaviour, action and how you feel.
This is what my Neurosculpting® and performance coaching practice helps you do. It’s been a real game changer for me and many of my clients.
Using this approach one of my clients has generated £50k of sales in her start up business in just four months. Another has just had his first £100k week.
What I’ve been watching
Lisa Feldman Barrett. Neuroscientist, Author and Professor of Psychology
Her Ted Talk ‘You aren’t at the mercy of your emotions. Your brain creates them’ is a fascinating watch.
For the past 25 years, psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett has mapped facial expressions, scanned brains and analysed hundreds of physiology studies to understand what emotions really are. She shares the results of her exhaustive research and in this Ted Talk and explains how we may have more control over our emotions than we think.
What I’ve been reading
New beliefs, new brain. By Lisa Wimberger
I’ve actually read this book several times now. It’s by Lisa Wimberger and she’s my amazing Neurosculpting® teacher and mentor. It was this book and applying the practices from it, that really helped me to start releasing stress and anxiety and drive change in my brain to improve my own performance and well-being. This book started my journey into the application of neuroscience to help me and others believe more and achieve more. I interviewed Lisa on my podcast about her own story and how she came to develop Neurosculpting® – a unique whole brain approach to rewiring our brains and bodies.
What I’ve been recording
Neurosculpting® to believe and achieve.
Beliefs are ideas or concepts that we hold to be true in our mind for as long as we believe them. They’re a form of story or prediction script we use to navigate our lives and our work. Sometimes these serve us well. Sometimes not so well – creating uncomfortable emotions, sensations and dysregulation inhibiting us and holding us back.
This session helps you to recognise the stories and beliefs that you’re not conscious of but are limiting your progress. And maybe leading you to burn out.
It includes a Neurosculpting® exercise guiding you through a 5-step process which enables you to harness your brain’s neuroplasticity and create prediction scripts and beliefs aligned around the results and outcomes you want to achieve. Because unless you have the belief in what you want to achieve, you’ll hold back. Get in touch with me if you’d like to know more about how this can help you.
What I’ve been speaking about
I was invited to talk to Adam Kawalec on his Life Switch Show where I shared my story and how building self-belief helps you earn more and achieve more.
What can you take from all of this and put into action?
The key theme is emotions and belief. Our brain is a master story-teller. And when it tells us a story, we believe it. Each action we take or don’t take filters through our beliefs and how we’re perceiving the world.
For example, if I believe the world is a bad place or that everyone always lets me down, or I that I must prove myself in order to succeed or that I’m not good enough/smart enough/old enough etc, then how might these stories and beliefs inform my behaviours, actions and the results I get?
We unknowingly participate in these stories. But we are in control of them if we choose to be. This is so liberating when you. But when you don’t you may find yourself in denial, in a victim mentality or deferring pain. However, with the gift of neuroplasticity (the way our brain learns), we can change these stories and beliefs if they’re not working for us.
And in my work as a performance coach and through all the research I’ve done, I’ve noticed that the biggest contributor to high performers and high achievers’ success is their ability to emotionally regulate and have the self-belief to achieve.
Things that you can do to help emotionally regulate and create self-belief:
1.Become aware and notice. If for example you’re procrastinating over something, or reacting emotionally, take a moment to become aware. Notice what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling in the body. Remember you have thoughts but you’re not your thoughts. Take a few calm, deep breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth as if you’re blowing through a straw to calm the stress, anxiety, worry circuits.
2. Without blame, shame or judgement, ask yourself which unhelpful stories you’re telling yourself that are determining your results. Do you relate to any of the following for example? How are they helping you or not? Which ones would you like to commit to changing?
I can’t because…
Everyone always lets me down
I am not good enough
I’ll never be able to…
I must prove myself…
I am too old/young….
No pain, no gain….
People like me don’t…..
3. Then write a list of those stories and beliefs that serve you better. These could be aspects of yourself that you are willing to accept. Do you relate to any of the following for example? What could you do to remind yourself of these whenever you’re feeling inhibited or stuck?
I AM organised
I AM kind
I AM capable
I AM a good listener
I get stuff right almost all of the time
I AM always learning
I AM committed
I AM a problem solver / solution finder