Why Positive Thinking Isn't Working For You - 003

What's blocking positive thinking

Do you cringe when someone says 'just look on the bright side'?

Do you wish you could think more positively, but your brain continues to dwell on the negatives?

Are you sceptical as to whether changing your thoughts makes any difference - and whether it's even possible at all?

Yep, I've been there too!

I honestly used to think I was destined to be a ‘negative thinker’ like it was in my DNA, and I loathed myself for it - which kept me stuck in a spiral of shame and insecurity. In this episode you'll learn why this is all perfectly normal, the feature in our brain causing this resistance and how we can use this feature to change our minds (aka. our lives!) for the better.

Our brain is on the lookout for and interpreting the world around us in a way that confirms our pre-existing beliefs. We literally see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear -
it’s called Confirmation Bias.
— Kate Fitzsimons

In this episode you’ll find out about:

  • Why it’s natural for our brains not to instantly believe new thoughts

  • What confirmation bias is and how it impacts our lives

  • What beliefs to look out for in confirmation bias that cause us the most anxiety

  • How we can use confirmation bias to build up our confidence and resiliency

Want to get control over your anxiety, rather your your anxiety controlling you?

Don’t forget:

Full episode transcript:

Hey, hey, and welcome to the third episode of Okay, Now What far out, three episodes already. Well, they say third time's a charm, so you know what, if I haven't won over you yet, hopefully I do with this episode. And you know what, in fact I think I might because what we're going to discuss in this episode is all around that kind of I guess little bit of resistance or skepticism you might kind of feel towards some of the topics and things I'm discussing around building up our mindset and positive thinking and like resilience and all of that.

And I know that it's time to approach this topic and pretty early on because I know even myself when I first started like approaching the whole life coach, positive thinking industry, when I started getting curious about this stuff, it actually initially brought up more like shame and confusion than anything else if I'm honest. Because you know what, there I was kind of riddled with anxiety and overwhelm and self loathing. And this is even before I lost Nicole, I started tip toeing around this stuff. But there I was just really hating on my body and never feeling like I was good enough. And I would read all these inspiring quotes by people and kind think like my goodness, there is nothing I would love more than to just believe in myself or love my body for the way I am like.

But then I'd wake up the next morning and look in the mirror and be stuck with the same damn negative thoughts and self critical voice and always worrying about what someone's gonna think of me or that next exam, and I was just always still wrought with that same anxiety. And I just remember thinking like, what is wrong with me? Like, you know what, maybe I just kind of self diagnosed myself as just like I'm just a negative thinker like something is wrong with me, this whole self help, positive thing just is not for me.

And I'm sure some of you might be able to relate, right? You might be listening to what I'm sharing and go, "You know Kate, this all sounds really great in theory, like the concept of it, but it's just not really working for me. I've gone through hard things before and I've never had anything good come from it. So I don't know if I really believe in your whole everything's got something to be gained from every experience kind of vibe." And you know what, I don't blame you for thinking that way at all. This is why I want to dive into this particular topic today to kind of give you some understanding and awareness about why that is and why the fact that all this stuff doesn't come naturally for you, is not a sign that there's something wrong with you as a human. In fact, it's a sign that your brain is functioning very healthily for human brain and there's things we can do to then harness that power and those features and what's going on and learn how to work with your brain rather than let it work against you.

And the particular function that I want to kind of introduce you guys to today is one that kind of blew my mind, pardon the pun, but it really is really important function of how our brains work that so many of us know a little about, but it's actually having a huge influence in how we respond to and experience our lives. Because you know what, like every second of every day, our five senses are being bombarded with millions of pieces of data. Like in order for us to function without complete sensory overload and just completely blow our minds, we have to have a way to filter through all this information, all these stimuli, and all these things happening around to us all at once. And our brain has to figure out a way to decide what's important and what's not.

The system that is developed to do this is actually called the Reticular activating system or RAS. My ability to pronounce words, we're definitely going to go with RAS because I cannot get that mouthful out more than once. And don't worry, the name of it isn't particularly important, but I just want you to understand that everything that comes through your brain, what you see, what you hear, what you experience, it all gets filtered through the RAS, right?

And the RAS filtering criteria system is essentially based on what you already believed to be true, relevant, or important. So this means once you believe something about a person, about a place or a particular situation, you will tend to ignore or dismiss evidence that does not fit within your belief system, and you're actually are subconsciously like your brain is constantly scanning for and looking for evidence that serves to kind of reinforce and confirm and prove true our original beliefs.

And this is a phenomenon that scientists and studies have shown time and time again, which is known as confirmation bias. I remember hearing a quote and you've probably heard it as well and it's like "We don't see things as they are, but as we are." And I don't know about you, but I remember thinking that, I was like, "What's does that even mean?" Is that just one of those quotes that just sounds really good and looks great on like a Mug or a coaster, but I actually realized it's not just that and there is a lot of truth behind that.

So this phenomenon and this confirmation bias really kind of explains why. Like our brain is literally on the lookout and interpreting all the information around us in our world in a way that's gonna confirm our preexisting thoughts and beliefs. We literally see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear, especially for believes that we've held for a very long time or how the heaps of intent and emotion attached to it.

So, like if you're really committed to a belief, like you're really committed or it feels so true that you really would be happier if you were skinnier or you had more friends or you really believe that your parents should not have divorced or that ex girlfriend is the worst thing that ever happened to you. Like when you're really committed to believe, you will less likely to see any evidence that would possibly contradict it or say otherwise.

Studies have actually found that when people are presented with evidence that contradicts their beliefs, their brains actually double down on their belief and want to believe it even more strongly. Like have you ever tried to tell a friend that that guy is just like bad news, like can't she see how he is just going to end up taking massive advantage of her? But she's just like ... all she can see is like how wonderful and amazing it is. And you're like, "Are you looking at the same person as me? Have you not seen what he's been like?" And she kind of gets even more defensive and kind of ends up running closer to that guy and kind of distancing herself from you. That's kind of that confirmation biases at work.

And I see it all the time in my coaching when I initially teach clients that other people aren't really the cause of our feelings, it's all coming from our thoughts. And even though this really is the best news ever because our thoughts is the one thing that we can change, they want to like double down and try and often convince me like, no, no, no, you don't understand, this is really ... and try and find more evidence about what this person did and trying to get me to believe their side of the story and the way they're saying the situation.

This is the confirmation bias at work, which is the reason why when you hear me share some of my thoughts and beliefs about the world, the situations and your brain is kind of like, "Nah, but that's not really true in my world, Kate." It's because your brain subconsciously you feel like years and years and years and years had been gathering evidence for all your different beliefs and your brain being the efficient pattern making machine that it is, wants us to reject these new beliefs because it really kind of likes to run on autopilot. It's a lot easier than having to think deliberately. So it doesn't matter what really happens objectively out there in the world, your brain is going to interpret it to match the beliefs that it already has.

So for example, you might have a belief that no one really likes to pay attention to me, so you're not good at making friends, and then you kind of might have to go into a party or something and you notice someone looking at you from across the room when you walk in. Now this person is thinking how much they like the top that you're wearing or how you look like someone that they know or how you kind of look like a pretty friendly person, but you're not going to be thinking that when you see them looking because of your belief that no one really pays attention to you or you can't make new friends. Like you're probably ... your brain is going to tell you that they're looking at you because you look so awkward or that you shouldn't be here or they're about to turn to their friend and how ugly your outfit is.

It's crazy how much our brain is committed to interpreting things, to align with its belief. I can guarantee you then that if that person kind of then comes up to you and says, "Hi, how are you going?" You wouldn't really believe that they thought anything positive about you, you'd probably kind of try and interpret that as they just feel sorry for me because I look like such a loser. That is confirmation bias in a nutshell.

So whether the evidence that you see is neutral, like someone looking at you or positive like someone reaching out to say hello to you, your brain is going to find a way to make it fit with your preexisting story about yourself and the world and your value. If you believe your body is fat and ugly, it doesn't matter how much weight you lose or how fit you get or what the scale says or what size you are, you're still gonna interpret how you look to match your preexisting beliefs because again, that's how confirmation bias works.

And guys, I know this firsthand because I started year 12 at about 55 kilos, and by the end of it I was 41 kilos. And I was constantly ... I did end up with like an eating disorder and body image issues, but I know a big part of it was like if I just lost one more kilo, then I'll feel happy, then I'll feel comfortable in my skin. I was constantly desperate for that moment when that happiness would arrive, but it never happened because I was trying to change the external world, I was trying to change my body, a circumstance, something outside of me without changing my internal thoughts and belief processes alongside it. So my brain, even though my body was changing, my brain and my default thoughts and beliefs about myself weren't. So I was left stuck feeling anxious and insecure, but I couldn't understand why.

I think that's something that a lot of you can relate to, right? And you know what, if anytime that we're going to start to spiral into a dark place and feel really helpless over how to feel better, I think it is when we actually do change the outside world to be how we want it to be, when we do get those marks that we wanted, when we do get all the followers on Instagram, when we do get that boy that we've been chasing for months and we're still not happy. Then it literally is like, okay, now what? And my answer to that is to understand what's really going on in your mind here, isn't a flaw for you to be ashamed of but simply a feature to be understood like there's a few key features at play here going on in your brain, but today's one that we're really going to focus on is the confirmation bias.

I have this tendency, I get really excited by all the different things that I've learned about our brains and psychology and what's going on that I tend to take the fire hose approach. And by that I mean I will spray you in the face like a fire hose because I just want to give you all the information at once. So my big thing with the podcast is to just slow down Kate. I have you for hopefully the rest of eternity, I don't know. We'll see, 80 year old Kate doing your podcast, that would be a hoot. But anyway, I'm just going to take one step at a time. And today's function that we're really going to focus on is this confirmation bias because I think it's the single biggest feature that, as I mentioned, is really affecting how we kind of experience our world, but one that's kind of the least well known.

I want to kind of take you out of this oblivion about it because the good news is once you're really aware of confirmation bias at play in your brain, that is when you can begin to change it and get it working in your favor to really build up your competence and your resilience, just like I did after losing my sister. Because what's going on? We're kind of at this age now when we're in our mid to late teens, twenties and we really do have the cognitive ability to understand and reflect upon our own thinking. But before that, when we're growing up as kids, we really didn't have this ability and they've actually found that a lot of our beliefs about the world, about our worth, about family, friends, like everything, psychologists have found that a lot of these subconscious views about the world we're formed from the age when we were like seven.

Now, I don't know about you, but would you really like a seven year old control how you live your life? Yeah, me either. I mean, I know you were probably pretty damn cute as a seven year old, although my cuteness was probably questionable. I mean you weren't really your most wise or insightful self, I dare say, right? I mean we're kids, we're naturally kind of gonna see life through a pretty immature and powerless lens.

The thing is we're now in our teens and twenties and we're still holding on subconsciously to these really limiting kind of beliefs and views about the world. We've unconsciously taken those innocent observations as kids, and now we're just kind of believing them as facts without really questioning the accuracy or how true or useful they really are. And now they're dictating the way that we respond to our lives as teens and adults. And the thing is like we often don't even recognize our own beliefs, we often take them as facts and truths, like I'm not smart enough or I don't have what it takes to make it or my childhood was so awful, I've had such an unfair life. We think that's just the way of it, that we're just dating the situation. But remember we're standing our beliefs about this situation, and we're kind of interpreting things through that Lens.

The reason that you've felt so anxious or insecure or frustrated or trapped for all these years about these things is because your brain over the years, once you've kind of planted that seed of that belief, is constantly finding and seeking out evidence to support that negative thought about yourself and the world. Because remember, a belief is just a thought that you thought over and over and over again to the point that it's now in your subconscious brain and you kinda think it without even having to consciously really think about it, that's why I feel so true because your brain is sort of over and over and for the last however long has just been collecting evidence and interpreting things through that Lens.

The reason our brains kind of do this as well, it's like a dopamine hit every time it's proved right. I mean no one likes being proved that they're wrong about something. So once you've kind of proved to yourself that you really are just a really self conscious person, then you're not gonna feel inspired to then go start talking to someone you don't know because then that kind of has that ... your brain has that, Wait, hang on, we're a are self conscious person, we don't do that, it feels awful to kind of prove yourself wrong. So your brain is like, "Yeah, let's keep proving right." And that's why you were always kind of acting out in those ways that align with your belief and then creating more of that reality for you. And that's why it feels more and more true for you because you have subconsciously running off in an unmanaged mind with all these kinds of crazy limiting beliefs that you were taught and kind of picked up over your years growing up.

But the beauty is that when you kind of pair confirmation bias with a managed mid, when you pay attention and really think on purpose, you get the power to shift your whole entire well because you do begin to shift your beliefs. And that is all we're truly living in guys, the world of our beliefs. So many of us think that we have to see evidence of something out there in the world before we can believe it, and that's what kind of keeps us driving on that endless hamster wheel to get that top mark in class, to prove we're smart, to get lots of likes on Instagram on that photo, to proof that we're prettier, or to finally get that boy that we've been chasing, to prove that we're worthy.

And yet it never works, you never feel as happy or fulfilled as you thought you would because the confirmation bias and your brain, which is being driven by your beliefs, is still going to interpret it in line with those negative beliefs. If you know, you can change the outside world all you want, but if you don't consciously also change your inside world, nothing is really going to change in the long term. I mean You cannot wait around or even try to create evidence in order to change your thoughts or feelings because you literally will not see it; your brain will continue to interpret it in a negative way. So that is why when I kind of share my thoughts and ideas and beliefs about the world that doesn't instantly kind of just sink in and you think, "Oh, that's wonderful, and I totally agree, it's kind of like, eh." Because if you kind of haven't really practiced and retrained your brain to see the world through this lens, then at first it's going to be like, eh, I don't really think that's true.

So I really wanted to point that out, so any of resistance or kind of confusion over what I'm saying, it doesn't really come naturally and all that. That's again, nothing to be ashamed of guys. It's just the way your brain works. And really understanding that, you have to kind of recognize that you actually have to consciously decide on purpose what you want to believe and how you want to feel about things, and then put your brain to work looking for evidence of those new thoughts and beliefs. You literally have to direct your brain with instructions on how to operate its confirmation bias program built upon more realistic and empowering thoughts rather than just letting it run wild unconsciously to prove these negative subconscious thoughts true.

Like my coach Brooke Castillo actually says, "An unsupervised brain is like a toddler with a permanent marker running around a white lounge room unsupervised." Like it is going to innocently but seriously cause some havoc if you're not paying attention. And the same goes with our brains. So the next time you're kind of spinning around, something unwanted happening in your life and your mind instantly wants to go to this belief that it's so unfair when things don't go according to my plan, something's going terribly wrong, just kind of remind yourself like that's just your inner seven year old talking, and perhaps it's time to stop being so quick to just trust its well intended, but very naive perspective, right?

I mean, have you ever heard the saying that, "Just because you read it in a magazine doesn't mean it's true?" Well, the same goes for our thoughts guys like just because the super speedy subconscious thoughts are the first ones that are triggered by an event that happens in your life or when you look in the mirror or you get an exam mark back or someone says that thing about you, just because you have those negative thoughts about the situation, doesn't mean that you have to instantly latch on and react to them and believe that they're true. Instead, I promise you, you have the ability to choose to replace them because there is always a more positive, wise and empowering kind of option available to you to redirect to always.

But let me be clear, your brain likes to be efficient, and by that I mean he likes to use as little energy as possible. In fact, I heard the other day in a podcast that our brain uses like ... I think it was like 70 to 80 percent of our energy expenditure in a day. So hey, if you're actually looking to burn up some calories, I'm guessing it's not just metaphorical when people kind of say do a brain workout because it sounds like it actually does take a lot of energy up.

But anyway, your brain uses like a truck ton of energy, so it's always looking to take shortcuts and ways to kind of conserve energy. And one way it does this is by sticking to our habitual thought loops, our really well ingrained ways of thinking in our brain because that's easiest. And we'll explore that more in another episode. I promise you I'm trying to avoid the fire hose. But just so at first your brain will not want to do anything differently; it is going to throw a tantrum. It's going to say it's too much work, I can't be bothered, can't we just stick to looking for evidence as to how unfair, unlucky or horrible my life is. Like I'm really good at that.

Your brain, remember, doesn't know it's thinking a positive or negative thought, it just wants to keep thinking that same way. So don't judge it for it, but do recognize that you are the boss of your brain, not the other way around. So please stick with this process because if you give your brain the assignment of looking for evidence of something that you want to believe and don't take no for an answer, your brain will eventually get on board because the thing is, guys, every time you think a thought, you make this neural pathway in your brain. So the more you kind of keep firing up that same neural pathway again and again, the more ingrained it becomes and the happier your brain will become to kind of follow that way of thinking because it is easier for it to do it.

And also I want to give you a heads up of be aware of this called cognitive dissonance, which is essentially that discomfort of proving yourself wrong. Like I mentioned earlier, like that doesn't feel great. Like if you've always believed you're not destined for anything that amazing in life and you start taking action and looking for evidence to prove otherwise, even though the thought of thinking you're just doomed to like a miserable life, feels awful, so just proving yourself wrong. So get ready to be uncomfortable and feel bad about this in the short term, but in the longterm, I promise you guys, it's so worth it because on the other side of all that, you have built up the skill of managing your mind to seek and reinforce, empowering realistic, uplifting beliefs that is going to build up your confidence and your resilience in this world rather than hold you down.

And I am so fired up about teaching you guys this because like honestly there is no way that I would have been inspired to sit down and reach into research into travel safety or start creating a presentation or reaching out to schools or even feeling like getting out of bed in the morning when I was in such deep grief after losing Nicole, if it wasn't for committing to the belief that something good would come from my family tragedy.

Of course my brain wanted to dwell on all the loss and the pain and the suffering I could see in my parents eyes and all the things that I wish weren't happening in that moment, but every day I saw my mind go there, I just kept redirecting it and toning it not only to find evidence of the good things and evidence of people who've overcome similar situations and evidence of how they turned their tragedy into triumph, but through doing that, I kind of begin to feel more inspired and motivated and a bit of ... like just energy in me to then kind of take that action that I needed to, to end up beginning to prove that belief, true that something good could come from this.

Then I did start researching and then the research led to the presentation and then I kind of reached out. All of that kind of creativity and wisdom and resilience was really being fueled by the fact that I was consciously training my mind to kind of see my whole lens through that experience and through the beliefs that something good was gonna come from it.

I know in the beginning I kind of felt like a little bit crazy when you're thinking something good is gonna come from my family being torn apart from grief and losing someone we love most in the world. But the way I kind of reconciled in my mind, I was like, if something as unthinkable as my beautiful big sister being killed at 24 years old, like if something as unthinkable as that can happen in this world, then if it can happen in the worst way, like who's to say it can't happen in the best way as well? Like the unthinkable of the best thing happening, that I do create something, that there is some sort of charity or meaning or way of saving others from this. I was not going to let anyone stand in front of me and tell me that was impossible because the impossible in the worst way had just happened.

And I was like, every ... one of the best things that happened when I lost Nicole is it shattered my entire world. But remember, our world literally is just the world of our beliefs. So each shattered everything. Like I always thought I was going to live till I was 80. That I was like ... it just I was like, hang on, I'm ... that's just a belief, none of us really know for a fact when we're going to live or what's gonna happen tomorrow. It just made me question everything. And it was one of the best things that ever happened to me because in questioning I could see so many limiting beliefs that really are nothing more than just a thought we're thinking, that just you can choose to change them, and it was the best thing that ever happened.

It did take effort and it still takes effort to this day, but I've come so far now because my kind of confirmation bias now, I've trained it to be on default to seeking the positive, to seeking the value, to seeking the lessons. Very different from when I finished high school, it was always on the loss and the worry and the fears and insecurities and what could go wrong. Then like six years down the track, like my brain is six years in the making on training it, but it's completely shifted my whole world and I know it can do the same for you guys, but you have to pay attention to what your confirmation bias currently is, questioning those limiting beliefs and deciding on purpose what it is you want your brain to be seeking evidence for because it's going to do it anyway. You can either do it unconsciously and seek it for the limiting negative beliefs because by default your brain is going to go to the negative; it has a negativity bias.

Again, for another episode. But it's going to instantly look at the issues and the problems and the threats and what could go wrong and what's not right about a situation. But I'm thinking if your brain's going to be seeking evidence whether you pay attention or not, don't you think you better than pay attention because then you can consciously choose things that are far more empowering and useful for you to move forward with. So expect when something happens, by default, your brain is likely going to go to my life so messed up, things go wrong for me all the time, I'm such a failure.

But just remember if you keep viewing your experience through that fearful lens, guess what your brain is going to keep doing? Seeking out things that are happening to reaffirm your negative beliefs and cause you to spiral further into the sense of helplessness and hopelessness. You'll focus on the way that your friend didn't save a seat for you in class, but you'll miss the way that someone held the door open for you. You'll dwell over not being invited to a party, but you'll miss the nice text message that your friend sent you. You'll kind of disregard it and not really take that moment to appreciate it and kind of prove true that people do care about me and want to be my friend. But again, if your confirmation bias isn't that belief, if your belief isn't that at its core, then it's kind of gonna keep interpreting things through that negative belief.

But as I said, the good news is a belief isn't a fixed trait of badness like your shoes size that you're stuck with forever, belief is really nothing more than a thought you kept on thinking so automatically now that you don't even question it. But given it's just a thought, it's something we can change and control for the better.

I mean there's a lot of crappy challenging things that come with being a teenager and a 20 year old and kind of growing up, but one of the best parts about it is you now at an age where you can pay attention to your own thought patterns and begin to question the unhelpful ones, and consciously choose to redirect your brain to fill to the world through a more empowering Lens.

And I'm telling you, every single person who is overcoming the tough stuff in life, defying the odds, taking hits, getting back up, has found the strength to do so through making that huge fundamental shift from really kind of like believing the world is always against you, to really trusting that there is something to be gained from every experience. Because when you see life through this lens, no matter what situation you're faced with, your brain is constantly then seeking evidence to reaffirm this belief so you feel more empowered and have the strength you need to build that ladder out of the ditch you've landed in rather than disempower yourself further into it.

So my challenge for you this week is to pick one, just one, don't overload your brain trying to completely pull apart all your beliefs at once. We don't want to spin it into overwhelm. Just pick one belief that you feel like might be holding you back in life or causing you some anxiety or overwhelm. And remember, we know it's a belief that if you just pull apart the pure facts of the situation, if it's not factual, if it can't be proved in a court of law and is something that every single person in this planet would agree upon, then it simply just a belief and a thought that you built up over time to feel like it's true.

So I want you to pick one that you feel like probably isn't useful for you to keep holding onto. Just watch it, just [inaudible 00:28:49] or pay attention how it might be playing through in your life and kind of creating more evidence for that belief. And I want you to begin to just begin to question what else could I start to believe on purpose instead? What is a belief that could be more useful to tell my brain to start filtering for and start gathering evidence for and use this confirmation bias in my favor.

And if you can't think of a belief, then the one I suggest you begin to stop letting your brain default to is a limiting belief that I think like every single one of us pretty much has, and this is the idea that that whole idea like life is always happening to us and against us and kind of make that shift of filtering life through the lens and life is ultimately always happening for you. That there is a purpose to every little thing that happens in your day.

And even if you like, "Oh, come on, Kate." And your brain can't wrap your mind around it kind of at this moment yet, just play with it in your mind this week, like how would you feel differently about yourself or the situation if you could believe that. If you were someone who did approach things from that perspective, what else would you be able to see or do or feel inspired to create if you saw your life through that lens?

And to learn to believe that there is something valuable even when you're feeling lost and pain and disappointment, that there are always lessons and opportunities for growth, like when you see the world through this lens, I'm telling you guys, you will be blown away at the hidden lessons and opportunities you'll begin to see. Like seriously you'll be like, "How did I not say that earlier?"

It's kind of like when you say something isn't in the cupboard with your mom and your mom's like, "Look harder." But you're like, "It is not in their mom, I swear, your washing machine has swallowed that top. It is not in the cupboard." And then mom comes along and Bam, she finds it in like two seconds. And you're thinking, "How did she do that?" I'm speaking from experience, I'm sorry mom, you were right, you were always right.

But the reason it happened is because she believed it was there so her mind was open and subconsciously probably searching for it while you believed the opposite. You're Kinda like, no, it's really not in there. And it's crazy, but honestly, your brain then subconsciously filtered what you were seeing through that lens and wasn't properly searching for it, or completely kind of shut down the lens through which your brain was seeing it. You'll like the horse with the filters on. No, what are they called? Blinders. Is that what they're called? I don't know. You know what I mean? Those things that they wear over their eyes when they race, so they pay attention, but it literally shuts down their ability to see what's beyond, what's in front of them. It's kind of like that with your beliefs; you're only ever going to be able to see what's fitting within your belief system.

So while they say seeing is believing, really guys, it's actually committing to believe in that something is when you begin to see it. It is the one of the most fascinating things that I want you to just watch unfold in your life and pay attention to. Remember, the first step to change is awareness; we can't change something we're not aware of. So pay attention, get curious about your beliefs, and that is when you can begin to work on them.

So if this stuff about your brain kind of fascinates you and you're really gotten sick of being caught at the effect of such important stuff that school forgets to teach us, then I have a special gift for you all, which I would love you guys to jump on and download at Katefitzsimons.com/freegift. Now, if [inaudible 00:32:16] know how to spell Fitzsimons, it is here on the podcast, it's just got the one M. But I'd love for you guys to jump on and download my free ebook, it's called Five Fun Facts About Your Brain.

And I really have put so much energy into creating this. I promise you it's a fun book. There's lots of pictures, it's not lots of reading. But it has some of the most important information that you can learn about because I really want to help you understand that the fact that it's so challenging to think more positively and to change your thoughts isn't a sign that something's wrong with you, it's a sign of a healthy brain and rather trying to resist these features, I want you to learn how to work with these features to build a healthier mind. We really can't work on our mental and emotional wellbeing until we remove that layer of judgment and self loathing; trust me, I know firsthand.

I've really found that these key insights into our brain really helped do that for me, so I want to pass that same gift along to you so you can do the same because school is great at telling us what to think about, but they don't really teaching us how we think and how our brain works. And really given that our thoughts literally create our feelings and drive all of our behavior in the world, so therefore create our results, it blows my mind that someone isn't really sitting us down and clearly teaching this at book ... teaching us this at high school. Oh, I get so excited, I can't get my words out.

But anyway guys, I really do hope you jump on and take the time to download this. It's completely free. It's Katefizsimons.com/freegift. I'm still learning iTunes. I think I can put this somewhere in the show notes or below the episode, but if not, please jump on my website, there will be a link to it there.

So that is it from me this week. Guys, please do pay attention to what your confirmation bias is doing for you and questioning which belief you do want to begin to change for the better. And I also want to encourage you to pick one person in your life who you think is going to benefit from learning about this. I've kind of pulled you out of the oblivion of confirmation bias and the way it can sneakily wreak havoc, Oh my goodness, in our lives. So I'm sure there's got to be someone that you can think about that would really benefit from, especially if they're kind of feeling a bit overwhelmed and not in a great place mentally. I really think that this will help them kind of begin to take that first step towards change.

So be that good friend, be that good mom, sister, brother, uncle, whoever it is. Please pass this along to someone that you care about or better yet, take a snapshot and posted up on your Instagram stories, so then lots of people at once can learn and hear about my podcast and learn all this valuable stuff. And if you haven't already, please subscribe to the show and if you're feeling extra generous then a rating and a review would be so, so appreciated; not just to stroke my ego, but it does make a huge difference on the rankings in iTunes in helping more people see that this show has been launched.

So would love that. I am already super pumped to join you back here next week, but until then, go and prove yourself wrong as many times as you can about a limiting belief. Let it be uncomfortable. Let your brain have the freakout and then just keep redirecting to what you do want to believe on purpose. I promise you it's worth it.

Hey you, thanks so much for tuning into the show. If you enjoyed listening and you're thinking, okay, now what? Well, besides practicing what you've learned in your own life, please be sure to subscribe to the show and leave me a rating and a review so this can reach more people and really help our generation become more resilient. And if you want some extra [inaudible 00:35:58] in between episodes, be sure to follow me on Instagram @Katemaree_fitz.


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