by Neil Fiore, PhD

“Who you think you are controls most of your behavior.
Expand your identity to include all parts of your brain and mind,
and you’ll be stronger, more effective, and more joyful.”

— Neil Fiore, Awaken Your Strongest Self

Notice your immediate, “default” reactions — your most frequent thoughts, feelings, and impulsive reactions to stress and pressure. Take a few days to identify which reactive habits you need to update to fit your current vision, abilities, values, and challenges.

Remember how you felt when you helped a friend cope with a stressful or heart-breaking event. You observed their problem from a distance and shifted to the role of a compassionate, wise friend. Do this for yourself and experience the power of calmly observing old habits and thoughts from your larger, Strongest Self without identifying with them.

Recall the feeling of playing in the Zone — at levels far beyond what your ego knows how to achieve. Play and work consistently in the Zone by connecting your struggling, limited sense of self with the rest of your brain and body. Only work with all parts of yourself integrated into the grander whole that is your Strongest Self.

Notice how “have to’s” and self-criticism lead to stress and anxiety. Replace all self-threats with a message that makes you feel safe with you. Tell yourself: “Regardless of what happens, I will not make myself feel bad. I will not let any event or person determine my worth.”

Label your stress levels on a scale of one to ten (where “one” means safety and “ten” is the worse stress ever). Within one to two weeks, your body will quickly calm down when you say, for example, “It’s only a three. We won’t die. I can live with this. It’s safe to stop the stress response.”

Consider that many forms of shame and depression may be ancient (mammal brain) survival mechanisms to keep us from fighting in situations where we can’t win and to maintain social structure, such as bowing to those in power. Use your new human brain to maintain your worth, consider your higher values, and override any lower brain archaic reactions that no longer fit.

Use the symptoms of procrastination, ambivalence, or indecision,the inner conflict between two primitive parts, “You have to” versus “I don’t want to” to evoke your new human brain’s unique ability to choose what to do and to take responsibility for the consequences.

Change “I don’t know” to “I wonder what will come to me.” Watch for the surprise as the creative side of your brain starts working to bring you from “not knowing” to “knowing.”

Awaken Your Strongest Self is in stores now and also available thru Amazon.com. Order today!

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