How do they do it?

I know that plenty of gorgeous models often feel surprisingly insecure. Somehow though, they switch gears before they hit the runway, and walk out with a world of confidence.

I’m heading to the Dominican next week and will be exposing my pasty-white Canadian winter skin, with all it’s wonderful texture. I need to go from negative self talk to confident beach babe to really enjoy my vacation. How can I muster up some of the gusto I see on runways? I’m hoping this week’s tip will help.

Yvonne

How to literally change our minds.

There’s comfort in being repetitive. Recurring feelings are part of our survival mechanism. Our brain relies on what it already finds familiar, in order to take shortcuts in processing information. What’s comforting for us however, may not be good for us. How do we change that?

First, we should understand why our brain makes it so hard. Every time we have a thought, our brain signals our body to react. Like it hits a button to send an electric current that makes our heart rate fluctuate, our lungs change pace, and chemicals surge around our bloodstream.

When we think in certain ways habitually, our body starts to crave these reactions. Like a drug, our habitual thoughts trigger a chemical dependence in our cells. When they don’t get their fix, they start asking the brain for more. We feel good satiating the request.

That’s great if our repeated thoughts work in our favour, but what if they are negative, like shame, insecurity, or anxiety? Then we need to train ourselves out of it, over time, and with deliberate, cognitive practice. We need to create new reactions in our body by identifying our negative thoughts, and deciding what to replace them with. Then, focus on making the switch.

It can be easier if we identify the environmental factors that trigger our negativity. For example, if standing naked in front of a mirror triggers self loathing, put some clothes on and step away from the mirror, until you’ve learned how to switch thoughts.

Our neurons have been programmed in our old structures for years and possibly our whole lives, so don’t expect the switch to happen instantly. Continued mental rehearsal, visualization of how to act in our trigger situations, and focusing on who we want to be, will help us get there.

Take action: A great deal of changing your mind starts with a concentrated effort towards self awareness and the thoughts you are processing. Mindfulness and meditation are great for this observation. It also helps to ask people close to you to give honest feedback on how they perceive your self talk. Make sure they feel secure that the feedback will be appreciated, and be prepared that you may need to figure out how to make their comments constructive for yourself.

:: Inspired by Joe Dispenza, DC’s book, Evolve Your Brain.