S1 E09 - Your 2.0Apr 19, 2021
We have a higher and lower brain. Lower brain thinking is: illogical irrational, highly emotional… maybe a little crazy sometimes. Parenting and making decisions from that space is damaging our relationships. I’ll show you how to make the switch. Moving into our higher brain is a powerful skill to learn how to do. When we can notice we are in the lower brain and move out of it, our decisions and actions become better. Learning more about our future self can help us switch our mindset to our more forward-thinking higher brain and create thriving relationships.
What we discuss today:
- Emotional vs Logical brain
- What parenting is like from each brain
- The power in our 2.0
- How to get to know our future selves
- How to harness the power of our 2.0
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More on the blog: Conversation with Your Toddler Brain
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hey, I'm Crystal, a certified life coach and mom of four. In this podcast, we combine radical connection and positive parenting theories with the How-To Life Coaching Tools and Mindset Work to completely transform our relationship with our children.
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Hi there, and welcome to Episode 9, Your 2.0.
Emotional vs Logical brain
All right. So, we're going to get into what the 2.0 is, but I want you to remember, I've talked about this on a few episodes, the difference between your emotional and your logical brain.
So, our emotional brain is that lower brain; it's very intense emotions, right? It's kind of the fight or flight type brain. And the problem with that emotional brain, it does some great things too, but the problem with it is that it isn't logical. So, it's not going to necessarily make the best decisions for you and for your future and for everybody around you, when it is in that emotional brain.
Now, our logical brain or our higher thinking brain, when I'm teaching this to children, I talk about the lizard and the wizard brain. So, this logical brain would be your Wizard Brain; and the emotional brain would be your Lizard Brain or your primitive brain.
So, our logical brain is going to be able to make decisions that are kind of the best, that can see everything as a whole. They're going to make decisions ahead of time. It's just going to be a lot more clear and a lot better to make your decisions and react and respond as a parent, from that logical brain.
But sometimes, it's hard to get from our emotional to our logical brain. Like I've said before, it's like a teeter-totter; [emotions are high – logic is low], [logic is high – emotions low], right?
So, our emotional brain might tell us things like, "You are a terrible mom, you fed your children cereal, you yelled at them, you didn't get outside to play – they've been on screens all day," right? It's going to give-- It's going to feed you all these emotional type thoughts, these negative thoughts.
And so, when you're sitting in that emotional brain and just listening to these emotional thoughts and all these negative thoughts and really believing them, you're going to feel kind of crummy and you're not necessarily going to make the best choices from that.
So, we talked about how to shift that through shifting our story and thought jumps in through The Model. But here's just another kind of tool that we're going to talk about called your 2.0.
Our Emotional Brain is very past-focused
The other problem about our Emotional Brain is that it's very past-focused. This primitive brain wants to conserve energy, it wants to avoid pain, and it wants to seek pleasure. Those are the three motivations of our primitive or emotional brain.
Now, because of this, it's also past-focused; it doesn't want anything to change, right? The body and the brain kind of like homeostasis; they like everything to stay the same and be the same.
So, when things start to change – maybe they start to go up a little bit or go down a little bit, there's some change there – that equates to discomfort; change is like discomfort, right?
So, when discomfort comes off, our alarm's going to go ding, ding, ding, ding, ding – the little brain alarm – and tell us like, "No, wait, we don't want this, this is probably, this could be emotional or physical pain, this could be uncomfortable, this might take a lot of energy, let's stop that."
And so, that's what it tries to do; it tries to tries to stop that, and it does that through being very past-focused. So, it's kind of like your Spotify playlist or your Amazon playlist. I don't know about your playlist, but my Amazon playlist, when I go to play my music, I don't even have to tell it what to play.
It's just like, 'Here are songs you will like,' and it does. And then, I go into my husband's and I'm like, 'What is wrong with your music? Why does it keep playing me 90s music?' And he's like, 'Because I love 90s music.'
And I'm like, 'I don't want to hear 90s music, I want to hear this great music that I love.' Anyway, my Amazon Music knows exactly what I love, and it feeds that – what I love – to me.
Our primitive brain is kind of the same way, that emotional brain; it's going to start feeding you these thoughts that it knows that you've listened to before and you love. And it's just going to keep with those thoughts over and over and over again. It's like your most-played list, right?
We know you love it, we know you're going to love it today; we're just going to feed you this thought, because that will help keep you the same. It will keep the homeostasis. We'll turn that alarm off and be like, 'Okay, no, it's fine. We'll just stay here.' 'Yes, let's just stay sitting on the couch and eating our Cheetos. And let's not go outside for a walk.'
'That's different, we don't usually do that, I don't like that, that's going to take too much energy.' Any kind of change that it's going to notice this little ding, this little alarm bell is going to go off.
So, the problem with these past-focused stories are, it's going to feed you things like, 'Well, you're not going to ever be able to change your relationship with food because you've never been able to do that before. You always eat a box of Oreos every night before you go to bed.'
Or maybe it's going to tell you things like, "You'll never be able to stop yelling at your kids because you've never been able to stop yelling at your kids, you've tried before in the past and it hasn't worked."
And it's going to even give you all of the evidence, right, all of these little mini playlists of like, 'remember this, remember that, remember this,' and it's going to keep you past-focused.
The problem is if we want to make a change, we can't make a change and move forward in a different and more intentional direction, moving backwards. We can't turn around and look backwards, and expect to move forwards, right? It just doesn't make sense.
Like logically, we're like, 'Yeah, no, of course, we can't do that,' but then we keep doing it over and over and over again – we keep going back to these old stories and these old habits and everything that we've, you know, that has got us to where we are right now, instead of looking for other evidence.
And you might say, 'There is literally no other evidence, I've never been able to do something that I've never been able to do before.' Okay. So, let's go with that. Let's say that's true. So, what about when you were learning to crawl or to walk or to talk very first before you'd done it before?
You'd never known how to do it before. So, why did you keep going? Why didn’t you just decide to stop? Maybe you've learned another language. Maybe you had a child, and you'd never had a child before. Maybe you tried a new food, and you'd never tried a new food before.
There's lots of different things that we've done that we've never done before, but our brain likes to offer us this story that like, 'Well, you can't do this, you can't stop yelling, you can't do such and such [insert any goal],' because you've never done it before.
That's a story in our kind of most-played list that's probably going to pop up for us. So, like I said, we can't be looking back at those stories and looking back at that "evidence"; I’m not saying it's real or true, but sometimes our brain just pops in those stories, so we're looking back at that evidence and we can't plan on going forward from that space.
We have to change that story.
How to get to know our future selves
So, one of the ways we change our story is by our 2.0. So, our 2.0 is our future-focused self – our logical, intentional, forward-thinking brain or person. I think of my future 2.0, I call her Crystal 2.0 as kind of my sidekick BFF, my inner wisdom that I can just tap into the person that I am choosing to become more and more and more of every single day.
So, first of all, we have to get to know our 2.0 because maybe we've never done this before, and we're just not sure. So, if you literally have no idea what you want to be in the future, who you want to be in the future, I just want you to envision a specific goal. So, imagine you have a business goal, 'My business goal is to be a millionaire,' okay, think about that.
So, think about what that future would look like for a minute. Maybe your goal is to have a great relationship with your children and with your husband. Okay. So, think about what that looks like in the future.
Maybe your goal is to change your relationship with foods so that you're using foods that really fuel your body and make you feel good – okay, so think about that in the future. So, I want you to go to that future space where whatever that goal is that you talked about – or you thought about – is accomplished.
Now, I want you to drop everything external. I want you to drop the roles – like, if you are a mom or a worker or a sister or a whatever, I want you to drop those roles. I also want you to drop everything external; it's not the car that you're in, it's not the house that you're in – it's not any of those kinds of external things, it's who you are. It's your attributes, it's your characteristics.
So, I want you to drop everything external. I want you to think first of the feeling, what does that person feel there? Now, I'll give you a couple hints. Typically, my clients will say something like successful, accomplished, confident or self-confident, content, at peace, calm, sure.
So, those are a few feelings that you might have there in your future space. Okay. So, you don't necessarily have to pick a specific goal. I didn't pick a specific goal when I thought about this.
I just thought about, 'Well, who do I want to be?' Not like, 'Do I want to be a mom or a sister or the roles that I'm going to be playing in life,' but, who do I actually want to be? So, when I imagine my future self, I like to close my eyes and kind of visualize something. So, this is--
What I visualize as my future-self
I'm going to tell you a little bit about what I visualize, and then what some of my clients have visualized before. So, I visualize myself hiking up the side of a mountain – because if you've heard me talk about hiking, I love hiking, and I want to be a hiker. And hiking is so hard for me because I'm not totally there yet physically, but I love hiking.
And so, I imagine myself climbing up at the side of the mountain easily, which right now seems a little bit impossible – but climbing up the side of the mountain easily – and I'm happy, and I'm excited, and I'm with my family; and we're just like climbing up this mountain, the sun shining down.
Now, when I imagine that kind of little visualization, I imagine that person – I don't really imagine what my kids are doing or what my husband's doing or what the mountain looks like – I imagine me.
And then, I think about, 'Well, what is she feeling?' She's definitely feeling happy. She's feeling successful. More than anything, I think she's feeling confidently-calm, which I'm going to hyphen together to be one emotion.
She's feeling confidently-calm or calm, calmly, calm-knowing; I heard somebody say one time, "Calm-knowing". And I thought, 'Yeah, that's what my emotion is; it's calm knowing.' She's just sure of herself. She's just sure of everything. So, that's what I imagine when I think of Crystal 2.0.
What my client visualized her future-self to be
Now, I had one client who imagined, just like, she was this ball of light; like, everything was just light – that's what she imagined. So, it doesn't have to be you physically.
Somebody else said that they were like a rock climber, like climbing up the side of this cliff. There's so many different imagination or visualizations you could have about this 2.0, but I want you to spend some time doing that.
The 2.0 exercise
If you want to do something really cool, I try to get some like, kind of meditative Yogi-style type music. And I would have that going in the background, and then I would close your eyes, and kind of have it being played low. And I would do some deep breathing. And then, I would just start to think about that visualization.
Maybe I'm going to, like, envision myself walking out the door, and walking into like a forest or a meadow or up the side of a mountain; and actually, meeting this person – meeting this future 2.0. And maybe, I'm going to look at her, and try to think about, 'What is she-- What is she feeling? What is that feeling that she has?'
So, do whatever you need to do to get to your future 2.0 self. And, this is how we get to know her. So, we drop into that feeling first. What is that feeling? What would it be like to be in that feeling? Or maybe even someone else, if it's really hard for you to envision this, think of somebody else that you think does feel that way.
So, if you want to feel calm or content or confident or at peace, think of someone that you feel like feels that way; or drop into that feeling yourself, if you can. And once you've dropped into that feeling in your body, and you're really there and present, I want you to think about, what is she thinking?
What does she believe about herself; especially, what does she believe about herself that maybe I don't believe about me right now? What does she believe about her kids? What does she believe about her husband or about her friends? What does she do? What does she spend her time doing? What's important to her?
Now, I'm going to give you a few things that I've noticed. I have done the 2.0 exercise on, well over, a hundred clients. I don't even know how many at this point, because I haven't been keeping track, but loads of clients.
Now, when I think about kind of the pieces that tie them together, I kind of notice these patterns coming to play. And some of the patterns that I notice are, they're very, their Future 2.0 is very Growth Mindset.
Growth Vs. Fixed Mindset
So, I don't know if you know the difference between growth and fixed mindset, but Fixed Mindset is like, I'm born with this innate talents and abilities and I can't ever change them and they can't move. Right? It's the opposite of neuroplasticity.
Growth Mindset would be neuroplasticity; I can grow, I can change – failure is awesome, it's part of the journey, we're supposed to make mistakes so I can learn from them.
So, Growth Mindset – my 2.0 is very Growth Mindset. And I would say that almost all of my clients’ 2.0s that we've gone through, have been very Growth Mindset, even if they haven't exactly explained it in that way.
Also, self-compassion, they're very compassionate about mistakes like, 'It's okay. You're doing a great job, keep at it.' They're very self-loving. They're very self-confident. They have good self-esteem, right?
All of those things that maybe we struggle with right now – the self-compassion, the self-love, the growth mindset – they're not struggling with those things; they have those down. So, it's not that our 2.0 is perfect, because our 2.0 is definitely not perfect because that's impossible. Right?
We don't turn from us to a superhuman, from some different alien race; that doesn't happen. But our 2.0, doesn't need to be perfect. Our 2.0 just needs to understand that perfection isn't the goal, and that mistakes are okay, and that we can use mistakes for our learning and for our growth.
How to harness the power of our 2.0
So, how can we use this idea of this 2.0, and use this driving power to move towards the change to our lives? Just like we talked about before, if we want to change, instead of looking back all of the time, we have to start looking forward; so, how can we look forward?
We can look forward by starting to get to know our 2.0, and visualizing who she is and what she's like. And then, we can also use our 2.0 to actually go to that space and get the wisdom that we might not necessarily have access to right now. So, it's there, but sometimes our mindset kind of blocks that access for us. So, we can go to that space for inner wisdom.
So, what encourage you to do is take out a piece of paper and a pen; and write down all of your negative thoughts.
So, I want you to go back to that emotional brain, that kind of lower toddler brain that sometimes comes up that's like: you're doing a terrible job actually, you're never going to be a better mom, you're never going to be able to stop yelling.
You're always going to have to be bribing and threatening your kids because that is the only way everybody else is doing it better than you – everyone on Instagram with their beautiful white walls and their clean houses is also hanging out with their kids all day long. But somehow, their houses are magically clean, right?
Anyways, all those thoughts that we have, write out all of those thoughts, really just go to town and let them go. And then, we're going to come back and answer every single one of those thoughts from your 2.0. We're going to go to that feeling; maybe it's confidence, maybe it's that calm-knowing, how would they respond to every single one of these thoughts?
Another way to think about it is like if my child was struggling with all of those thoughts, how would I respond to them or to somebody that I love? Maybe my best friend, what do I think my best friend would say to me if I said, "I am never going to be able to stop yelling, I hate it, I'm a terrible mom."
What would that 'best friend' character say to you, right? So, sometimes, when it's hard for us to go to our 2.0 space, we can just try to kind of go outside of ourselves to somebody else.
So, this is how you use the power of the 2.0, to start changing your future now and start shifting that direction, even if that direction is just the subtle changes. You're not going to stop yelling or, you know, grow your business or change your relationship with your kids all overnight.
None of this happens overnight, but these small little simple shifts can really start to change things. So, try out this exercise, see if you like it; I personally love it. I sometimes do it talking to myself out loud in the minivan, driving somewhere if nobody else is with me.
I'll just like actually have this conversation with myself, which sounds kind of funny, but it's been really powerful. I've had some really great conversations with me, myself, and I. So, try it out, and see how it works for you. See you next time.
I hope you enjoyed today's episode. Make sure that you give it Five Stars on Apple, and check out my monthly membership for moms in the show notes.