Trick Your Brain to Follow Your Dreams

My decision to leave the corporate world was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make.

It was six months from the day I said I was going to leave, till the day I took any action to do so.

Those six months were interesting to say the least.

I spent time complaining (about my current condition) as well as reading and exploring what the hell I wanted to do next.

I wasn’t fulfilled in my current role. Nor was I bringing my full creative self to work everyday.

In short, I was miserable.

Still every day, I managed to wake up, put on my poker face, and give my team and the company my best.

While I looked successful to those around me, I didn’t feel successful inside.

So why the hell did I do that, for six months?!

In hindsight, I didn’t have a clear and specific vision for what a future outside of the corporate world would look like.

The corporate world was all I had known for more than 10 years.

My Brain Made Me Do It

Each time I considered making the change, the limbic system would kick in and override that thought.

The limbic system is the place where memories and habits are stored and it was just doing its job…keeping life in homeostasis.

To take action, I needed to tap into my prefrontal cortex (the part of our brain responsible for higher level thinking and planning).

I had to make the shift from what I’d always known to something new and completely unknown (eek!)

I needed to create a new habit…a habit called “my vision for the next stage of my life.”

This new habit required two critical elements

  1. It needed to represent an action
  2. It needed to be an action I could take consistently

What I Did:

I decided to make the exercise fun (because why not).

I chose to design my perfect day…a day that would energize me and leave me fulfilled.

I worked on it for a few weeks, adding and editing every few days.

After a month of refining and having fun with it, I had my perfect day written out.

Note: It’s powerful to write out your visions/dreams, and if you share it out loud with someone, consider yourself basically unstoppable!

I now realize the ultimate value of the exercise wasn’t building what my perfect day would look like.

The value came from the month I invested creating shifts and future-state memories in my brain that would now directly support my desired end state.

Since then, I’ve created and successfully lived into two versions of my perfect day and I’m currently working towards my third.

If this is something you’d like to try, I’d be happy to share my template with you or hop on a call and brainstorm on yours.

“Nobody Can Go Back and Start a New Beginning, But Anyone Can Start Today and Make a New Ending.” ~Maria Robinson

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