In this post, I’d like to introduce you to what I call the pretzel brain twist.
You might be wondering exactly what that is. Have you ever set a big goal and immediately felt excited, invigorated and hopeful? Then, a few minutes later, you felt scared, doubtful and pessimistic? Well, my friend, you were a victim of the pretzel brain twist.
The pretzel brain twist is simply when your brain runs away with itself. You give it a problem to solve, such as how to accomplish a new goal, but it causes you to feel negatively about the goal by all the follow-up questions that result.
We are so used to trying to figure out HOW a goal will happen that we instantly talk ourselves out of accomplishing it. And in the times when you don’t ask yourself how, you can be sure that a naysayer will roll up and cause you to pretzel brain twist on yourself.
And that’s so unfair – both to you and the new goal that was about to grow.
How to Stop The Twist
First, you have to recognize the likelihood of your brain pulling a twist on you like that. Your brain is a problem-solving tool so it immediately goes to work when you give it a task. At the same time, we’ve been programmed to believe that if we don’t know HOW something’s going to happen, then we shouldn’t do it.
Let me show you that that’s not true.
How many endeavors have you begun without knowing the end result? How about college, relationships, jobs, friendships… the list goes on and on. You started with an intention – to do your best – and your actions followed that intention based on information you gathered at the time.
So when your brain tries to bombard you with questions, get in the habit of shutting that down.
Get your feelings out on paper. Frequently it’s difficult to just shut off your thoughts once they’ve begun. Instead, take that energy and use it. You can use the questions coming up in a way to help you get further in your planning instead of blocking your progress. Write down everything that comes to mind – your worries, your questions, your fears, your perceived roadblocks and your assumptions.
For the feelings that come up, I like to cross them out and remind myself why they’re not true. For example, you could say “I know that I can accomplish this goal because I rarely fail when I put my mind to it.” Fear is just a tool your mind uses to keep you safe and in your comfort zone. Respond to it accordingly.
Lead with your faith instead of your logic. Constantly remind yourself that everything that happens isn’t up to you. Whatever religious label you fall under, use your mind to connect to the source of your faith and believe that what you desire can happen for you. Trust that good things will unfold in your life, do the best you can and watch what happens. It starts from the moment you claim what you want in your life and have faith that God/the Universe is aligning the best possible result for you.
Be okay with where you are. All great achievement starts from somewhere. Your brain may attempt to twist itself up if you feel frustrated by starting from the beginning. Part of the lessons you learn and the journey you take involves stretching and growing as a person. You can’t do that if you jump to the end of the process.
I know firsthand that this is easier said than done. But you must practice patience along with faith that your dream is coming to pass. You must also get out of your own head and take action right where you are. Even if that action is just googling information about your goal, or finding people to talk to who’ve already accomplished what you’re aiming for. If you don’t actually start, you won’t get anywhere.
Do you recognize the times when you’ve been a victim of the pretzel brain twist? How will you get out of it next time?