Turning dreams into reality: understanding how your brain works could help!
By Simon Parkinson-Jones
Do you have a dream or vision of something you want to accomplish in life? A new business, taking a year off to travel, a change of career, building a new home or other such big project? This can be very exciting and as long as we just think positively it will all go fantastically well! Unfortunately this is often not the case. People I have worked with over the years, and from my own experience, have often talked of the many hurdles, both inner and outer, they had to overcome in order to achieve their goals.
Having had a great idea for a new venture, there are many practical issues to consider: how will I make time for it in my already busy life; is there a market for my product or service and how will I market it; how do I put together a business plan; where will I find the money to get started; and If there are other people involved, what will our roles and responsibilities be?
Whilst it is vitally important that these issues are adequately attended to there are often some more hidden difficulties to contend with such as: lack of, or too much confidence; being too perfectionistic or careless; learning how to communicate effectively and resolve differences constructively with others; acting impulsively or too cautiously; berating oneself when mistakes are made.
Research on how the brain functions has shown that there is often a conflict going on between the logical Frontal Cortex and the more emotional Limbic areas of the brain. The Limbic system controls things like hunger, your sex drive, reactions to dangerous situations – fight, flight or freeze – and emotions such as happiness, anger, sadness and fear. If for example you learned as a child to fear big men with beards because there was one there who was at times a dominating bully, your Limbic brain will still today make the same association, will react with fear and produce a strong urge to either flee or become quiet and compliant. Even though your logical mind may be saying that this man with a beard is kind and respectful, your limbic mind will be saying the opposite! Through the long years of your childhood you will have developed many such associations, both positive and negative.
These old patterns of behaviour can become strongly ingrained, usually we have some lack of awareness about them and they’re often associated with strong emotions. Such habitual ways of reacting to others can have a big effect on how we live our lives and the success or otherwise of our ventures. Becoming aware of the self-limiting patterns and doing some work to find and develop new responses can dramatically increase your confidence, vitality and creativity.
There are many different methods and techniques for unlearning old ways and developing new ones, but the key thing, from my experience is that the emotional “baggage” held in the Limbic system needs to be healed or released, whilst a new pattern of behaviour is being learned. Therefore the method used needs to fully engage the mind, body and emotions. I will go into specific examples in my next article, and I would welcome any questions from readers: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Simon Parkinson-Jones
Simon has lived in Golden Bay, with his wife Carol, for most of the past 35 years.
During the late 1970′s he joined and helped develop the Rainbow Valley community, which is approaching it’s 40th anniversary. In the 1980′s he and Carol, with two other couples, established and managed a successful business making possum fur garments. One of Simon’s roles was to market the products to tourist shops throughout NZ.
In 1990 Simon and Carol founded and established Te Whare Mahana Inc, a residential therapeutic home for people with psychological problems, which developed into a comprehensive mental health service covering Golden bay. During this time Simon trained in counselling and social work, and worked in the residential facility till 1999.
Simon moved with his family to ChCh in 2000, where he worked as a counsellor, supervisor and group facilitator, working with individuals, couples and families. During this time he also worked with Tom Watkins in his EncorageMentors business, doing mentoring/coaching with a variety of clients. An area of particular interest over this period was developing and facilitating therapeutic and educational programmes for men.
Since moving back to Golden Bay in 2008, Simon has continued to work in the field of personal and professional development, working with a wide variety of people.
He may be contacted for Mentoring and counselling (face to face or on line) enquiries at 03 5258542, or email: email@example.com
Tags: dream to reality