According to an article published in the Atlantic, in the moment before any human decision is made, there is an electrical spike from the subconscious part of the brain mandating what that decision will be. The researchers wrote that the conscious reasons we give for our decisions appear to be a post-hoc rationalization. They felt this was such a big deal that they almost buried it—they were worried people would conclude that they had no free will, and give up.

Anyway! Welcome back, I hope you’re having a nice day.

Now, I definitely believe that free will exists… but not that it necessarily comes easy. As we often discuss here, the unconscious and subconscious minds definitely do have the power to mess with us and restrict our ability to freely choose, which is what I want to talk about today.

I’ve said before that if you believe something is wrong, then doing that thing is wrong for you, at least in that moment. Going against your beliefs creates what I call “conscious conflict,” which spikes your stress and puts you into a fear-based state, which in turn leaves you less able to make good decisions. In a similar vein, making good decisions becomes harder when there are negative beliefs or feelings at play.

So what do you do when the right thing is triggering those negative feelings and beliefs? Maybe there’s something you know you want to do, that you know would be good for you, but when you think about following through, you find yourself unable to fight through them. Naturally, I’m going to advise you to use my methods here, as they’re still the best thing I know for sorting out this sort of junk. But I think there are a couple of other steps we can look at in the meantime.

The first big problem in situations like this is uncertainty. Even if you know, rationally, what you want, persistent negative thoughts and feelings can muddy the water and leave you stuck in place. This is a good place to remember Dr. Caroline Leaf, in her bestselling book, Who Switched Off My Brain, in which she wrote that our bodies have no mechanisms for the negative, and that any persistent negative over an extended period of time is always evident of a malfunction.

I believe that this extends to deep, non-circumstantial feelings as well. If you’re experiencing a negative feeling that is not a result of your immediate circumstances, and is consistent over a period of time, then it is most likely the result of some underlying trauma or wrong belief. This is a powerful piece of information to keep in mind, because by knowing where these feelings come from, you can better know your own mind.

Sometimes, knowing how you really feel is all it takes to make the difference. I’ll leave you today with a thought from my latest method, Belief Mapping: that the simple act of reinforcing daily that you know these problematic beliefs and feelings within yourself to be false, can take away a lot of their power. I wouldn’t recommend that you stop there, but it’s an excellent place to start.

Have a blessed, wonderful day!

Dr. Alex Loyd


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