Episode 11 – ‘Listening & Noticing’

30 May 2022

Hello, let’s have a think about our Comfort zone and what that actually means. 

One idea that I have is that when you become aware of your own limits, you can then notice how these are holding you back. These limits become your norm and these norms become your comfort zone. The thought of pushing yourself can feel uncomfortable – so you don’t. You don’t know any difference and often say something like, ‘it has always been like this’. An unwillingness to move out of your comfort zone blocks potential and growth. You can get stuck and believe that you can’t seem to do anything about your situation. You are stuck in the past.  

 So just remember that all these habits create a ‘groove’ in our neural network, which leads us in the same direction time and again. This includes what we do and how we do it.

Life sometimes can feel uncontrollable and often people don’t know how to change it. When we hold onto a negative, often painful situation, without realising you are limiting yourselves in one way or another. To make the right changes takes courage. Another path often feels unachievable because we are usually in the emotional part of the mind and therefore unable to see new possibilities. In some instances, old habits and behaviours which used to work effectively when you were younger often become redundant and unhelpful. They may be unhelpful now although they were a coping strategy once. For example, being invisible as a child may have worked to keep yourself out of trouble, but as an adult this approach would leave you feeling lonely and likely to be anxious to make friends or speak up for yourself. 

So we are saying that we are likely to stay in our comfort zone even when this may be negative. One way to start to move out of this unhealthy comfort zone is to get curious. Curiosity, I absolutely love this word and I love what it stands for. Anyone else feel the same?  

Getting curious about behaviours and noticing familial habits puts you in a different place. When you can spot and admit that you are being held back by something, probably a self-belief or a story from the past, you can make a change. When your relationships are forming a pattern and not working out, you can consider what is buried deep within that needs your attention.  

Just for clarity, when I say being curious, this doesn’t entail over analysing, over-thinking or being paranoid. These behaviours are the ones you want to move away from. Instead, you want to notice your own reactions to situations and the accompanying thoughts. But the biggie here is with no judgement or the self-critical voice. That is where I see most people go wrong, people judge themselves for the thoughts they have. These reactions can become habitual and become a part of us. You are looking out for any negative behaviours, ones like automatic negative thinking, people pleasing, jumping to conclusions or adopting the blame position.  

Something else to become aware of is the broken record thinking. We can spend a lot of time ‘being in our heads’. When we have repetitive thoughts spinning round and round, this usually leads to frustration, confusion or even anger. 

Or we might find ourselves consumed with emotions, like sadness or anxiety and this feels out of control. It then becomes difficult to focus on anything else and affects concentration, enjoyment, and, for some people, keeps them awake at night. Often the kind of things we keep on repeat are how we handled a situation or how someone else has been. It might be if someone has said something you have heard as a criticism, made a negative comment, behaved badly (in your eyes), ignored you or challenged you. In your mind, you are constantly running over ‘what if’ or trying to work out what to say or do next. This ‘broken record’ thinking prevents us from coming up with anything useful, new or is far from inspiring. What we tend to do is look for a quick fix and focus externally rather than on us. This is quite exhausting and sometimes it is actually someone else’s problem. Either way, the solutions are not there, and the focus is off us. It can feel like the mind is stuck or out of control. When you minimise any negative internal chatter, you will have a clearer mind to think and see a situation differently and probably more innovatively. Our first step for this though is to be curious and notice. Remember no judgement to what you are thinking.

What is really important to me about this show and my work is to help people feel supported, connected and empowered to make any changes you want. I hope that is useful information for those who do struggle. I believe that if we understand a bit of the why and the how we do things, then you have a great chance of changing it. 

And it is also important to say that making these changes can be hard, sometimes really hard though it is great on the other side.

Well a powerful way is to listen to your heart rather than your head.  

Our mind is said to be the one defining every action in our everyday life. But when it comes to taking critical decisions in our life, people advise us to think from our heart. What does that mean? Is it possible to think from one’s heart? 

Science says – Yes! It is a proven fact that the heart is one of the first organs that develops in a foetus and 65% of it is made up of neurons. It generates powerful electromagnetic fields, which change in relation to our emotions, greater than any organ in our body. That means our heart also plays a role in our perception of reality and it’s not merely a pumping device. 

Thinking from your heart is to give more importance to your emotions than rationale and logic. That’s why people with less or no emotions are called cold-hearted. You’re considered heart-broken when you’re affected emotionally by any relationship etc. Leaving aside the science behind it for some time, what does this mean to us? 

 By listening to ourselves we will truly start to connect with ourselves and the paths that we are meant to be on. To put it simply, following your heart means listening to your instincts and emotions. Rather than relying on your mind, listening to your heart means figuring out what you feel and going with what. Listening to your heart doesn’t just apply to relationships and dating, but also your career and personal life. 

 While many suggest us to be analytical while taking critical decisions of our life, it may not prove useful in every situation. Because there are some situations where we should give more priority to our emotions than our logic. The best way, I say, is to use both your brain and heart. We should analyse the situation before us and gather all information to know how that decision affects our life. As it is true with numbers the more information you have the more confused you grow. Just follow your heart. 

 Though we hear this phrase a lot it is often difficult to implement. It means after all the analysis you’ve done using your logical thinking you should allow your heart to guide you. Our heart harnesses the power of our emotions and draws us towards a particular side. Instead of ignoring it we should be completely confident about its ability to lead us in the right direction. It is the key to understanding our inner-self beyond logic.

Until next time, Alison x

Go inside and listen to your body, because your body will never lie to you. Your mind will play tricks, but the way you feel it in your heart, in your guts, is the truth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  – Miguel Ruiz

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