The J Word NZ

My Programmed Mind

From the moment we are born, we are being programmed. It happens to us all. Think about the vital stages of growth that your brain goes through in your life. We are developing at an extraordinary rate from birth through childhood, teenage years and early adulthood.

The coaches and moulders of all of this being the people who raise you and whomever they choose to introduce into your life. The people tasked with the formation of your mind, thoughts, inner voice and emotional wellbeing are quite often very inexperienced at life themselves and perhaps not as well equipped for this massive task as any of us would like.

Here we are, adults. The end product is staring back at us in the mirror today wondering what on earth is going on inside our minds half the time – wondering why we feel this way if anyone else feels this way? What is wrong with me?

You really got no choice in this end product. For better or worse, your brains’ connections were decided for you. Depending on how lucky, or unlucky, you are with the guardians you ended up with (which is a lucky dip) means the difference between stability and confidence or, at the other end of the scale, abuse and damage. Damage to your mind, damage to your lifelong thinking patterns and damage to your wellbeing.

Your mind is a garden; your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.

So, this is all sounding very Doom and Gloom BUT what if there is an opportunity to change this programming? If there are parts of your thinking or behaviours that you don’t enjoy? What if you could flip them? I believe that as adults, this is absolutely possible through personal development.

We aren’t responsible for the programming we received as children. But we are responsible for fixing it as adults. Ideally, as soon as we can so we don’t waste too much precious time at war in our heads.

I had an interesting “programmed thought” come up for me today. I wrote a blog yesterday called “Being Seen” this was based on my lack of facial expressions and how it made me feel sad that my face wasn’t outwardly expressing what I was thinking. I woke up wondering if I should ever have clicked post on something so self-indulgent and irrelevant to the “real world”. I was thinking that no one could be interested in something, I have to say about myself and the way my face does or doesn’t move, who would care?

Well, I decided that it’s me, I care. When people write things that are personal and real, I love to read it. Sure, I don’t always relate, but I can still empathise with someone’s vulnerability. Yet, I am programmed to not empathise with my vulnerability because that’s being selfish.

Once I had decided that I was going to embrace it rather than try and hide from it, I felt liberated and a little bit more free from shame. Free from worry about how other people might respond to me and free from the veil I’ve been hiding behind.

Each day I’m finding myself a little bit more. Each day I get to recreate my programming and paint the story of my life. The life that I want to see, not what anyone else wants to see. I get to rearrange my thinking to align with my feelings and release any old programming that isn’t serving me.

Besides, it wasn’t even my own program, to begin with.

J

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