You are on auto-pilot for most of your day and you are probably not aware of it. Your mental input to most of your decisions during the day is minimal and this is because many of our daily routines are automated. Many were programmed into you when you were young and you had little understanding whether this was a good thing or not.
For example, many of us will shy away from eating fried ants. This is because we were taught when we were young that eating insects (whether fried or not) was not a good thing to do but there are countries where this is normal and the sight of a steaming bowl of freshly fried ants will set the mouth watering.
This example of brain programming – ants are not good to eat – maybe a little extreme but it is an example of how many of our thoughts actions and reactions are automatic and may have been set in our brain many years ago but are they correct?
Many of your auto-reactions are there to keep you safe but others could be simply holding you back. You may have been programmed with some irrational fears, unreasonable dislikes for something, certain things or situations that you will avoid for no real reason. This is because other people such as close family, friends, lovers and even teachers may have unwittingly formed such an impression on you that you now automatically react to situations in the same way they would.
We are naturally sociable people and it is common for us to mimic others so that we fit in. This is a good thing as it means that we are able to work and live together but if you are with ‘the wrong people’ this can lead you into some very bad habits and trouble.
The answer to the question ‘Who controls you’ is… often not YOU.
The sad truth is that most of us don’t know how to control our own thoughts or our actions and reactions to daily life. Most of us have not been taught how to control our emotions and thoughts. Our parents did not and there is no classes at school or University on the subject but it is one of the most important ingredients to ensuring that we have what it takes to be successful and happy in everything that we do.
As a result, many of us are on autopilot for most of our lives and are pushed around by a random torrent of emotions, ideas, and reactions without knowing why.
This is a terrible waste of human your and if you think I am exaggerating then think of the times you may have ‘had a go’ at someone for annoying you or taking your place in a queue or cutting you up when you were driving and after your mad rant have thought – ‘Wow, where did that come from?’. What about those times you were upset or hurt just by a small word or even a look from someone?
Were you in control of your emotions?
What about the times when you have regretted saying something to someone in the heat of the moment. You probably did it as an automatic reaction, without even thinking, and now you regret it.
Were you fully in control of your thoughts and emotions at the time?
Probably not and the truth is that many of us aren’t. Scary isn’t it!
We are taught how to look after our money, our bodies, our calorie intake, our love life, our fitness even our pets but not our minds – the very thing that controls all that we do. Don’t you find that a little odd?
Clever people know how to control their emotions and are able to react to stay calm, balanced and focused even when the world appears to be falling apart around them. Successful people know how to control themselves and their emotions. They keep working steadily towards their goal whatever is thrown at them.
Think about your emotional ups and downs over the past month;
Decide whether you were as ‘in control’ of your mind and thoughts as you would like to be;
Practice recognising your automatic reactions. Ask yourself if it is working in your best interests or is there a better way to react;
Make a habit of controlling your thoughts so that they work to your advantage;
If you feel that your emotions are taking control, take a step back, breath and give yourself time to think before you react.