Cheshire cat

The mind vs. the brain

In Coaching, Counselling and Personal Development, Insight and Experience, Mind and Movement by LivingNowLeave a Comment

The ‘I’m not good enough’ story is the best kept secret. Almost no one admits to having those thoughts.


One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?”, she asked. “Where do you want to go?”, replied the Cheshire cat. “I don’t know”, Alice responded. “Then”, said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.” – Lewis Carroll

Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain and nervous system to change structurally and functionally as a result of input from the environment:

  • The mind can change the structure of the brain and relationships
  • The brain can change the structure of the mind and relationships
  • Relationships can change the mind and the brain

Alice in wonderland with cheshire catMindset integrates the different parts of the system to cultivate well-being or mental health. The type of mindset will determine how effectively and resourcefully you cope with events and challenges at work and in life.

Mindsets can guide the whole interpretation process of events. For instance, a fixed mindset creates an internal monologue that is focused on judging: ‘This means I’m a loser’; ’That means I’m a better person than they are.’

The ‘I’m not good enough’ story is the best kept secret. Almost no one admits to having those thoughts.

People with a growth mindset employ an internal monologue, which is not about judging themselves and others in this way. They’re attuned to its implications for learning and constructive action: What can I learn from this? How can I improve? How can I help my partner do this better?

Ways we can influence the mind and brain:

  1. Positive affirmations. In numerous studies, positive affirmations have been shown to effectively change the way that the brain is wired. This rewiring changes the way in which the brain filters incoming stimuli, effectively resulting in a more positive mood.
  2. Reframe: Instead of ‘I can’t handle this’ reframe to ‘I’ve faced many challenges before, and I’ve conquered all of them’.
  3. Accept: Embrace your demons. Unfortunately, all too often when we try to avoid or get rid of our unwanted private experiences, we simply create extra suffering for ourselves.
    For example virtually every addiction known to humanity begins with an attempt to get rid of unwanted thoughts and feelings, loneliness, boredom, anxiety, depression and so on.

A while back I too was faced with not knowing which road to take. It wasn’t until recently, for some reason, that I found some inspiration and courage to accept the changes in my life. I peeled back the layers of comfort, denial and fear, and faced the new chapter of my life. I took some bold steps and the journey began.

When will your journey start?

Maria Ganis is a health and wellbeing coach, NLP practitioner, ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapist) at Enosis Medi-spa & Wellness Centres, Melbourne.




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