The Flaw of the Human Brain

The human brain is a powerful thing; it’s the most complicated matter known to man. But our brains have one fundamental ‘flaw’ that we can all take advantage of to make vast improvements to just about any area of our lives.

That single ‘flaw’ is this: the human brain does not know the difference between reality and fiction. It doesn’t know whether or not something is actually real. In other words, it can’t tell the difference between something you’re thinking about and something that’s actually happening.

As incredible as that sounds, it’s absolutely true. And I’ll prove it to you. Do this now:

Think about a time when you were really scared. Picture in your mind the images of what made it so scary. Feel what you felt at the time, think what you thought while you were there. Blow the images up really big and make them life-like. Keep running it through your mind over and over while you do this, reliving the experience.

Now if you’ve done it properly you’ll be feeling a little nervous. A little scared at reliving that experience. Not as scared as you were at the time, but certainly you’ll be feeling rather anxious about it.

the human brain show
Photo Credit: Humphrey King

So how is it that, even though you’re sitting comfortably reading this and feel safe and secure while doing so, that replaying that scary incident over again in your head rekindles the feelings and worry you had when the actual experience was physically taking place?

Quite simply, it’s because your mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what isn’t.

Try it a different way. Relive, in the same way as above, ways in which you felt overjoyed or incredibly successful, or really clever and pleased with yourself. Follow the same steps to intensify the experience.

You’ll get those feelings back, too. Those euphoric, amazing feelings of happiness will come flooding back as if you’re right there now, doing what it is you’re thinking about.

So how can you use this fact to improve your life? Let me give you an example:

Many, many people loathe the thought of speaking in public. They fill their minds with the scariest thoughts they can muster up with everything going wrong, fluffing their lines and facing a hostile audience.

But it is, quite literally, all in the mind. Instead of thinking that way, picture the performance going exactly as planned with the audience loving everything you say. Imagine them laughing at your jokes and seeing faces light up when you reveal a secret or two. Picture everyone listening intently to every word you say because your information is vastly important to them.

While reading this you can easily see the difference it makes. All you need to do is apply the same strategy to other areas of your life as well. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make when you simply use your mind to see things going well instead of wrong. Most people are full of negativity and it’s actually the way they think about things that does this to them.

Change the way you think and you can change your entire life.

James Simpson