12 minutes | Mar 4th 2021

You Find What You Look For

Your Brain is Like GoogleYour brain is seriously like Google. It will find whatever you are looking for, and in record time, along with tons of supporting evidence. Dads might notice their favorite car on the road or a trophy buck up a mountainside.Moms might notice a particularly good deal on a favorite purchase or always know where their kids' shoes are. The brain is constantly searching for what we want to find. I love seeing bald eagles while I'm out. When I'm in the mountains or driving by lakes, I'm always on the look out for bald eagles. As a result of this, I am always the first to see them and point them out to everybody else. Your Brain is Constantly Trying to Prove You Right.Not only is your brain looking for what you want to find, but it is also constantly trying to prove you right. It's constantly trying to support your thoughts and beliefs. This is called confirmation bias. It's part of being human. If you believe the world is a bad place full of violence and evil, you will constantly find evidence to support that. If you believe that you are not good enough as a parent, your brain will find evidence proving you right. If you believe that your teen is lazy, you'll see everything through a lense that supports that. If you think your teen is ruining their life, or that they don't care about anyone other than themselves, or that they are the enemy, your brain will change how you perceive your teen, how you think about them, and how you feel towards them. Often times we have subconscious thoughts and beliefs that we aren't even aware of, and still, our brain is working to make them true and our reality. What are You Looking For & What Results are You Getting?A while back, I was frustrated with my teenage son. I was complaining that he was self-centered and didn't care about anyone but himself, and I had tons of evidence to prove this. I told my wife about some of the things that I had noticed. She asked, "Why are you focusing on all the negative things about our son?"I was a little hurt that she wasn't on my side, but I realized she was totally right. I committed to finding the positive instead of the negative.Almost instantly my perception changed and I saw so many things that he was doing that were kind, thoughtful, and selfless.I was moving my BBQ grill into my garage so I could cook out of the wind. My teenage son, who was jumping on the tramp with friends, saw me lifting the grill with a friend and jumped off to help saying, "Dad, I'll do that. I don't want you to hurt your back!" All of a sudden my brain was flooded with evidence that my son was kind, caring, and thoughtful. What to do about it?Increase your awareness. Understand what you are looking for. Question why you are looking for the negative. Explore the results that you are getting and whether or not you like your results. As you develop awareness about your mind (your thoughts, beliefs, and biases) you will begin to see where your focus on the negative has blinded you to the positive. With increased awareness, you will be able to be more intentional about what you look for and what you believe. Rather that focusing on the negative, and searching for supporting evidence, you will find yourself searching for the positive and all the supporting evidence. You'll begin to understand how your perception is connected to your results through your feelings and actions. Call to ACTION!Join Firmly Founded Parent, our monthly membership helping parents be parents that their teens love and respect.FREE Consultation
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