Some people will achieve great things. Others won’t. But why is that? We’re all just “talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe,” as Joe Rogan puts it. So why do some “talking monkeys” build 7 or 8 figure businesses, travel the world, and live the life of their dreams while the rest of us… well, wish we were living the life of our dreams.
What’s the difference between them and us? The good news is, not a whole lot. You are just as capable as they are. You are just as powerful and full of potential as they are. They just know a few things about hacking their psychology and unleashing their inner power that you probably don’t know.
Here are 3 psychological facts that can unleash your inner power:
1. Your thoughts single-handedly determine how you feel
Throughout most of the 1900s, psychologists used behavioral therapy to treat people with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, you name it. We all sort of figured, if you want to change someone’s actions, then you need to change their actions!
It wasn’t until around 1960 that Albert Ellis suggested the radical idea that our deeply held beliefs about the world (i.e. the way we think), what he called our “Basic Irrational Assumptions,” determine how we feel and thus, how we behave. It was later suggested that if you want to change your actions or behaviors, you must first change the way you think.
Now, an entire branch of psychology, coined cognitive therapy, is dedicated to that premise. And the results are staggering; medication combined with cognitive and behavioral therapy is 75% to 90% effective. In other words, if you want to change how you behave and how you feel, then change the way you think. Easier said than done, I know. Read on.
2. Your mind can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality
Have you ever thought about something funny that happened and then caught yourself actually smiling or laughing in public? Of course you have! We all have. But why is that? After all, the funny thing already happened — so why are you laughing about it right now? Well, it’s because your mind can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality.
If you imagine something good happening, then you’ll experience all of the positive feelings you associate with that good thing as if it actually happened. The same is true for negative experiences. This is such a radical psychological fact that one study revealed there’s not much of a difference between imagining going to the gym and actually going to the gym!
So why is that important? Because it means that, with a little bit of intentionality, you can rewire your brain to associate pain or pleasure with whatever actions you choose. By imagining the future repercussions of your bad behaviors and the long term benefits of good behaviors, you can manifest real motivation to change and take the first step toward creating a life that excites you.
3. You’re far better at creating a new habit than you are at quitting a bad habit
You can’t quit a bad habit; not easily, at least. The habit pathway in your brain is already formed and there’s no currently known way to simply extinguish that pathway altogether. But you can change the pathway. You can put a new behavior inside the habitual trigger-behavior-reward system. Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power Of Habit calls this the “The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.”
This is why people who are trying to quit smoking, chew gum and alcoholics drink non-alcoholic beverages — because those things are replacements for the bad habit.
If you want to quit doing something — overeating, oversleeping, smoking, drinking, etc — don’t think about quitting, think about what you can replace the habit with. Often times, thinking about quitting just makes you want to engage with the bad habit more because you’re thinking about it! But replace the bad habit with something equally rewarding, something that’s good for you, and you’ll quickly be able to change any negative behavior.
Disclaimer: Mike Blankenship is not a certified psychologist. We advise that you see a professional psychologist for any serious mental difficulties you might be experiencing.