Is Your Brain Sabotaging Your Progress?
I'll start by saying that it's 2 in the morning and my kids went to sleep about 30 minutes ago. Since this is practically the only time that I am "alone" I tend to stay up for at least another hour doing various things on my phone.
I was scrolling on Facebook and I saw a few posts of others reaching their goals. I was happy for them but something occured in my head that made me leave that Facebook account and go to my old Facebook account.
On my old account I'm in over 100 different groups and thousands of friends who post funny stuff. I don't see posts of people accomplishing goals, I see hopes and dreams without much action. Then it hit me. The reason that I keep coming back to that page is because I can be comfortable there. I can share memes and funny stuff all day and no one will hold me accountable.
On my new account I'm in productive groups. I see people who are debt free, people who are investing, people who are accomplishing goals and it makes me feel like I'm not doing enough. Which is all in my head.The Zeigarnik effect states that people tend to remember unfinished or incomplete tasks better than completed tasks. This is extremely true in my case. I have accomplished more this year than I ever have previously yet my brain wants to focus on the things that I have started and not completed.
Reference.com states that "the brain is the control center for just about every function needed to keep a body alive.
Since your brain's whole purpose is keeping you alive, would it be crazy to think that it would send signals to your body to avoid things that make you uncomfortable? Is it crazy to think that the brain would distract us with busy work that feels like progress yet it really isn't?
How many times have you set out to do something and all of a sudden a thought comes across your mind reminding you of something else. So you do that thing, then another thing, and another until you've pretty much wasted the day and not accomplished the thing you set out to do. Your brain literally distracts you with many small tasks to keep you from accomplishing that big task. This happens to me often. Then I say that "I don't have time" when the reality is that I'm wasting it.
I feel that acknowledging something is the first step at overcoming it. Now that I'm aware of this I have to catch myself when I find myself going back to that behavior, and remind myself of my goals.