Thursday, 6 March 2014

What Is Your Reticular Activating System (RAS) And How Does It Affect You

´You get what you focus on´ is often said on self development blogs and in manifestation books... what is the meaning behind that? 

In NLP we talk about a part of our brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS) and how it is fundamental in goal setting. Our RAS is like a filter between the conscious and unconscious mind, acting as a faithful servant to our thought process. If we feed it with positive beliefs, it will set out to prove those true, just as if we were to feed it limiting beliefs such as ´Im no good at anything´ it will also set out to prove those true. Our RAS cannot differentiate between positive and negative beliefs.

We create our reality whether we are aware of it or not. 

Two people going to the same party can describe it in very different ways, each person has their own belief system that they feed their RAS. Almost as if we each wear a different pair of glasses, looking through another pair you would see a very different world. By holding onto our limiting beliefs we then delete/distort or generalise the information so that it fits in with our belief system.

If we believe 100% that all people are always kind, we will (on an unconscious level) not notice if somebody is rude to us. This works vice verse as well. If we have the limiting belief that all shop assistants are rude, our RAS will point that out to us and we will encounter more rude shop assistants than those without that belief.

Notice what happens if you buy a red car. Before you may not have noticed many red cars, however after buying one they seem to be everywhere! What has happened? Its just your RAS continuing with ´red car´ on the brain and continuing to point them out to you. There is still the same amount on the roads (more or less), you just didn't pay attention to them before.

Your RAS is also the part of the brain that notices when somebody calls your name, you immediately take note.

This knowledge can prove very useful when working towards our goal. If we can feed our RAS positive beliefs through the use of visualisations, affirmations and anchors, it will start making us aware of situations, people and resources that can help us along the way.

So its not just luck after all!

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