Re-wiring Our Thinking: Possibility or Pipe Dream?

We all have them: beautiful, complicated, color-coded threads of thinking, weaving through the mazes in our brains - and although some of us share similar thought patterns, not one of us posses the exact same mind. In other words, in our own unique way, we all have our shit.

Omitting the biological aspect of genetics, individual personality traits, and emotion, a lot of our thinking in adulthood is somewhat proportional to what we witness (and live through) as children. My mother, a hard-core anxious driver, was raised by a woman who referred to automobiles as Death Machines. I'm amazed she ever learned to drive, let alone gets behind the wheel every day. Don't get me wrong, she’s a horrible driver, but the woman's got moxie.

I have a fear of flying; a common anxiety-trigger shared by many. I've heard it's mostly about control, or lack thereof, but I attribute my fear in the air to watching countless R-rated airplane disaster movies as a kid. Another reason to live by the rules, which is something I never liked to do. When mom assumed I was tucked in bed, she had no idea I was sneaking late night movie-watching from the top of the stair case.

I had a conversation this morning with a friend about our brains being hard-wired and it got me thinking. Just because our brains are traditionally thinking in one way, does it mean we are stuck with this fate? Some of our behaviors (a direct result in how we think) are healthy and don't necessarily need to be altered. But what about those negative traits we all wish we could change? In a world where there is so much black and white - is it possible to paint our minds gray?

Part of growing up is owning our shit. Part of being a mature adult is learning to take responsibility for our behaviors and, hopefully taking with us valuable lessons along the way. One of the hardest things to do in life is to fail. The fear of failure alone can be debilitating. But how many of us learned to get back up without falling flat on our faces? There’s a certain grace to being able to navigate through our shortcomings, dusting off our behinds and regaining footage, once again.

Maybe it's because some of us are hardest on ourselves (wouldn't it be lovely if we treated our own selves with the same care and guidance in which we tend to our children?). We get frustrated because we feel we don't have the capacity to change. Oh, but what a beautiful thing to realize we can.

There are many ways to re-wire our brains. It all starts with taking a hard look at ourselves, sans the make-up from our pasts. We can learn to appreciate our flaws, without resting on playing The Victim role. We can be free of our past. If we welcome the desire to improve, anything is possible.