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Be Your Destiny’s Parent

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Trevor Silvester

Spring 2017

Be Your Destiny’s Parent

You are your destiny’s parent

I disagree with my brain about a number of things. It likes to believe in an afterlife. It likes to believe in destiny. It likes to be certain about things. Sometimes things can get a bit messy in my head, but I’ve learned over the years how to get along better. I pretend to agree.

Your destiny is the pattern that gets repeated most often

Let’s take destiny as an example. Something the fight commentator and stand-up comedian, Joe Rogan, said recently mirrored the Cognitive Hypnotherapy philosophy: “You’re just an organism who is trying to find normalcy by repeating patterns.” To repeat a pattern, we have to recognise a pattern, and the sooner we can spot whether something around us represents a pattern that equals danger or opportunity, the safer we’ll be.

So, our brain has evolved to be a pattern hunter. We literally look for patterns everywhere and find them, even when they don’t exist – have you ever felt rejected by someone because they didn’t text back and then found out later there was a good reason? Hours of upset for nothing – or, more accurately, because your brain saw a pattern based on previous experiences that led it to a false conclusion.

If we connect this to Rogan’s point – that we’re seeking normalcy through repeating patterns – then even though this pattern causes you misery, your brain still pursues matches for it. Isn’t that bizarre? Unfortunately, this can mean that your brain normalises an expectation of rejection through repeatedly matching past experiences to present situations. And if the early interpretations were based on false conclusions, then you could end up living a life avoiding situations where you might face rejection, for no genuine reason at all. But that would still turn out to be your destiny.

Destiny is about your choices

That’s why I argue with my brain about destiny. We can’t trust that it’s always right about the way it sees the world. To keep us safe, our brain uses these historical patterns to predict the outcome of what is likely to happen to you in the future and, as it generalises, the anticipation of the need for protection becomes the norm. Suddenly, realising the actions that are causing you to be unhappy are the product of a misguided attempt to keep you safe makes them a little less bizarre, doesn’t it?

All of my clients with any issue affecting their self-esteem are trapped in a negative destiny, where they’ll never find someone who loves them, or they’ll never be slim, or successful, or happy. Our brain would rather trap us in a never-ending pattern of a misery that keeps us safe, than have us take the risk of being happy through taking actions that our brain has no pattern for. It hates uncertainty most of all.

So, if like me, you’ve felt trapped in this unhappy destiny, but fought and struggled to escape it, and found that exhausting, there’s another way. First, get some therapy to undo the mistakes your brain has made in establishing these negative patterns of prediction. With Cognitive Hypnotherapy it’s unlikely to take long.

Then, decide you have a destiny. I know, I know, I said I didn’t believe in it, and I don’t, but my brain does, and it unconsciously drives my actions 90% of the day.

Here’s what I do. I choose my destiny, which currently is to be happy and fulfilled, enjoying my life by feeding my creativity (because I’ve discovered that that’s what makes me happiest), and maximising my freedom. That may change, and that’s ok, because you don’t have to believe in your destiny, you just have to pursue it. That will keep your brain happy, and the inside of your head will be a much nicer place to live.

You have to keep cleaning your teeth

Here’s the bad news. You have to keep pursuing it. Your life going right doesn’t magically happen, whatever the law of attraction salespeople tell you. You have to live deliberately. If you’ve ever read anything of mine before I probably mentioned ILOC. That stands for having an Internal Locus of Control. It’s a big deal. It means developing a sense of choice and responsibility over every action. You are responsible for how you respond to life and the meaning you give what happens to you. That’s not easy, because our brains are suckers for reasons that are external to ourselves – it’s why we search for fault and blame in others when things go wrong; it’s why politicians shout at each other; it’s why many wars start. That’s ELOC. Having an External Locus of Control. Our culture seduces us into this position in order to sell us solutions. It tries to convince us that our self-esteem is increased by the labels we wear and by the things we consume. ELOC puts our destiny into other people’s hands and leaves us living a life we think we should be living in the eyes of others, instead of the one that we’d choose.

Every day we wake up is another day to make our own. ILOC is a thing we have to work on continually. The more we focus on it, the more natural it becomes. Here’s a small example. Yesterday, the ABS on my brakes kicked in on a roundabout and I realised a lorry had dumped diesel on the road. It was a significant slick and caused a nasty moment. Motorbikes would have stood no chance. My wife rang 999 to inform them. An obvious thing to do, but we were the first who had, despite the road being busy. I can guarantee some other drivers said, “Blimey, that’s dangerous”, or “The police should do something about that”, and then carried on their way. It’s a small example, but it illustrates an important principle. Becoming someone who says “What can I do here”, instead of “Something should be done about this” will change your life. It puts what happens to you in your hands. It means you choose your destiny.

Now, that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily reach your goals or fulfil your dreams. You may face terrible difficulties, or experience tragedy along the way. But what you make of those things – the story you tell yourself about it – will influence what those things make of your life. Will they turn your destiny into a sad tale that was always going to happen to you, or will they be chapters in a story of someone whose destiny was to be proud of the choices they made despite everything?

Life is difficult. It always has been, it always will be. The best we can do is train ourselves into using those difficulties to make the most of what fortune brings. And often, what such adversity brings is more than you’d ever expect or hope for. Many of my clients and students have found that, when looked at through ILOC eyes, their past becomes a resource to draw on that enables them to find the thing that makes their life special. They just have to remember, like brushing their teeth, to keep on taking action every day in order to keep their destiny sparkly. Over time, the habit of action, like the habit of cleaning your teeth, produces a benefit you don’t even think about. Until you notice people who don’t share the habit.

Creating your destiny

Here are some tips to help you create a better destiny:

  • Whether things go well, or go badly, just take from them what there is to learn to bring you more of what you want, and less of what you don’t.
  • When you brush your teeth in the morning set your intention to be ILOC. In the evening write down three examples of where you were.
  • Your life is your life’s work. What would you like to be doing with it that you’re not? That’s your goal. Write down 3 things you could do each day which, if you did them, would create the life you want further down the line. Do them. Maybe go and see a Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapist to get you started.

You might be amazed, once the penny drops, that it’s ok for your brain and you to disagree, how easy it is to get along with it by using it’s love of reasons to help you get what you want. The thoughts you’re having are only yours if you identify with them.