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How Small Achievements Lead To Brain Positivity

Often when we’ve been through challenging life events, such as ill health or a difficult break up, we unconsciously propel ourselves into unhealthy action.

This distraction tactic, intended to protect us from further pain, can do us more harm than good as we unknowingly transfer the validation we once got from love to success.

Instead of the past internal dialogue that went something like this…

I am loved so now I am worthy. It transforms to something like this…

When I’m successful they will see how valuable I am.

The problem with this is that we are transforming one unhealthy attachment for another, and it fuels the inner critic. What we often don’t realise is that when we create such unrealistic, impossible targets for ourselves, we bypass the small achievements essential for creating the necessary foundation for reaching higher goals. Maslow talks about this in his ‘Hierarchy of Needs Triangle’ where he states that until we form a foundation in our basic needs, we are unable to move up to higher order, more self-actualised needs.

Science has shown that by taking a moment to focus on the small goals, we not only start building a foundation for safety and certainty, but release dopamine into the brain. This positivity hormone helps regulate our mood, sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory.

When we only focus on the big goals, we often set unmanageable targets that set us up for failure when they are not reached and create perpetual cycles of unmet needs, failure, and lacking self-worth. Logically speaking, it’s in the small areas that we create a foundation for not only a happier healthier life but sustainable progress towards our bigger goals and aspirations.

So how do we learn to recognise the small achievements that lay the foundation for big changes and lasting progress?

It has been suggested that we need to be given a compliment three or more times for it to stick, but the criticism we hear only once can last a lifetime.

This tells us that we hold onto negativity more easily and that if we want to sustain new positive beliefs, we need to reframe and focus the brain at least 3 times as much to override them.

The first step in building this lasting happiness is simple brain positivity is this…


A good way to do that is by asking questions and starting the day as we mean to go on. How we start our day impacts the rest of it and eventually our lives.

I want you to take yourself to a typical morning and ask yourself this:

Do you ever ask yourself how you are doing in the morning? Why not?

To become aware, we need check in and observe our inner thoughts?

We might also ask ourselves: Can we tell the difference between the thoughts that are conducive to happiness, and which aren’t? When we wake up and have a positive thought about ourselves or our lives, this could be cause for celebration. Especially if the old, conditioned self-used to wake up and go straight into thoughts of belittlement and self-attack.

Noticing these morning thought patterns and tracking changes is key!

After separating from my ex and coming from a stream of co-dependent relationships, attachment was a way of life. I was conditioned to cling onto another human being to feel validated and loved and didn’t know how to provide this internal validation for myself.

At first, each morning I’d wake up and feel alone. I’d be overwhelmed by such deep emotional pain of loss and abandonment that it would trigger a subconscious internal dialogue. I would tell myself that I was completely unworthy without a partner in my life to love me and that id die alone without one.

This was my biggest fear!!

Then I started to create awareness around it and I began to watch the internal dialogue. It went something like this…

“I am alone — that means I am not lovable — And… will probably die alone.”

Eventually after some time observing these thought patterns, I noticed that I was able to observe them with non-judgement and release their power over me.

Unfortunately, listening to our internal dialogue is not always easy. It can become convoluted by friends and family members opinions, who are often well meaning, but not always well versed in our own personal journeys. These social influences, can create confusion, impact our truth, and disrupt our divine journey.

My favourite metaphor for this is symbolised through the concept of archery.

When we visualise, ourselves standing in front of a target with a blindfold, we get some idea of the confusion that happens because of our social programming. We become blinded by the thoughts, beliefs, and opinions of others and often fail to hit the target. We can’t focus or see clearly because others opinions create a blindness from our own personal truth. As a result of this blindfold, our intention becomes unclear, and we often miss our target.

If we take the time however, to understand the difference between the thoughts of our higher self and those distorted by the opinions of others, we can remove the unnecessary baggage and hit our target with more accuracy.

Top tips for creating clarity in our awareness

1. Still the mind. (Meditation, breathing, mindfulness)

2. Clear external baggage. (Notice which thoughts or beliefs have been programmed by society?)

3. Clarify intention. (Decide on the goal most aligned with higher self and create a strategic plan to reach it) NOW SHOOT! Once we have created a clear channel for our awareness, we are more likely to identify the thoughts that are conducive to our health and wellbeing. If you’re actively working on yourself, you will have made subtle changes and possibly not even noticed them but our small achievements are not always recognised or acknowledged.

Here are some subtle changes to look out for that I noticed in my own progress that you might look out for. Small progress can be made in the below steps…

  • Changes occur in our behaviour that are more aligned with our future goals.

  • Clearer boundaries are set and kept.

  • Triggers to old reactions change.

  • Self-dialogue is kind and compassionate.

  • Intuition is trusted and more easily recognisable.

  • Difficult emotions pass quickly and with ease as we surrender to them.

  • Opposites are accepted and valued. Without good we can’t have the bad.

  • Other people’s trauma is not taken as a personal attack.

  • Greater conscious awareness and inner peace occurs.

We don’t always realise that the power of our thoughts is EVERYTHING!

My favourite quote on how our thoughts impact our lives is this…

Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.


It’s also important that we become aware of how we categories things into dualistic opposites.





Is it possible that things can be both good and bad, healthy, and unhealthy in the same light?

We could eat a thousand calorie donut, which could be seen as unhealthy but if the pleasure hormones bring down our stress levels and prevent high blood pressure it could also be positive.

The trick is to find BALANCE.

Exploring thoughts with non-judgment and accepting the two is key.

Once we have established a clarity in our thinking and feel aligned in our intentions, we can use a simple N.L.P tool called Anchoring to set the new thought in our neural pathways.

The theory of this technique is based on the work of Psychologist Pavlov. The basic principle of the Anchoring technique is achieved by pairing physical touch with the new feeling or behaviour.

Without us even realising it, our entire lives have been influenced by Anchors, subconsciously speaking of course. The truth is that our brains are activated with a strong emotional response from our environment that it impacts our entire lives without us knowing it.

We feel safe when we recognise a gentle touch or feel demotivated by a shock or pain.

Burning ourselves on the stove by accident, teaches our brains to keep a safe distance in future. This is a form of Anchoring.

Psychologists and N.L.P practitioners have utilised this knowledge to create desirable effects in goal setting but how do we apply it in our own lives?

How to practice N.L.P Anchoring in 5 easy steps

1. Determine how you want to feel: More resilient, confident, inspired.

2. Remember a time when you felt that emotion.

3. Choose an Anchor device that involves touch to support it physically in your muscle memory. It might be clenching a fist for inner strength or touching your thumb and forefinger together for inner peace.

4. Replay this emotion with the anchor several times in your imagination. Try to put yourself inside the memory as if reliving it.

5. Discuss it and describe to another person. If you’re alone make a voice or video recording describing it or call a friend.

6. This will store the event in the long-term memory making it long lasting and sustainable.

7. Test the theory by practicing the anchor and noticing the sensations that occur.

Now rinse and repeat and notice the changes happening in your life!

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