2. Brain Software

If you’ve ever found yourself not able to make yourself do something, or getting irritated by other people’s negativity, or even your own negativity… listen here to find out why. In this Episode you will learn all about what is keeping you stuck, why it is not a problem, and how to move forward.  You don’t have to be at war with your Brain Software! Your brain is actually working exactly as it should.

What You’ll Learn:

  • What is keeping you stuck, why it is not a problem and how to move forward.

0:00 Hey, what’s up everybody? It’s Jennie, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS mission podcast episode number two, brain software. I’m Jenny, the LDS mission coach and whether you are preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things than let’s go? I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission, embrace your life, and embrace what’s next. Hello, everyone, I hope you are having the most fantastic day. I’ve had a really good couple of days. I’ve spent the last few days down at a hotel in the city where I live. And I come down here about once a month to really focus on all of the missionaries the return missionaries, you missionary Mama’s preparing missionaries really be able to focus on you guys and figure out how I can help you more. A couple months ago, when I was down at the hotel, I started really thinking about how I could get more help out to currently serving missionaries. I was starting to get a lot of frantic messages from missionary moms like oh my gosh, can you please help my son or daughter, they’re really, really struggling. And I started to think about how we prepare spiritually for the mission. And when we go on the mission, we get a lot of spiritual maintenance all the way through, it’s actually built into the schedule with our companionship scripture study with our personal scripture, study with MTC, devotionals, district meetings, zone meetings, interviews with our mission, President devotionals, from our mission, President, all of these things, Leadership Council, all of these things are designed to help your spiritual maintenance, stay in check to keep you aligned and maintain a spiritual balance. But what I am starting to find is that the mental and emotional piece of serving a mission is not addressed very regularly. And what I’m also starting to find is that the mental and emotional pieces are crucial on a mission to help these missionaries, our kids, I’m a missionary mom to our our missionaries survive out there not just survive, but thrive. And often what I find is, we expect the mental and emotional preparation that we’ve given our kids and our missionaries, we expect that to last the entire mission. Whatever they got before they left, whether it was EFI, or high adventures, or maybe they were a wave at school for some time. And we expect that the preparation that they got in these circumstances, to last 18 months or two years or however long you start. But I want you to consider just for a second what it would be like if we filled our car up once after we purchased it. And then we never filled it up again for two years. Or if we took our car off the car lot and then never got another oil change. We never kept up on the maintenance like the windshield wiper fluid or the coolant, or the brake fluid. Her cars would break down and this is what I started to see I started to see that we weren’t having this the mental and emotional maintenance to keep our missionaries thriving on the mission. That is why I created my program mental and emotional maintenance for missionaries. It’s meant to give them monthly maintenance to keep them thriving on the mission no matter what is going on for them. missionaries will receive a monthly video straight to their inbox as well as access to me in my private Facebook group. Ask an LDS mission coach where they can ask me any questions they can get support, they can get help in any way from me. The master class that went out in May was awesome. It was three tips to instantly improve your relationship with your companion. I hear a lot about companions for many of you. These relationships that we have with our companions can be challenging and in this class, I gave you three tips, things that you can immediately implement to make your relationship with your companion better right now.

4:57 So I want to invite you to sign your missionary For my membership, mental and emotional maintenance for missionaries, this is where they will get the tools and strategies they need to thrive on the mission. Regardless of what’s going on around them. Just go find me on Instagram at Jenny dot, the LDS mission coach and remember Jenny spelled with an IE, and you can get that class, as well as all the other classes that are coming up, which are going to be amazing. All right, today, I wanted to do another foundational episode for you. As I mentioned, in the first episode, we’re gonna get to all of the things we’re gonna get into struggles that you have, when you come home from the mission, we’re gonna get into struggles that you have on the mission, we’re going to talk about struggles, that missionary mamas have, we’re going to talk about all the things confidence decision making all of the things but what I really wanted to do first was get some foundational episodes, because these are the building blocks to everything I teach. And they are the building blocks for how you can change your life. And today, we’re talking about brain software. Now, you might not know this, but you have two brains. Did you know this, you have a higher brain, and you have a lower brain. I like to refer to our lower brain as my caveman brain.

6:21 It likes to keep me safe, small, stuck, protected, it likes to conserve energy. It has knee jerk reactions, it’s more of the instinctual part of our brains, we also have a higher brain, which I just usually call our higher brain, it is in charge of organizing, it is in charge of planning ahead, it can think about the future. It also has the capability to think about your thinking. Now I love this analogy of thinking about my lower brain like a caveman brain. I love to picture it this way. Because my brain wants to stay warm, safe and in the cave and wants to keep me alive. Its job is to keep us safe. This is the part of your brain that if you were in a burning building would say you should probably leave. But what it also has on on it is a software downloaded onto it called something is wrong with me. And something is wrong with my life. It is constantly scanning, scanning, scanning, scanning, for what is going wrong in your world, and what is going wrong in your life. And also what is wrong with you. Now, maybe you know what I’m talking about. It’s this thought that we have often which is I’m not doing good enough, or my companion isn’t doing good enough, or my roommate isn’t doing good enough. Our caveman brains are kind of wired for negativity. But what I want to offer to you today is that any thought that your brain offers you, it thinks is useful in some way. It has a specific purpose to keep you safe, small. And in that cave, your brain doesn’t want you to leave the cave and go face lions and tigers and bears, okay. Some of my clients will say I just don’t want to think those negative thoughts. They tell me I just don’t want to think I’m not good enough or something’s wrong with me or something’s wrong with my life. And what I like to say is, well, we could just cut out that part of your brain. But I wouldn’t recommend it. Because you probably wouldn’t survive the surgery. And we don’t want to get rid of it. It is there for a reason. Those thoughts are there for a reason. Heavenly Father actually gave us this part of our brain for a very specific reason. But if we don’t keep it in check, if we’re not paying attention to it. Sometimes our caveman brain can start to run the show. Now what I love about this concept of having a higher brain and the lower brain is I can become the compassionate watcher of all of my thoughts. When my brain offers me a thought like this is going to be a really hard test. It makes sense. My brain is offering me this thought, because then I feel stressed and then maybe put off my studying. Our brains don’t like studying it has to do a lot of work and it has to work really hard when we’re studying. Or maybe my brain offers me a thought like nobody wants to hear what you have to say. But my brain loves to offer me this thought because then I feel a little insecure. And then I don’t say anything. My brain gets to conserve energy and stay small and stay in that cave or maybe my brain off is a thought like, I just don’t have very many friends brains love this, it’s kind of counterintuitive that our brain would offer this to us. But it’s doing it for a good reason. Because when we think I don’t have very many friends, then we feel a little bit lonely. And when we feel lonely, kind of stay home, we’re not social, we maybe do the same things that we always do, maybe we’re not getting out of our comfort zone, maybe and we’re not going to meet new people, your brain loves this, escaping you small and safe. And then the cave. And another one I hear quite often is maybe your brain is telling you, I’ve lost my purpose. When you think this, your brain tells it to you for a good reason. Because when you think I’ve lost my purpose, then you feel confused. And then when you feel confused, you don’t get out there and do the things that you need to do to find your purpose. Now, nothing has gone wrong here. In fact, when my brain offers me these thoughts that I kind of see as quote, unquote, negative. I just like to think things sprain. And I get to know that my brain is working exactly the way it should. Anytime your brain tries to make you feel stuck, small, safe, confused, overwhelmed. It’s just your brain. It’s doing its job, and it’s totally fine. It actually likes to be super tricky. To accomplish what it’s trying to accomplish. It likes to conserve energy. It likes to seek pleasure, and it likes to avoid pain at all costs. And did you know that your brain can’t differentiate between emotional pain and physical pain? So your caveman brain the one that tries to keep you safe, and then the cave will avoid that pain at any costs. One example I have of this is I’ve noticed that my daughter who’s nine, almost 10, has a very active caveman brain, which I used to get kind of frustrated with because I was like, Oh, why? Why is she so negative. But then when I understood this concept of the caveman brain, that is always going to be pointing out the negative scan, scan, scan, scan, scan, scan, scan, scan, scan beat. And I also understood that this is just part of her mental development have been able to let it go. So one example I have of this is a couple years ago and she was a couple years younger. And keep in mind her caveman brain is very active right now as part of her development. She had been at this birthday party, she came home from spending so much fun time with her friends. She came home with a goodie bag. Right? Done what pin yada they’ve done cake. They’ve done ice cream, they’ve done all the things nail painting all this stuff, right? She came home and I said, How was the birthday party? And you know what she said to me? It wasn’t very good. I said really? Why? And she said, because they didn’t have my favorite kind of ice cream. So isn’t that so interesting? It was just a clear, very clear illustration of how the brain looks for negativity. Our brains like to be tricky. The other thing is that you need to know is we’re the only species on this planet that has the ability to think about our thinking. I have a dog. His name is Graham. It’s actually grandma’s birthday today. And here’s a super fun, or shall we say funny fact. We actually picked grandma up from the breeder, the same weekend as we dropped my oldest son off at the MTC. So we dropped Nathan off, and then we picked Graham up. It’s just kind of our little thing to help us feel better about losing one of our children to the mission. On the last episode on Episode One, I talked about how much I struggled after my son left on its mission. So you can go listen to that if you want to. But it was sort of funny because Nathan and my eldest son while he was serving his mission had kind of a love hate relationship with our dog Graham. He always would say, I felt like I got replaced. And even though I mean, he kind of did but you know, not really. But then he came home. And he and Graham have been just Best Buddies ever since. So, such a funny story. But my dog Graham has only a lower brain. He’s very instinctual. He knows when he’s tired. He knows when he’s hungry, that if someone’s walking by the front of our house that he should bark at them. He knows that if there’s ducks in our yard that he should chase them because the baby ducks gets stuck in our pool cover, which is another story for another day, so we don’t like ducks in our yard. But Graham has a caveman brain, he has a lower brain, he doesn’t have a higher brain. Like all of the rest of us, again, we’re the only species on the planet that has the higher brain, I sometimes like to think what it would be like if all of the animals of the forest had higher brains as well, that they’d be sitting and planning parties. In the forest, they’d have their clipboards, they’d be wearing watches, it’d be kind of a funny sight to see. But they don’t they just have the lower brain, we have the higher brain where we can think about our thinking. And I highly recommend that you think compassionately about whatever thought your brain gives you. There’s no thought that doesn’t fall into one of these categories to conserve energy, seek pleasure, or avoid pain. That’s all your brain wants to do 24 hours a day, seven days a week, your lower brain, one thought that my brain likes to give me quite regularly is maybe you’re not a very good mom. But what’s true is I’m so practiced at noticing my lower brain thoughts with my higher brain with compassion. I just say something to my lower brain, like thanks, brain. I hear you. There’s no danger today. And everything is just fine. I know my lower brains tricks, anything, it can do any thought it can offer me to keep me stuck, small and relaxing by the Toasty fire. It will do it will offer it to me. And so sometimes I just let the thought go in one ear and out the other. So many times my clients tell me I shouldn’t be thinking this. And what I want to offer to you is yes, you should. Your human brain is working exactly as it should.

17:00 It’s doing its job, and it’s all totally fine. So the last thing I want to leave you with is this quote from Gerald Kosei. He is currently the Presiding Bishop of the church, I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And he gave a talk at BYU in October of 2020. And the name of the talk was harmony of body and spirit, a key to happiness. And he said this most amazing thing in there. He said, The purpose of our lives, therefore is not to disavow our physical natures, but to bring them in harmony with our spirits. So many times what I see is preparing missionaries, currently serving missionaries return missionaries, and even missionary moms. Using their lower brain thoughts against themselves. I see people using their higher brain to hate on themselves, and to hate the thoughts that their lower brain is giving them. So I love this concept of not having to hate our human self, it does no good. Hating, our human self just creates hate. What I want to offer as you can offer compassion, be the compassionate watcher of this human brain that Heavenly Father has given you learn how to bring it in harmony with your higher brain, they don’t need to be at war with one another. We don’t need to fight against it. Sometimes you can just let it come in one ear and let it go out the other ear. So this week, just start to notice your thoughts. And instead of judging them, just start to notice them from being the compassionate watcher. Watch those thoughts with compassion. And when your brain offers you a thought like I’m not good enough. Or this is going to be really hard. Or I don’t want to do this. Just notice it and have so much compassion for your brain. That’s working exactly the way it should. We can just say thanks brain, but there’s no danger here today. All right, everyone have the most amazing week. We’ll talk to you again soon. Bye. Bye. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. If you want to learn more about what I do, you can go to Jennie dildine.com. Or just come hang out with me on Instagram at Jenny dot the LDS mission coach and Jenny is spelled with an I II and remember no matter which part of the mission experience that you are involved in. Just know that Jenny the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day.

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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