How to save brain energy (for more important things)

Deep ✨

In previous blogs, I have written about the ways in which our brain automatically saves energy for survival reasons. I’ve also given you some tips on how to save your time and space for the more important things in life. Now, let’s look at ways to deliberately save brain energy, so we can use this energy for what really makes us happy and fulfilled.

As humans, we actually still use a lot of energy on trivial choices, worry, judgement and time-management. Even though our practical lives become easier and more time and energy saving every day (think of the appliances in our home, AI or algorithms), our brains are still not always spending our energy on the most important things. Luckily, there are some interventions we can do you change this, so we have more energy left to do things in which we find happiness- like the realisation of our dreams.

Eliminate trivial choices

The first and most obvious tip is to waste less energy on making choices that don’t really matter. During the day, we have to make many decisions, and this starts from the moment we wake up: What am I going to do first? What am I going to wear? What do I want for breakfast? And this continues all throughout the day: What am I going to do when I arrive at work? Who am I going to ask for lunch? What do I eat for dinner? When am I going to do my laundry and my groceries?

Of course, having options during the day feels great and makes us feel more free. But making all these decisions every single day takes our brain a lot of energy, while they don’t necessarily make our day much better. At the end of the day, did making wearing a blue sweater instead of a red one make that much of a difference? Did having chicken for lunch instead of fish make you really happy?

When you look at the bigger picture, these choices are actually not worth turning on your brain for and just lead to decision fatigue. This is why really successful people usually eliminate this type of ‘small decisions’ during their day. Have you ever wondered why Steve Jobs always wore the same black turtle neck?

One way to incorporate this trick into your life (without getting really bored) is to decide at least on a category of food for every part of your day, or to limit the choices. For example, I always either have oatmeal or a green smoothie for breakfast. A way to make your outfit choices easier is to make a capsule wardrobe: this way, it doesn’t matter what you pick from your closet – it all matches. Planning ahead and applying the same structure in every day also helps. Then you don’t have to decide on your next to-do’s, as they are already planned out.

Keep an open mind

As human beings, we also spend a lot of unnecessary energy on judging, trying to comprehend, and making sense of people and events. Even though this is in our nature (and was once essential for survival), in modern day life where we don’t have many threats, judgement and understanding is very often unnecessary. We don’t have to understand everyone and everything – as long as we somewhat understand what matters to us. We don’t have to know everything or have an opinion on things that do not affect our daily lives.

I know, it is not in our nature to leave spaces blank and to say ‘I don’t know and I don’t have to’. However, getting used to this state of mind – state of life I would even say – does come with a lot of peace, and a lot of important brain energy left to do other things.

So stay open, don’t judge, and keep your attention on what’s really worth your focus. Everything else will do just fine – even without your brain wrapped around it.

Use your excitement and inspiration

The next tip is to listen to your feelings of excitement and inspiration in every moment. If you have a task that you really don’t feel like doing, don’t stress on it and spend hours and hours struggling to get it done. Decide that this is not the moment in a very early stage, and feel that this really is the moment later that day, the next day, or the next week.

This way, you will waste a lot less energy on the same tasks, and you will also find it way easier to do and more exciting. If the burden of starting at all is what’s keeping you from doing the task and what’s taking up all your energy, read this blog to make that easier.

Of course, not every thing on your list will some day excite you if you just wait for inspiration. Some things just need to be done. In that case, use the moment right before the deadline (where you can do it on the adrenaline provided by time-pressure) or wait for a moment where you don’t like doing it, but don’t hate doing it either; a moment of indifference.

When you use the right moments to do the right things, and make these decisions fast – based on initial excitement/inspiration and intuition – you will learn that certain tasks or problems take up less energy than before. Because you are basically taking your brain’s easiest way out. You will also see that feeling whether or not this is the right moment to use your energy, will become a easier after doing it more often.

After eliminating some trivial choices, accepting that I don’t have to know or understand everything, and picking the right moments, I have found that I have more inspiration and good ideas than before. At work and in my private life, I just feel more calm yet energised during the day, and I’m more aware of where I want my focus to be.

Let me know if you try these tips, and if you feel the same way!

xx Coco

How to find your self-worth/confidence

Geen categorie

I believe that a good sense of self-worth is really important in reaching almost any goal in life. Whether it’s a relationship, a career, or smaller goals like losing weight: a positive yet realistic view on who you are as a person and ‘what you’re worth’ is the essential foundation to build upon.

Not only will it be easier to believe these goals are actually within your reach – you’ll also only see yourself as a good reason to invest/prioritise/make an effort if you can see yourself as someone who deserves the things you want. Here are some tips that work for me.

Stop looking for validation from others

It is very obvious: if you want to love who you are, you have to stop making your worth contingent on whether other people see it or not. You have to get a sense of self-worth or confidence that is independent of external things. One way to train this sense of self-worth is to simply stop asking other people for their validation, or learn to be blind for it, and start seeing that the fact that you love/want/think something, is enough reason to stand by it.

Stop regretting saying something just because someone didn’t give you the reaction you wanted. Stop dressing a certain way just so other people will think you’re sexy or pretty. Stop showing the preferred behaviour just because you’re afraid that otherwise, someone won’t like you. If you know why you love/want/think something, that’s enough. You are the main character of your life, so your opinion matters most.

Accept your flaws, celebrate your strengths

What you focus on, expands. So don’t focus on the negatives of your looks or character. Don’t stress on the small things that you would like to change about yourself. Simply accept that they are there – and then let them go. Focus on what you do like about you, and show them extra attention or care. If you love your hair: wear it down, or curl it, make it shine, show it off. If you like your kind personality: be kind to strangers, be kind on the internet, share your kindness.

Not only will it make other people not even see your flaws, but more importantly: it will remind you of your amazing features. If you remind yourself of your strengths more often than your flaws (make lists or stick notes to your mirror if you have to!), you will automatically have a more positive view on yourself and gain confidence.

Focus on your potential and invest in it

You are unique. There’s only one of you, only one person who can bring to the table exactly what you can. And there’s a reason for this uniqueness. Let the world enjoy this special trait of you. Find out what you’re good at, or how you can help other people. It doesn’t have to be big, it can even be a small skill that you teach someone else that will add value to their life, or a feeling of joy you can bring the people around you.

Find what you can add to the world and invest your time and energy into this potential. Realize it: it will give you more confidence showing yourself that you can be successful. Having a passion project and getting excited about your future, will also make you understand why you’re on this planet, and will make you feel more thankful to be you.

Need help finding your passion or purpose? Find my worksheet here.

Don’t compare yourself to others

Delete every account on social media that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. Take a break from it altogether if you need to. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, and stop spending time on people who don’t.

If people make you feel like you need to be better, or you need to be someone else, they’re simple not your people. When you feel yourself looking at other women like they’re worth more than you, or they’re prettier, skinnier, smarter than you – focus on your individuality, and your strengths.

Realise that their skinniness, prettiness or smartness doesn’t make them more worthy than you are. Our worth as human beings cannot be found in these variables. No matter how often other people validate the opposite. They’re simply focused on the wrong things, and now you are too. Rise above it.

Take really good care of yourself

And I mean both physically and mentally. Sure, self-care like taking a bath and eating healthy are really good for your self-worth. You will appreciate your body more if you treat it right. Because when you take good care of yourself, you are basically showing yourself that you’re worth taking care of.

But mental self-care is also really important. Have healthy mantra’s you repeat every day until you believe them. It is not strange and sometimes even necessary to literally tell yourself ‘I’m worthy, I’m beautiful, I’m important, even if not everyone sees it.’ Make sure the thoughts you have about yourself are positive too. If you catch yourself thinking ‘I should be smarter/prettier/skinnier’ instantly replace that thought with something positive.

Think about it: would you say this to your best friend? Of course not – it is not true and would hurt her. So why are you hurting yourself with these lies?

Bonus: Trust in a higher power

This one is not for everyone, and definitely not essential. Someone who would call themselves ‘super atheist and non-spiritual whatsoever’ can have great self-worth and confidence, not only for the reasons listed above. For me however, it really helps to be a spiritual person, and to have a sense of a higher power that watches over me or sees me and my purpose.

This doesn’t have to be very literal like a Christian god. It can also be the higher plan of the universe, or the energy that ties everything in this world together. It can even be something a little more scientific like a radical interpretation of the theory of evolution (more about this in a later blogpost) or the fact that we are social beings and we all have a place in our society. Whatever it is: connecting with something bigger than yourself is a well-known way of ‘being thrown into your purpose’. Which if we believe my third point on potential, will help us see our worth and become more confident.

I hope you enjoyed these tips on finding your worth. Just remember: your worth is not something you have to deserve or acquire, it is something that is already there. You can use these tips to simply learn to see it, or get more used to living more in alignment with it. Let me know if they work for you!

xx Coco