Barb is  a certified life coach and trainer, focused on helping people I work with improve their communications, their relationships, and their life overall.

She is the founder of Courageously Imperfect Life Coaching  

Mental Fitness: 

The 2 Operating Systems of the Brain:

Our brains have two different operating systems – the rational system and the emotional system.

1.       Rational Brain System

·         In this part of our brain system, we take in information from education, experience, and life lessons and use this to find new ways to problem-solve challenges we encounter.

·         This part of our brain values efficiency and effectiveness. The sooner we can move forward, the better. The more a process has worked for us in the past, the more we'll have a tendency to default to it again and again in the future (even if it's not working for us anymore.) 

·         If we really like learning, we may have a tendency to overdevelop our rational brain system. We may the tell ourselves that we're more competent or smart than most people, and behave out of those beliefs. 

·         It may feel true, but only partly. If the rational brain is overdeveloped at the expense of the emotional brain, we won't actually experience long-term positive life outcomes. We'll be too smart for our own good. 

2.       The Emotional Brain System – Two Parts

·         Unless we had great models or specific training, many of us haven't learned tools and skills to master the emotional system in our brain. As such, it tends to go offline, malfunction, or overheat when we're faced with situations in which we feel vulnerable or afraid. We find it easier to default back to the rational part of our brain, and in doing so, we overdevelop the rational brain system as I mentioned earlier.  

·         With the emotional brain, there are actually two operating systems that must be managed: the Sage and Judge

·         The Judge: Any time we experience a situation where we feel vulnerable or afraid, the Judge is the first on the scene. The Judge deflects vulnerable feelings as negative, and tries to move past them as quickly as possible. Its favorite tools are judging others, the situation, or ourselves. The more we stay in judgment, the less connected we are – not only to others, but also ourselves – and we keep trying to rationalize our way through our life. (This is where the Rational System goes into overdrive.) 

·          I've also heard the Judge referred to as our “fight or flight” response system. It tells us there is a BEAR when there really is no BEAR THERE. But, rather than question if that story is true, the Judge keeps us from checking in with ourselves and what else may be more true, so we just continue to react to life. 

·         The Sage: The Sage is in all of us, though it takes practice and consistency to really tap into this more productive part of our emotional brain. This part of the emotional brain is responsible for self-regulation and creativity, but also for critical thinking. It helps us question our thoughts, especially those that don't benefit us – or others. It allows us to show empathy and compassion – not only to others, but ourselves. This part of our emotional brain is located in our pre-frontal cortex. We can all access this, but need training and practice. 

·         If you have found yours

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