When I first heard about it, I was fascinated: Finally a tool proven by science that could explain that IT IS POSSIBLE to use your thoughts and focus to dictate your reality and that we are not fully victims of circumstances but can have a bigger influence than we would expect...
What is the reticular activating system?
“The reticular activating system (RAS) is a network of neurons located in the brain stem that project anteriorly to the hypothalamus to mediate behavior, as well as both posteriorly to the thalamus and directly to the cortex for activation of awake, desynchronized cortical EEG patterns.” Textbook of Clinical Neurology (Third Edition), 2007
To translate this scientific definition, it is a system in your brain which is connected to all of your senses (except smell) and acts like the gatekeeper of information it lets into your conscious mind. It filters out the information it perceives as important and ignores the rest to avoid overwhelm.
How can we use this to manifest our desires?
When you consciously focus on something, which is directing your thoughts on your desired object, for example launching a passion project, going on a world trip, being with your ideal partner, buying your dream car, …anything… it creates thought patterns in your brain you would not have if you did not focus on your object. The RAS recognizes what is important and validates our beliefs and delivers the information we are looking for. You have probably experienced it when someone says “Close your eyes, now think about the color red,” then you open your eyes and you immediately see something around you which is red. Or you want to buy a car and do your research on which one you want. Suddenly you see this car everywhere on the streets. This is the simplest example of how the RAS works.
If you believe, you are not going to succeed, your brain will find evidence for you. If you believe you are not pretty or good enough, the RAS will do its part to find the proof you are seeking (even if there are other indicators but it is looking for the information you identify yourself with and will filter out the rest!)
That is why it is so important to practice daily visualization and intention setting. This is why it is important to get clear on what you want and write down your big vision. This is why belief work is so important! This is why the most successful people in the world have a morning routine, meditate, do mindset work, set intentions and goals and are selective of which kind of media they consume or what type of people they surround themselves with.
“What you focus on, expands!”
The good news is, that now that you know how this works you can use it to your advantage! You can basically reprogram yourself so that your focus is on how and who you want to be, how you want to feel, how you want to behave, what you want to experience, what you want to believe about yourself. It is all about getting conscious about it and placing focus on it. Repeatedly. The brain needs repetition! Make sure to involve your body and senses when you visualize your desired reality.
How to get started
- Write out your ideal day, as detailed as possible. Without restrictions, limitless, dream big. Where do you wake up? Who do you wake up next to? What are you having for breakfast? What are you doing first thing in the morning? What do you spend your time on? etc. etc. etc.
2. Write down the big vision of your FUTURE YOU! How does he/she feel? What is he/she doing? What impact does he/she make? Where does he/she live? How much money does he/she make? What is he/she spending this money on, why do you need this amount? With whom does he/she spend his/her time with? How does he/she look like? What vibe does he/she send out? What kind of clothes does he/she wear? What is he/she known for? ….
3. Read this BIG VISION every day and visualize it! Feel it!
4. Rewrite it once in a while (e.g.once a month) because our desires change!
5. Do belief work! If you notice, that you have a limiting belief such as “I am not good enough for this project” find evidence for the opposite (in this case “I am good enough for this project”) and write it down. A coach is someone who can help you identify limiting beliefs and reframe them!
I hope you found this article insightful and can put some things into practice.
I am always happy to hear your takeaways and experiences.