Isn’t it awesome when you discover something new; a new book or a new concept and all of a sudden you see it referenced everywhere. I remember when I first bought my little Kia, I was so happy with it! And just like that, I began to notice other Kias on every road I travelled. Where did they all come from? Why hadn’t I noticed them before?

This process of recognition has actually been researched and studied time and again. In fact, there are many reasons why we notice things that make us happy. Or conversely those things that make us feel uneasy or unsafe. It all comes down to our brain and how it operates.

As humans in the 21st century, we are regularly bombarded with millions of bits of information that are biological, sensory, cognitive or emotional in nature. Our brain is pretty good at parsing out those few pieces of information that are of particular value to us. It first looks to ensure our bodies are safe. Once this is accomplished, our brain works on establishing a pattern of efficiency to support each of us through our day.

All incoming information is strenuously filtered by a tiny mechanism in our brain stem called the Reticular Activating System. The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a transition point between our old primal brain and our new mammalian structures in the cerebral cortex.

In essence, the RAS is a kind of gatekeeper. It works as part of our unconscious mind to filter out those unnecessary pieces of information, from the important things we need to know in any given moment. It also prioritizes and gives weight to those things we need to know right away. Have you ever wondered how you can pick out your child’s voice in a crowded fairground when there is a cacophony of voices, lights, sounds and activity? Your RAS is the key.

It’s pretty amazing when you think of it. The RAS is also responsible for our sleep cycle, consciousness and habituation. Although it functions behind the scenes in our unconscious mind, it brings those things we need to know to the attention of our conscious mind, like locating our child at the fairground.

Our thoughts also contribute to this process. If we are working from a fight or flight philosophy then the RAS is on high alert for threatening situations and it will find them for us. If we are focusing our thoughts on loving kindness, then the RAS will bring these situations to the forefront of our awareness. In this way the RAS influences how we move through our environment; comfortably or cautiously. Ultimately, it determines how we perceive the world.

Can we manifest a better circumstance for ourselves? Yes, the science is clear. The RAS will support us to choose the life we want by bringing those things we focus and dream of to the attention of our conscious mind with increasing regularity. In essence, we can program our RAS to filter for us in a way that builds connection to the things we want more of. It’s going to filter anyway, why not make it work for us?

To learn more about your Reticular Activating System and how important it is for manifesting your own success and to live a life of your own design, please call to book a 30 minute phone session with Simone Usselman-Tod, Dynamic Visioning Coach, Certified Life Coach & Business Coach and Certified NLP Master Practitioner. Learn more about Dynamic Visioning.


Simone Usselman-Tod

Stress Management and Mindset Breakthrough Coach