Episode Summary of The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 18: Your Brain Is A Liar

This episode is all about how your brain is a liar. In fact, your brain lies to you all the time, every single day. Learn about the 13 ways in which your brain lies to you.


What you'll learn from this episode

  • Why your brain lies
  • The negativity bias
  • Why the brain is lazy and likes to be efficient
  • 13 ways in which your brain lies to you

Key Quotes from this Episode

The negativity bias was very useful for our cave man ancestors back in the day where as now not so much.

Your brain loves to be comfortable at all costs including long term happiness. It likes to repeat thoughts you already always have even if they are negative because that’s easy.

Should are guilt beatings.

Featured Resources on the episode

The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 18: Your Brain Is A Liar

You are listening to Episode 18 of the Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang: Your Brain Is A Liar

[Introduction to the Grow Through It Podcast With Phi Dang plays – Background Music: upbeat, confident, rising beat]:

Don’t just go through life, grow through it. Don’t just go through life, grow through it.

Hi and Welcome to the Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang.

My name is Phi and I am a Clarity and Confidence Life Coach known as the “The Positivity Queen.”

My passion is to help you go from stuck and self critical to courageous and empowered so you can conquer anything.

Join me, every Tuesday, as I discuss all things mindset, self love, energy and purpose.

This podcast won’t just inspire and motivate you, it will also provide practical tips and strategies you can implement in your daily life.

Ready to grow? Let’s grow!

[Grow Through It Podcast With Phi Dang End of Intro]

[Episode 18 – Your Brain Is A Liar Begins]

Your Brain Is A Liar Introduction

Hello beautiful soul! This episode had been a long time coming. I feel like I’ve been teasing it way back because it was meant to be Episode 12 which has turned into Episode 18 because of my spark and desire to do the love series (which was amazing by the way!).

The title of the podcast just jumps as screams out at you don’t you think. It’s alarming and it’s true. Before I dive into today’s episode I wanted to give a huge shout out to Tegan who I got to speak to yesterday who listens to the podcast. Hi Tegan thank you so much for listening beautiful soul, I appreciate you.

Shout out to my beautiful clients

Also a huge shout of to 3 of my clients, Matt, Josie and Carrie who are almost at the end of our coaching containers. Ahhhh I love you all, I love helping you and watching you all transform in your individual, unique way. It makes my heart and soul sing. Thank you for honouring me with the blessing of being your life coach.

If you’ve been listening to me on this podcast for a while, checking out my Instagram posts and feel drawn – please listen to your tug! I would love to speak to you, I offer a complementary 45 minute call no strings attached worth $260 so jump on it if it feels right for you.

Your Brain Is A Liar

Let’s go into today’s episode.

Your brain is a liar. 

It means well because it wants to protect you and keep you safe but it lies to you a lot.

There is nothing wrong with you. It’s just that you believe the lies.

Common lies your brain tells you

  • Your brain tells you things like:
  • You’re not good enough
  • You can’t change
  • You can’t get what you want
  • You will be the same forever
  • No one understands you
  • There’s something wrong with you
  • You will be single and alone forever 
  • You can’t finish anything
  • You can’t lose weight
  • You can’t start that business
  • You can’t make a lot of money
  • You can’t be positive

All these lies, it’s not your fault.

Why your brain lies to you?

We all have these thoughts until we do personal development work or until we have a life coach who shows us how our brain lies.

Why does your brain lie?

Simply put, it’s hardwired that way through evolution to protect you and keep you safe through different means. 

Your brain is negatively biased

Personally from working with my clients, they think something is wrong with them because they are so negative and cannot seem to get over it.

What they don’t realise is that we are all negatively biased. That it takes uncomfortable, intentional, conscious work to overcome the negativity. That it is truly difficult to do on your own and much easier with a life coach.

In fact psychologist Rick Hanson likens the mind like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones. 

The negativity bias is so evident in your everyday life, can you relate to the examples I’m about to share?

Examples of negatively biased thinking
  • It always feels that the negativity triumphs the positivity. You could have 5 good things happen but you focus on the 1 negative.
  • If your brain is wondering it’s more likely to think of everything that could go wrong instead of everything that could go right. Quitting your job to start your own business – what if you don’t make any money and can’t pay your bills, what if you have no customers and look like the biggest failure and embarrassment to everyone you know. These thoughts are more likely than what if it all goes right and I make lots of money, what if it all goes right and I only work 10 hours a week.
  • You are more compelled and likely to leave negative reviews than positive reviews for restaurants, experiences, products and so forth. The Thai restaurant you usually go to every week, suddenly they missed the spring rolls in your order. You feel angry and want to change Thai restaurants even though this is the first thing to go wrong out of 20 orders.
  • You can remember and recall negative experiences more clearly and often than positive memories. It’s easy to remember the times you were heartbroken feeling numb, broken and crying non stop as opposed to the recent memory of you going to the beach with your friends.
  • You react more strongly to negative things that happen to you in the day as opposed to positive things. When someone compliments you, you shake it off and thank them, it hardly lingers on your mind vs someone spilling coffee on your white top. You immediately feel annoyed and shout out the person who spilt it. Weren’t they paying attention? What is wrong with them?
  • You will remember insults more than praise. You remember that moment that kid said you were fat and ugly even though nowadays you get told you’re beautiful and attractive but it’s hard to believe.

    The negativity bias was very useful for our cave man ancestors back in the day where as now not so much.

    The negativity kept cave men on alert…

    You are a cave man outside and hear the bushes behind you rustling.
    Was it the wind or a lion in the bushes moving around?
    Your brain says lion to keep you safe, it is better to be safe than sorry

Your brain is lazy and values efficiency

Your brain loves to be efficient after all it has so many things to do. Think about it your brain ensures you subconsciously breathe, blink and circulate blood without having to think about it. It uses so much energy to keep you alive therefore it likes repetition and easy that means comfortable.

If you’re always complaining then your brain will latch onto this. The more you do it, the more it will happen automatically as your brain neurons work together. Your brain thinks why build a temporary bridge when I can build a permanent bridge since this human loves to do it all the time. So it does. As the saying goes:


“Neurons that fire together, wire together.”

Therefore your brain loves to be comfortable at all costs including long term happiness. It likes to repeat thoughts you already always have even if they are negative because that’s easy.

The brain is used to being in a comfort cocoon and any time you push it especially getting outside your comfort zone, the brain will panic.

Working consciously to change your thoughts = effort = hard = brain likes to avoid.

The 13 ways in which your brain lies to you

1. Catastrophising

Every little setback becomes a huge hurdle – it’s the sky is falling way of thinking. You make a problem more significant than it is and it is often the worst case scenario.

An example of this is you go on a date with someone who doesn’t want a second date and you now believe you will never find love again in your life.

2. All or nothing

Everything is either black and white and you overlook the possibility that there’s a spectrum.

An example you are either a success or a failure, whereas in reality most of us have a mix of successes and failures. 

3. Arbitrary Inference

Coming to conclusions without all the facts.

For example someone hasn’t texted you back for 5 hours, they must not like you. Here you don’t know what the person is doing, what they may be going through, if they have access to a phone and so forth. 

4. Perfectionism

 The need to relentlessly achieve very high standards immediately, mistakes are seen as fatal flaws and your brain does not acknowledge growth.

An example is when trying something new and needing to be amazing immediately otherwise thinking you are a failure. 

5. Discounting

You are quick to point out negatives in any situation or turn positive ones negative.

An example is she only complimented me because she feels sorry for me or they only did that because they want money.

6. Personalisation

Making everything about you even though it has nothing to do with you.

That person doesn’t want to date me because I’m not good enough when really that person just got out of a long term relationship and isn’t ready to commit to anyone.

7. Mind reading

You think people can read your mind (that they should know what you want instead of you communicating it) such as your partner should know exactly what you want for your birthday and you also think you can mind read other people – your partner should know you like to get a morning text every day.

8. Fortune Telling

You think you can predict the future with certainty. 

For example you get the text “we need to talk” and immediately you assume that someone wants to break up with you or if it’s from your boss you are going to get fired.

9. Magnification

You put more emphasis on the negative and downplay the positives such as you had an amazing road trip away but the light scratch on your car ruined it.

10. Should

Should rule your mind. Should are guilt beatings. The energy behind having to do something is draining. Replace your should with wants and feel the difference there.

Examples of this:

  • I should eat more healthy food vs I want to eat more healthy food to have more energy.
  • I should wake up earlier vs I want to wake up earlier to do more before work.
  • I should exercise more vs I want to exercise more to be healthier and fitter.
  • I should save more money vs I want to save more money to buy a house and have security and safety.

11. Confusion

– “I don’t know” – my clients will laugh because they know I do not accept that answer in coaching. You know. You know.

Confusion is a comfort indulging emotion. As discussed earlier our brain loves comfort!

When you are confused you are in limbo, you don’t have to take responsibility for your decisions. 

When you are confused, the longer you are confused, the more you are confused. 

You are scared of what will happen when you make a decision, how you will feel, how you will think. So you stay “confused”.

12. Automatic Negative Thoughts - ANTS

Also known as ANTS. 

Whilst these ANTS are based on your beliefs and perception which you can’t control on a subconscious level (without doing the work). 

In fact they are a product of your doing, when you repeatedly allow negative thoughts and believe negative thoughts this becomes a very strong habit in your brain repeated day in and day out. You can take control through doing the work and challenging these thoughts and beliefs.

This applies to anything whether it’s negative thoughts, putting yourself down etc

13. Blaming

remaining in a victim role and blaming who you are and your life on people or circumstances outside of yourself. Remember you are responsible for your thoughts, attitude and actions. Circumstances are neutral, your thoughts create your feelings, actions and results.

The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 18: Your Brain Is A Liar

Yeppp, these are all the ways in which your brain lies to you.

It’s alarming.

Be alert.

Be aware.

Be present.

If you catch yourself doing it, you become conscious, awake.

With that, what are you going to do with it. Will you believe the lies or choose to shed the light of truth on the darkness of the lies?

Until next Tuesday beautiful soul, love and positivity. 

[Episode 18 -Your Brain Is A Liar Outro]

Are you wanting to find out more about 1:1 Coaching or working with me? Maybe perhaps you want to know more about me. I’d love to connect with you. You can visit my website phidang.com or connect with me on Instagram @thephidang. Speak to you soon.

Phi Dang