How do we take back the reigns of our lives and design our own stories? Kyra Bobinet, MD, MPH, the founder and CEO of Fresh Tri embarks on her own journey to designing her own life on Guy Macpherson’s The Trauma Therapist Podcast. In this blog, we will discover the brain-behavior gap, the habenula, how to reframe our failure, performative tools, and the power of iteration.
The Brain-behavior Gap
Dr. Bobinet discusses how there is a gap between what we as individuals say we are going to do and what we actually do. She mentions, that when she was a practicing physician, many of her patients would leave their appointments with their heads held high and ready to embark on their treatment plans. Despite this, they often showed up to their follow-up appointments feeling defeated, as they were not able to follow through with what they said they would. Dr. Bobinet saw this phenomenon in her patients, outside of the clinic, and in herself. This commonality led to her desire to find the cure and achieve a well-designed life.
The “Aha”—the habenula
In the interview, Dr. Bobinet reveals that the root of the behavioral brain gap lies within the habenula—a tiny brain religion that is “the most powerful behavior controller that has ever been found”. Dr. Bobinet shares that the habenula is a motivational kill switch. It lights up every time we consciously or subconsciously think we failed at something. The key is to avoid the firing of the habenula.
Reframe Your Failure
Failure is inevitable. It is not a matter of “if”. It is a matter of “when”. We will all eventually fire our habenulas and in her interview, Dr. Bobinet dives into the importance of reframing our failures to contribute to positive failure recovery. By reframing our outlook, identifying the role our brains play, and implementing our recovery plans, Dr. Bobinet shares that we can then design the lives we want.
Dr. Bobinet identifies the overuse of performative approaches in the healthcare industry. Fitbits, smart goals, calorie counting, just to name a few. These tools and approaches fire our habenulas. At some point, we won’t make our step counts or we will miss a day at the gym. At that inevitable point, feelings of self-doubt will fill our heads, firing the habunla. But, according to Dr. Bobinet, there is a way out.
Iterators Never Fail
Iteration is the way around the habenula. It is the key to a well-designed life. Dr. Bobinet describes iteration as a practice and tweak approach to healthy habit formation and behavior building. When a habit no longer serves us, such as a diet or a new workout routine, we should iterate and tweak. Trying a new diet or starting a new exercise routine is the answer. Practicing, assessing, and tweaking is a fail-proof way to move throughout life and it is the secret sauce to designing the lives we want to live.
On our journey to shape our own lives and regain control, Dr. Kyra Bobinet shares some valuable insights. She explains that there’s often a gap between what we plan to do and what we actually do, a common struggle for many. Dr. Bobinet points out the habenula, a tiny but powerful part of our brain that acts as a motivation kill switch. She emphasizes the importance of looking at failure in a positive light and suggests. She shares the potential harm in performative tools and the effect they can have when not coupled with iteration. The key to success is simple: keep iterating. This process of adjusting and trying again is the secret to creating the life we want. Dr. Bobinet’s advice offers a clear path to taking charge of our own stories.
Listen to the full podcast here.