How to Reprogram Your Brain for Success with Dr. Shannon Irvine

Episode 287

How to Reprogram Your Brain for Success with Dr. Shannon Irvine

Dr. Shannon Irvine has a Ph.D in neuropsychology, is an entrepreneur, high achievement mentor, host of The Epic Success Podcast, and a philanthropist. 

In today’s episode, she teaches us how to neuro-hack our success and build epic lives and businesses we love – by harnessing our brain power to hardwire productivity, goal attainment, and mindset mastery. 

I’m a huge believer in (re)conditioning our brains and using simple, proven methods to instill the beliefs and emotions that will best serve us. Shannon brings a scientific approach to how we can instill these beliefs and emotions. 

Today, you can listen to my fascinating conversation between Shannon and I about how to take your brain off of autopilot, stop listening to the stories you’ve been told about your capabilities, and chip away at your limitations to transform your life and business.

Dr. Shannon Irvine

Your brain does not know the difference between what is actually happening around you right now and what you vividly imagine over and over and over again.


  • Why we aren’t wired to transcend consciousness or succeed in business – and how to change your subconscious and let go of what’s holding you back. 
  • How keeping up her marriage, raising children, and running a business simultaneously led her to struggle – and the breakthrough in mindset that lit a fire under her. 
  • What Shannon did to neuro-hack her life and the results this quickly started to get for her. 
  • Why your brain doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined
  • Shannon’s process for powering through negative thinking.


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COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.


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Dr. Shannon Irvine

You are the creator of your thoughts and it’s your thoughts that can create the future that you want. It really is in your control.



Hal: Here we go. Goal achievers, hey, it is Hal Elrod and I am at home right now, in my home office and where are you right now? Where are you listening? I know you could be anywhere in the world because it’s crazy. We do have listeners from like 70 countries or, I don’t know, 80? A lot of countries but welcome to The Achieve Your Goals Podcast and this podcast, of course, is designed to help you achieve your most important goals and dreams. And as I go through life, I keep getting more clarity on what I feel like really is important to us and also some illusions of how we’ve been duped if you will, and what should be important to us or what other people say should be important to us. In fact, I’ve been teasing this idea that I’m going to do a podcast on societal conditioning and how society has conditioned us to think that we’re supposed to do certain things like go to school and get a degree and get a good job and work really hard and then retire and that’s just one of many, many, many things that society and the media and such conditions us to think that’s important and I feel like, again, we’ve been kind of being duped. 


I don’t know if it’s intentional, but I don’t want to get too off the rails here today because that’s not the topic of today’s podcast, but I want you to know that I haven’t forgotten that particular topic. In fact, I’ve been adding to my notes on that almost every single day and I just feel like it’s almost worthy of a book in and of itself, so I don’t want to just turn on the recording button on the podcast and just start spouting random ideas. I want to really bring you some coherent thoughts and ideas around that topic when the time is right but I want you to let you know to those of you that listen every week and you’re like, “Hal, I thought you were going to do this societal conditioning episode after you followed up with the human nature episode.” We will in the perfect timing. 


So, with that, I do have an exciting guest. I don’t know if exciting is the right word. I have a guest that’s going to change your freaking life by changing your brain today, changing your mind. Dr. Shannon Irvine is an entrepreneur, high achievement mentor host of The Epic Success Podcast and really maybe most importantly related to what we’re going to talk about today. She has a Ph.D. in neuropsychology and she’s a philanthropist as well, and Dr. Shannon helps her clients neuro-hack their success and build an epic life in business that they love by harnessing the power of the brain to hardwire productivity, goal attainment, and high-performance mindset mastery. And this is why I wanted to bring her on because I’m just a huge believer that we have to condition our brain, right, I talk about this a lot in The Miracle Morning book. That’s the benefit to me of affirmations more than probably any of the other practices of The Miracle Morning is you’re able to basically design in writing the blueprint for your brain and then through utilizing daily affirmations and meditation and things like that, you’re reconditioning your subconscious mind to believe the belief that you are designing, that you’re choosing that will best serve you to overcome anything that’s held you back up until this point in your life or achieve anything that you want. 


I, however, am very unscientific. I have no Ph.D. after my name. Shannon does so she can bring this really to a scientific approach to my commonsense approach if you will. And I was on her podcast recently, The Epic Success Podcast, and she started talking about the neuroscience of unwavering faith. She was interviewing me about The Miracle Equation, and of course one of the components of The Miracle Equation is unwavering faith and she started talking about the neuroscience and I reach out afterwards. I said, “Would you write like a blog post or something? Or is there anything like what you said on the podcast is beyond my understanding like beyond my knowledge base,” but it was freaking brilliant and combining this woo-woo concept of unwavering faith and bring it down to how maintaining unwavering faith is literally what it’s doing to your brain that is crucial to your success. And she wrote a blog post. I, in fact, will link it in the show notes. I encourage you to check it out. The blog post is called The Neuroscience of Success; Unwavering Faith. 


And so, it is my great pleasure to bring on Shannon because her mission is to help entrepreneurs and individuals go for their God-given dreams, go for your God-given dreams by giving you the step-by-step blueprint to go from dream to launch in a way that honors what you value most. 




Hal: Shannon Irvine, Dr. Shannon, it’s a pleasure to have you.


Dr. Shannon: It’s Shannon. Thanks, Hal. I’m super excited to be on the podcast. Long-time listener just like everybody listening so super excited. 


Hal: Oh, thank you. So, wait, you don’t force people to call you Dr. Shannon? You’re okay with…


Dr. Shannon: No, I do not. I prefer not. Yes. 


Hal: Some people are like correct me like, “It’s doctor.” Okay. Sorry. 


Dr. Shannon: Well, it’s funny, a lot of people will say that, and I always clarify, I was never the smartest one in the room and during that time I was the one who went and got her Ph.D. out of like sheer desperation. 


Hal: So, talk about that. How did you get in, I mean, start where you think it makes sense but how did you going for that Ph.D. and getting the work that you do?


Dr. Shannon: I love that question so much because I was like your typical entrepreneur. I had a couple of businesses. I have my nonprofit and I have my consulting business and I’m one of those people who love my vision and gets fired up by it and could go 24/7 because I just love what I get to do which was all amazing and worked well until I got married and then I had to kind of figure out how to do that with another human being. And although we were both adults so we could figure that out. It wasn’t that difficult. He knew who he was marrying. And so, that just became something we figured out but it wasn’t until I had my son, Max, where all of a sudden in my mind I started creating this conversation of it’s got to be either/or like I can’t possibly be a good mom, be there everything for him, and also keep the level of excellence, keep the level of belief and vision and all those things that were so important to me. And I started to really honestly, Hal, think that I’m going to have to give something up and I just have one of those moments where I literally was just really upset and I started thinking, “What if both are possible?” But right now, I don’t have the skill to make both possible at this point. 


So, then I started reaching out to mentors that at least on the outside looked like they had a great family, they were balancing it, they had their values and priorities high, and they were really crashing it with their businesses. And it turned out that the mentor that I chose actually had all that together and it wasn’t a facade. It was real. And in that mentorship, I quickly started learning that it wasn’t a strategy, a funnel, a certain kind of productivity, scheduling. It was none of the externals. It was all in a way she thought. She thought differently than I did. She believed differently than I did, and she stood in integrity and in her decisions in a way that I hadn’t been up to that point. So, it just started lighting a fire under me like, “She thinks so differently than me. What if it was just really the way you think that changes everything?” Then I just became obsessed with it and started studying and started looking up things. 


And as soon as I started diving into this idea that you can change the way you think and you actually have control over the way you think and you can create the life that you want and the whole neuroplasticity and using your brain chemicals for you instead of just letting them be on autopilot, I started getting hooked in the neuroscience of success and I’m the weirdo that said, “Oh, let me just go get a Ph.D.,” because I want to learn everything I can about it, not so that I can help people in a counseling type of way but so that I can help myself first and then eventually I help the people I was consulting. And then now I’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs just really be able to take your thinking off autopilot and start to become the creator of your thoughts so that you can create the life that you want. And that’s really where it started and I started neuro-hacking myself and it really works so quickly that I thought, “Okay.” It was so interesting. I’m in rooms with brilliant scientists in neuroplasticity and all these different areas but they weren’t putting the puzzle pieces together like you could actually plug these things all in together and create a life and a vision and impact and a legacy that you want. 


And I was asking all this kind of questions and they were more interested in the science of it all but I hacked myself first and then with my consulting clients that I had, I started applying this puzzle piece type of methodology together with them and I saw them quickly double their business or one person was still not married and they had a 17-year business already. They were married within a couple of months and their business is shot up. And so, I knew, “Oh my gosh, this really works. This idea of training your brain and untraining the stories that have been holding me back, the way that we were wired and designed from the beginning and it’s being able to take control of that and having a step-by-step method to be able to do it,” and then that just lit a fire for me to help every entrepreneur I can. I’ve got a goal of a million entrepreneurs this year to be able to show that they can train their brain to transform their lives and businesses. 


Hal: I love that story. I love how you came to this. So, a couple of things, well, our listeners I’ll say are roughly 80% entrepreneurs and 20% non-entrepreneurs so anything from stay-at-home dads and moms to my wife. Actually, I don’t know if she listens to my podcast, but she could be a category, and college students. There are people that are retirees. It really runs the gamut. So, I just want to point to everybody listening that although you’re kind of niched, you focus with entrepreneurs, this is if you have a brain like don’t turn off the episode and go, “Oh, she works mostly with entrepreneurs.” Yeah, yeah, yeah, because they’re humans too but if you have a brain, this applies to you. 


And that’s actually the next question that I want to ask you and before you answer I want to create a little context, but are we wired for success in the brain like is it natural? And the context I want to create is I did an episode a few episodes ago and it was one of my favorites that I ever did kind of like I channeled it like it just came through me. I was like, “Where did that come from? That was great.” And I get a lot of good feedback from it but it was the idea that it was about human nature and it was the idea that from my common sense of I love your neuroscience approach and I want you to kind of speak to this, but from my common sense approach I went, “Wait a minute, you think about like our ancestors, we were wired to survive and rest and that’s about it,” right? 


It’s like the only time you got off your butt was not to achieve or be successful. It was to kill the buffalo so that you had something to eat and then once you have enough to eat for the next six months, we just sat and ate for six months, and enjoyed life and your family. And to me, I’m trying to figure out how we get more and more back to that, but the point is my whole episode from a commonsense perspective was about how our human nature kind of the way we’re wired is to survive and rest. It’s not to achieve. It’s not to transcend levels of consciousness like that that’s not what we’re wired to do. We have to actually intentionally do things outside of our human nature that might be inborn. So, I’d love for you to speak to that in how our brain is or isn’t wired for success.


Dr. Shannon: Yeah. I love this question so much because it’s at the core of what I do. Your brain’s wiring and your neural chemicals that fire and wire your brain together, they do two things if it’s not consciously managed. It’s to keep you safe which is exactly what you’re talking about. Make sure you have enough food, make sure you have shelter, make sure you’re safe, and to keep things familiar. And that is its primary job and if you don’t mind, I’ll kind of like dive in a little bit of why that is the way it is. So, your brain is set up in a way. You got like two main parts of it. There’s lots of parts but these are the main things. You have your conscious thinking brain that we’re listening and talking with right now that we’re thinking with consciously and then you’ve got your subconscious or I’d like to even call it your automated process. Your subconscious is very automated. Its whole job isn’t to be this mysterious thing that you can’t get in touch with. Its job is to put on autopilot the things that you have told it that you believe. 


Your conscious thinking brain is the boss and that subconscious mind’s job is just to hear which you have told it over and over again in word and in picture, and if you repeat it frequently enough, your subconscious goes, “Okay. Got it. Hal believes that. So, now what I’m going to do with that is I’m going to automate it, so he doesn’t ever have to make any decisions around that again. I would just make sure I automatically think that.” Because we get about 8,000 thoughts per hour. That’s just too much for our brain’s glucose to be able to handle. So, if we have not done any of the process of conscious thinking or taking your thoughts off autopilot or doing some of the work that, Hal, you talked about in your books then you have automatic program stories around success, around failure, around worth, around what you think you’re able to do and not able to do and around your safety. And your brain is not wired naturally for success or for growth. It’s wired to keep you safe, familiar, and alive. 


And when you’re a child or a young adult, you start to create stories on how things are. You look in your environment and you figure out, “Okay. What’s going to make me safe and what’s going to make things familiar?” Well, that’s great if you have an amazing environment where everything was full of abundance and possibility and full belief and unwavering faith. But if by chance like my childhood and maybe yours, you had things that weren’t great and you also had stories of like money doesn’t grow on trees and you’ve heard stories of like don’t me too tall for your britches and all the little things that are said to us throughout our young life and our young brain say, “Okay. For me to fit into this culture and stay safe, I have this story now that I don’t have what it takes to become successful. I have this story now that I’m too much.” Yeah, I’ve heard that a lot when I was growing up. “You’re just too much,” or you have this belief that, “I’m not worth going and doing big things so I’m going to stay small.” All those thoughts did was leave the stress in your brain of the tension of you trying to step into the true value of who you are. 


So, there was tension between who you knew you were meant to be and what your environment was telling you and your brain said, “Let me give you the chemicals to create this story that now was programmed in your subconscious.” All that scientific garbage to say that 80% to 90% of the daily actions and decisions that you’re doing and making and thinking in your conscious brain right now is all run by and governed by that subconscious automated story that you probably created as a young adult or a child and you didn’t choose it but it’s there. The great news is with the idea of neuroplasticity, you can actually reprogram it to bring you exactly what you want. 


Hal: I love that. You’re so right. I mean, you said so 80% to 90% of the daily choices that we make, the actions that we take, they’re automated through our subconscious and I’m reading the book right now, Dr. Joe Dispenza, You Are The Placebo. 


Dr. Shannon: You Are The Placebo, great book. 


Hal: Great book. It’s funny, I order more books than I read, because it’s easy to order them, right? I mean, I think most of them feel that. You’re in the middle of one book and then you order three new ones. Yeah. It’s out of control.


Dr. Shannon: Amazon and GoDaddy URLs are my addictions. 


Hal: I bought those too. But for me, when I got that book, it was a long book and I’m like, “Ah, I can’t read. I’ve got enough other books I’m reading. This is too long.” And finally, it was like serendipitous. Yesterday morning or the day before morning, I opened it and started reading it and it basically talks about how you can change who you are as a person. Like you literally through this conditioning that Shannon’s talking about, you can fundamentally change your subconscious and rewire it and reprogram it and then, therefore, you change how you think and how you feel and how you react and how you respond and all of the above. It’s really infinite like there’s nothing that you can’t become. For me, Shannon, I just want to share my entire life, I consider myself to be very lazy, not especially smart. I mean, just really, I had a lot of negative like most of us do. I heard once someone said we’re all 14-year-olds in 40-year-old bodies like I’m still that insecure kid that picked on in school, you know what I mean, right? And I’ve used affirmations and meditations, Miracle Morning, the practices that you teach as well, I’ve used those to literally let go of a lifetime of insecurities that if I hadn’t actively designed a new program, I’d still be that person. You don’t change. [inaudible – 19:03]


Dr. Shannon: Now, one of the mistakes I will see a lot of people make and I used to make it too so I’m right there with you if you’re doing this is, well, your average person, Hal, you know you’re not average.


Hal: I’m very average just doing different things. Yeah. 


Dr. Shannon: Yeah. Exactly. But your average person will like have a couple of affirmations that they say that they kind of don’t necessarily believe but they say them anyway which is still good but then they have all these stories kind of governing and I always compare it to like if you got your foot on the gas of your car and you’ve got your foot on the brake at the same time and you’re just so frustrated and you don’t understand why you’re not going anywhere, you have to take your foot off the brake and it’s not that you’re not doing the right things on the gas. It’s just the fact that your foot is still on the brake. And for me, when I look into a brain scan, I can literally see these neural networks that are programmed with those stories of I’m not enough, I don’t have what it takes, and like you said, I’m lazy, all those things. And if you don’t do the active work of, I call brain priming and that’s your unwavering faith and 100% belief in everything in your last quote that I love. But it’s also taking yourself through this process of what do I do when that story comes up? 


And leaning into the resistance that that story brings up for you and actually using a process to go through I call it my mind matrix. It’s part of my neuro coaching model but it’s a step-by-step process of recognizing, recording it, and refuting those stories, and coming up with the truth that you can replace them with so that you start to literally prune apart that neural network that has that story on autopilot. And we’ve learned that if you can do that process for about 60 days even if you have those same thoughts for your entire 40 years, and in 60 to 67 days we’ve learned if you can trust the process, if you continue to do this type of neural coaching to yourself then you can literally unwire or prune that neural network to the point to where that thought cannot actually jump. Thought is energy and it jumps from one network to the other but once it’s automated, it’s actually a fused line so it doesn’t even have to jump. When we do this removing of these stories or this mind matrix process, you actually prune those networks so far apart that the energy can’t even jump so you’ve got a whole new pathway which is what you’ve done through your process of unwavering faith and being 100% committed no matter what is you’ve built this beautiful big humming freeway of a neural network that has refuted the old story. 


Hal: Well, okay, I’m trying to think of what order I want to go in now because there’s a question I was going to ask you later but it’s fitting now, but I’m going to save it still. You mentioned a couple of your methods that you work with people on, your clients on. Brain priming you talked about and you talked about your mind matrix. With what we’re talking about, I want to give people some action so that they can go, “Okay. This makes sense.” So, I’ve got a whole arsenal of unconscious beliefs and thoughts and even behaviors that are stored that aren’t serving me and we have a lot that do serve us, right, so it’s not an all or nothing thing, of course. We have a lot that aren’t serving you. Anything you don’t have in your life; you can literally root back to your thinking about that thing. Think about that. You’re listening. Anything you don’t have that you want your life, you could root back to your thinking about that thing. So, with that, I would love to hear if you can pick which technique you think is more a good one to go first, but maybe brain priming, talk about what that is and how somebody can apply that. And if there’s a different technique that you haven’t mentioned that you think would be more valuable, but I’d love to give people just at least one actionable thing they can start doing immediately.


Dr. Shannon: Oh, I love it. So, I’ll give you both but in different ways. So, brain priming it is what your tribe has been doing through the Miracle Morning and the Miracle Equation because you have taught them how to put themselves in that future state now but not just through affirmation. I love it because when I follow your stuff, I’m like, “You don’t even realize you’re brain priming.” It’s so beautiful. So, you’re going through and you’re not just affirming it, you are seeing it in your mind. You’re imagining yourself there. I even remember something that I read in the Miracle Equation when you talked about like you physically could feel yourself there before you were actually there. Using all of your senses and not just a one or two dimensions of an affirmation is actually showing your brain what’s real. This is what I really want your listeners to hear. Your brain does not know the difference between what is actually happening around you right now and what you vividly imagine over and over and over again. 


It builds the neural network the same way and I won’t go into like the amazing research I’ve been able to do with athletes and with pianists and entrepreneurs but we’ve been able to show like learned behavior going to the right part of the brain when people are not even in the circumstance that they’re training for. So, it’s really powerful stuff, tons of research showing that if you are practicing this brain priming or really putting yourself in that future state every single day that you really can create an actual neural network in your brain that brings that to you instead of you having to strive and hustle like you still got to work for it. You still got to do the actions, but your brain starts to work for you instead of against you. And I have an audio that I take my clients through and I’d be glad to give that to you if you want, Hal, for your tribe just be able to listen to, to start to really prime in that success pathway. 


But I think the bigger tool and the tool that I would love to lead your listeners with is the tool of my matrix because a lot of people don’t realize when they think these thoughts and they just push them away, they think that they’re like pushing it away with willpower but what they’re actually doing is putting it back in their subconscious just to come back up another day. And so, I really want to encourage your listeners to – the best place to hear these subconscious stories, unfortunately, it’s not sitting on the couch when everything is going great. It’s usually when you’re putting yourself in a stressful situation or you feel a resistance or you’re taking some action that’s bigger than you’re used to taking. That’s usually when the stories of, “Who do you think you are?” or “I can’t believe you would do this,” those kinds of things and I don’t want to put words to it. What really is important is to do these four steps when you start to hear what it is you’re saying to yourself. So, don’t ignore it. Don’t muscle it away and just keep going because you’re just leaving that programming there. 


So, I want you to really be that creator of your thoughts and if you hear yourself saying something, I’ll just use my own example. When I was starting my podcast two years ago, I just have this fleeting thought of like, “Who do you think you are to start a podcast?” It was like in and out of my mind in a second but I’m really aware of those things because of doing this work so like, “Oh, no, no, no, not on my watch. You will not do that.” 


Hal: That’s right. 


Dr. Shannon: So, first you got to recognize it. So, that was that step. So, I just want to encourage as you’re listening to this, lean into resistance, lean into stress or lean into those things that are uncomfortable for you. Because your brain will reward you with letting you hear what’s kind of holding you back because it’ll be louder then. So, what I did is the second step which is I just recorded it but not in my head. On a piece of paper because it brings it to a different part of the brain. You want to pull that out of your subconscious. So, I wrote down I don’t have enough value to bring to the podcast. That’s what I heard in my head and now the third step usually as an adult we’ll naturally start doing it. We’ll look at what we’ve written on that piece of paper. I don’t have enough value to bring to this podcast and you’ll naturally start to refute that. So, I did that. I naturally started saying, “Well of course I do. I’ve helped hundreds of off-line entrepreneurs build six, seven, and eight-figure business.” 


So, I just started writing what my natural being was starting to argue with this obvious lie. It’s interesting when you see it on paper, you’re like, “That’s a lie like wow. I really believe that.” But you start writing the truth. So, that’s the third step which is starting to refute or go against or be the lawyer against that lie but here’s what I see a lot of people get tripped up right here is that they might be writing, “I’ve done this, I’ve done this, I’m this,” but in their mind or in their physical body they’re actually still agreeing with it. Even though they’re looking at it, even though they see it’s a lie, they’re still kind of nodding their head like, “Yeah.” So, I want you to take this refuting step a little bit further and that is this. I want you to think about the person that means the most to you like you would jump in front of a car for just your kids or your spouse or your best friend or whoever that person may be for you. For me, in this circumstance was my son Max and I want you to think about you don’t actually go do this, but you out loud put your lie on them so it kind of looks like this. I imagined Max in front of me but out loud I said, “Max, you don’t have enough value to bring to the world.” 


And I don’t know about you but the Southern like I’ll-cut-you-if-you-hurt-my-children mama came out in me and I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, that is not true. He’s had value from the moment he is born. God gave him this. He’s this, he’s this.” So, I just start writing. Again, not all in your head, writing it down. You’re pulling it really in that conscious thinking brain. Well, that’s what we call or what I call a mirror truth because the reality is what you’ve written down for that person is a mirror of truth for you. It’s true for you too but we have a negativity bias that we see nine times more negative than positive. You mentioned the I’ve got to survive and I’ve got to flee from the lion or get my meal. That’s why that exists in our brain is so we don’t get harmed. We stay safe but when it comes to these thoughts, we are just nine times harder on ourselves and anybody that we love. So, now you have like this refuting that you did as your conscious adult mind and then you have what you put on the person you love the most. Those things become now your truth. 


And the only thing that you need to do to remove that network now is to continue to practice that truth anytime that thought or that feeling comes up. And you’re just literally creating a neural network just like brain priming creates a success pathway, this truth priming it in your brain every time you have the feeling or thought weakens that neural network to the point where now you have this new truth that gets built into your brain and if you keep trusting that process, at about 60 days that old story just literally in your brain that literally disappears and you don’t have to deal with it anymore.


Hal: I love that. Will you go over the four steps again? I’m taking notes and I missed some of the steps. 


Dr. Shannon: Sure. They’re real simple. So, it’s recognizing it first like what are you actually saying? So, a lot of times with entrepreneurs they’ll say, “I have impostor syndrome.” Nobody thinks, “I have impostor syndrome.” We think things like, “Oh my gosh.” What are your actual words? So, recognizing what your real words, what you’re really saying to yourself.


Hal: Not the label for the word like if you’re explaining to somebody else you go, “I have imposter syndrome,” like that’s not the way you say to yourself. “I suck, I can’t do this, who am I to do?” When I wrote the Miracle Morning it was, “Who the hell am I to write a book about waking up early?” 


Dr. Shannon: Yeah. Exactly. So, that’s exactly what you write down. So, step one is recognize. Step two is to record it so that’s what you’re writing down on the paper. Please don’t do this work in your head unless you want it to stay automated in your subconscious because it just doesn’t pull it out. And then refute it is the third step. So, go through that process of as an adult, what do you say in opposition to that lie and then, of course, putting that also on somebody that you care about so you can see the real truth. 


Hal: Yeah. I love that idea. 


Dr. Shannon: Yeah. It really is powerful. It really pulls it fully out into the realm of truth versus perception. And then repeat. You’re just going to repeat. You’re going to trust the process. You’re going to continue to use that piece of paper. Now, one of the things I do depends on how you learn best. I record those things like I’m a very tactile audio type. I’ve got to experience it. So, that’s how I learn best. So, I will – if I have the bandwidth, I’ll read it and listen to it. If I’m on the fly and if something is happening in the moment like I’m going on stage or something like that, I’ll just listen to it in my ear. Recording my own voice saying the truth and the truth sets you free. It’s literally in your brain. It literally sets you free because you now no longer are enslaved to that automatic program and it’s as simple as continuing those processes. And the good news is one of the things people will say is, “Oh my gosh, I probably have hundreds of these.” You don’t. You really have one to two core stories that all of the coping mechanisms have come from. And so, when you get to the first big onion layer, it usually goes right to that deepest place and you’ll see so much freedom and so much movement toward who you genuinely really are meant to be because you’re not being held back. Your foot is not on the brake anymore. 


Hal: Yeah. I love this because we’re born, if you’re listening to this, if you’re listening to Shannon, I’m going to go over these four steps in a second. I want to make sure you have those down, but realize that you’re born as a child, as a baby like you’re born with unlimited potential. And wherever you are in your life right now consider that you don’t need to do more or have more as much as you need to chip away at the limitations that you’ve allowed to limit you from doing more and having more. When you chip away from those limitations as Shannon teaches, then there’s nothing standing in your way. It’s almost like we’re all weighed down by all these limiting beliefs and stories that we tell ourselves that Shannon talked about and when you just let go of those, now you’re free to fly so to speak. 


And so, I want to say the four steps again. Recognize, so this is your mind matrix. It’s about replacing or limiting beliefs, behaviors, stories, with empowering beliefs and stories and follow these four steps. Number one, recognize it, and specifically, she talked about writing down exactly what you’re saying to yourself, not the label, not, “I am an imposter,” but what are you actually saying? What are the words that go in your head every time you think about doing something that stopped you from doing it? I’m not worthy. I’m stupid. I’m not as smart as who am I to whatever your exact words are. Step one is to recognize that. Step two, record it. You have to put it in writing. You can’t count on your brain which has a gazillion thoughts a millisecond. 


Dr. Shannon: Yeah. That’s so true. 


Hal: Yeah. I mean, even those that don’t have ADHD, we have some level of ADHD, whatever you want to call it. 


Dr. Shannon: Absolutely. Yeah. 


Hal: Record it in writing. Number three, refute it. Robin Sharma talks about opposition thinking that think the opposite. I love your exercise, Shannon. One way to do this is by thinking about the person who means the most to your life and stating your limiting beliefs, putting on them. If you tell yourself that you suck or whatever, tell your child, “You suck. You’re not worthy. You’re not smart.” You wouldn’t do that. I’ve heard it said before. If you talk to other people the way you talk to yourself, nobody would like you, but you wouldn’t have any friends because you’re so hard on yourself. We’re all hard on ourselves. So, refute it. And then number four is repeat it. You can’t do this one. Your ROI in almost all things, exercise, personal developments, spiritual depth. ROI is determined by the amount of time you invest in the thing. If you work out for five minutes, you’re going to get very little benefit. If you meditate for five minutes, if it’s every day maybe but the longer you go, the deeper you go, and to Shannon’s point, the fourth are the four steps. You have to repeat this every day over and over and over. And then, Shannon, correct me if I’m wrong but I think you said after 60 days roughly you can radically transform your subconscious. Was that the number that you gave?


Dr. Shannon: Yeah. It’s so cool. So, at 21 days the old neural network and the new one are equal. Again, that’s why it does not take 21 days to create or break a habit because that’s what’s happening. But it’s right about 60 even on the far side, 67 is the most we’ve ever seen in our studies that that new neural network is completely in control and automated and now that old one is pruned apart. So, it’s between 60 and 67 days. And to me, that is such a worthy investment of time.


Hal: Such a worthy investment. And you mentioned something we had talked about your method of brain priming. All of your senses with the affirmations, you may remember if you’ve read Miracle Morning, listeners, I talk about that. I say if you just repeat an affirmation to yourself with like no energy behind it as, “I am committed to achieving my goal,” like it has a different impact. Then if you’re like, “I am committed no matter what to give it everything I have until the last moment!” and, by the way, if you are looking right now, you’ve seen my hand is involved and I’m intense right now and you need to be intense, not in a negative way, but intense in like I freaking love you as in yourself and you are better than this and you’re going to show it today. Right now, we’re going to step up. We’re going to be the best you’ve ever been. You have to bring that intensity to any change that you’re making. So, Shannon…


Dr. Shannon: And those really two really quickly, Hal, just because like everything you’re seeing going on around you right now, good, bad, and different is a reflection of what’s programmed in your subconscious right now. So, the things you love keep going with it but if you know, the bank account and the relationships and all those things aren’t to the level you want them to be then you’ve got to put yourself in that future state of your brain now and show it how to get there.


Hal: Yeah. I love it. And there’s no new information, guys. This has been, you know, the way our brain has always worked and it’s been written about in books like Think And Grow Rich in 1937 and Socrates and Plato before that like this works and it’s the same with The Miracle Morning. I didn’t invent any of those practices and I think that a big problem is we are conditioned to look for new. Our society, the media, commercials that it’s conditioned us to value new and you don’t need new. You need proven. And what Shannon has talked about today proven by neuroscience that this is proven methodology that will work and it’s foundational. If you want to improve your outer world, it does start with your inner world and that the process that Shannon talked today. 


Shannon, any final thoughts or questions or comments? I don’t know about questions but any final thoughts? And then I love for you to share where people can get in touch with you. And you mentioned a resource earlier that you’d give to listeners. Maybe you incorporate that into… 


Dr. Shannon: Oh sure. Yeah. Gosh, I would love to. So, the only thought I really want to leave you with like if you’ve heard nothing else today is that you are the creator of your thoughts and it’s your thoughts that can create the future that you want. It really is in your control. We are always looking to get control over things, and you’ve been given control over this process in your brain if you start to apply it. So, just be the creator of your thoughts. And, yeah, if you want to connect, I’m on socials @DrShannonIrvine and if you’re interested in the brain priming and you want like a more passive way to do that to be able to listen to it, we’ll set up a direct one for your tribe, Hal, is just go to and you’ll be able to get the brain priming audio and the encouragement I would give you is listening to it right when you wake up in the morning and right before you go to bed. Those are two times that your subconscious mind is more open and it’s hence why the Miracle Morning is so amazing.


Hal: There you go. Well, Shannon, it has been a pleasure. I really appreciate you and your wisdom, and your being open to sharing it and you articulate it so well so thank you for being on the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. 


Dr. Shannon: It’s such an honor. 




Hal: Goal achievers, you know I love you and I appreciate you and I hope you got as much value from the conversation with Shannon as I did. She is freaking brilliant which is why when she was interviewing me, I was seeing her brilliance and I’m like, “Oh wow, I really love to have you on the Achieve Your Goals Podcast,” and share the wisdom with you guys. But in conclusion, just echo what Shannon had said, it all begins and ends with your thoughts, your brain. And when I say all, don’t pick it apart and go, “Well, no, it begins and ends with God.” You get what I mean. I’m saying if you want to improve your life, you’ve got to improve your thinking. You’ve got to improve your thinking and I love that Shannon didn’t just speak at the 40,000-foot level and give you some concepts and philosophies, but she gave you four actionable steps which are very much in alignment if you practice affirmations as I teach in the Miracle Morning. It’s really just her version of a proven practice that can transform your thinking and transform the way you feel, and then transform your life So, I hope you will implement these steps. I appreciate you so much, I love you, and I will talk to you next week. Everybody take care.




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