On Sunday, while talking to my mom, one of my major insecurities fell out of my mouth.  Without the slightest hesitation, it slipped off my tongue – and landed right there on the coffee table.

“Where did you learn that?” she asked.  “Why do you feel that way about yourself?”

And for the past 36 hours, I’ve been thinking about the “reasons why.”  For an all-around self-confident girl, I’ve spent a lifetime banking reinforcements for a few stupid insecurities.

A few days ago, I got word that John Medina, a dear friend, former employer, and bona fide GENE CLONER was going to be speaking in Denver last night – so of course, I went.  I’ve heard John speak in Seattle many times about his research on the brain – how it works and what we know – but no matter how many times you hear him, he’s always engaging, entertaining, and brilliant.  It was so good to see a familiar face.

Last night, he said that research shows that it takes 3 reinforcements for the brain to learn something, and 50 to unlearn it.

For a girl like me with a lot to unlearn, those are some really bad odds.

Once again, it’s time to combat with a Hiroshima of Truth.



  1. FW on January 12, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    Those are really bad odds.

    I always enjoyed hearing John too, and thought that he and Earl made a great team.

  2. Tad on January 12, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    You are one of the coolest people I know (and that’s saying something). You bring so much to the table, that everyone else feels like they need to step up their game. Everyone I know who knows you loves being around you.

    49 to go.

  3. Greta on January 12, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    Oh Annie. I don’t quite know what to say, other than what I’ve said many times before: I love you and I think you’re wonderful. I read this, and I think, “I know, I understand, me too, but stop, you’re not,” and then I just feel: ACHE. Guessing the reason you haven’t gotten a lot of comments yet is because people read this, and don’t know how to articulate: ACHE. It’s a mixture of recognition and alienation.

    But I know that God knows everything, and sees everything, and I know that He is impossibly delighted with you, and that’s He’s even bigger than an atomic bomb. Also, that He doesn’t really pay attention to odds.

    So I’ll keep praying. And I will keep telling you that you are a smoking-hot, wicked-smart, super rad mamacita. Not to mention an incredible best friend.

    Love you.

  4. Rod on January 12, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    Oh human brain, what a good time you can cause in our lives.
    J. Medina sounds like an interesting speaker, I hope that I get to see him myself sometime. Also think of it this way, those odds (50 to 3) are still way better than most forms of gambling. Sure people lose at gambling too, but some people win…every once and awhile.

  5. Sarah on January 12, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    I love the first few lines, here – you have such an interesting way w/words.

    “Do not worry about your difficulties in [insert something you’re having difficulty with, here]. I can assure you that mine are still greater.” – to paraphrase Al Einstein

  6. hootenannie on January 12, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    Mostly, I just thought that the 50:3 ratio was fascinating – it makes me stop and think about any messages I’m receiving (or sending), any habits I’m engaging in, anything I’m buying in to.

    It’s time to be super vigilant – because I would rather get it right the first (3) time(s) than have to unlearn something later on.

  7. Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams on January 13, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Definitely thought-provoking. And worth being vigilant about.

  8. Erin on January 13, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Sorry to hear that you are struggling with something, but thanks for sharing that and the link about John. His website is awesome and I’m getting the book from the library. He’d probably prefer I buy it, but maybe in due time…

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