Episode 157 : Understanding How Your Brain Works to Build A Stronger You and Better Relationships 

Adele Spraggon is an award winning author, a thought leader and an international speaker and trainer. She has been awarded 2020, Woman of Inspiration Award and in 2021, she was recognized as a Top Behavioural Expert of the Year. Her book Shift: 4 Steps to Personal Empowerment has won three awards and is sweeping the globe, transforming how people are setting and achieving their goals. After decades of feeling stuck in patterns of procrastination, avoidance and quitting, all of which had her living her life below her fullest potential.

Adele set out on a journey of discovery and learning.

Her inquiry?

Why the personal and professional methodologies she was following did not work for her. The result is a creation of her proprietary 4 Step Repatterning Technique, which she delivers through a member portal called the Pattern Maker Hub. Today, she supports thousands globally to achieve extraordinary levels of happiness, peace of mind, prosperity, goal-achievement, and life fulfilment.


  • Could you share a little bit about your journey?
  • Could you share with us how your brain is making decisions on your behalf and how to change your underlying decision-making patterns so that you can achieve any goal that you set for yourself.
  • How do you change your brain to kind of just reallocate how it is that you approach that activity?
  • What do you think is the root cause for stress, anxiety and overwhelm? And if you’re looking at your situations, and you’re looking in the wrong place, could the solution be found in our brain patterns? And how do we tap into that?
  • Could you share with us what is the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?
  • What are maybe one or two books that you could recommend? It could be a book that you read recently, or even one that you’ve read a very long time ago, but it’s definitely still had a very big impact on you.
  • Now, we have a lot of listeners who are business owners and managers who feel they have great products and services, but they lack the constantly motivated human capital. And if the people aren’t motivated, of course, you know the quality of service is going to be diminished. If you were sitting across the table from that person, what’s the one piece of advice that you would give them to have a successful business?
  • Can you also share with us what’s the one thing that’s going on in your life right now that you are really excited about, it could be something that you’re working on to develop yourself or your people.
  • Where can listeners find you online?
  • Do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will tend to revert to this quote, it kind of helps to maybe get you back on track or get you refocused if for any reason you got derailed.


Adele’s Journey

Adele shared that her background is Personal Development. She has been in that field for over 35 years now. But an interesting thing was happening in the first 15 or so years of those. She was a lead coach at one of the leading top personal development industry corporations. And at the same time, she was really, really struggling to achieve her goals, she had a terrible pattern of quitting. So, she would quit things each and every time. And she also had a very high level of anxiety. And despite following all the personal development methodologies that she was teaching and had been taught, she stayed inside myself. So, she really felt like an imposter, which many people feel. And so after she tried a whole bunch of stuff, and she tried everything from meditation to proper goal setting to everything under the sun, she finally woke up and she went, “Wait a minute, is this me? Am I the problem? Or is the problem the methodologies that we’re being taught?”

So she enrolled in university, and she wanted to study how the human brain makes decisions, and how the human equation works in comparison to what we’re being taught. And sure enough, she discovered that much of the methodologies she was trying to follow went against how her brain was actually working. And it was causing a real conflict internally. So, she created new operating instructions and that’s what she now teaches. She teaches how to change the brains patterning, which is giving rise to our actions, behaviours, beliefs. And the results are tremendous 87% of the people that she works with achieve their goals, and at the same time achieve extraordinary levels of happiness and peace of mind as well. So when we work with the brain, as it’s designed, it works beautifully to advance us in the direction we want to go.

Me: Totally agree and peace of mind is so important.

Your Brain Making Decisions on Your Behalf

Adele shared that it’s an interesting development in neuroscience in the last 20/30 years, so before that we really lacked the modern brain scanners to peek inside the human brain in a non-invasive way. And so, we didn’t know much about our own brain and how it was working and the findings are absolutely extraordinary.

One recent study by John Dolan Haynes that was done in the early 2000s, he discovered that a brain scanner can see the decisions we’re about to make a fraction of a second before we consciously know we are going to make that decision. Now that’s extraordinary when you think about it, so the subconscious regions of our brain are actually driving our decisions, not our choices in life.

So, she likes to say to people, do you want to know why your hand is in the cookie jar, it’s not because you’re choosing to take the cookie, it’s because your brain has a pattern which is moving you in the direction of that cookie. And when we try and work with willpower and goal achievement and control, it really goes against the way that brain is working.

So, she likes to say, so the train’s left the station, and now you’re holding on to that Caboose, trying to pull it back rather than reflecting on what you’re doing? And asking yourself, okay, does this work for me? And does it work that my hands in the cookie jar? And if the answer is no, then let’s change the pattern, let’s change where the decision is originating, instead of fighting ourselves.

Changing Your Brain to Reallocate How You Approach an Activity

Me: Amazing, truly amazing. Now, lots of people procrastinate. So for example, even in school, you’d have an assignment to do and you literally wait until two days, a day before to start the assignment because some people believe they work best under pressure, they push out their best work under pressure. But then, let’s say you got this assignment, three, four, six weeks in advance, and instead of kind of just pressuring yourself like that, you could literally pace yourself in terms of the chunks of work that you do towards completing that assignment in a more manageable, structured way rather than pressuring yourself within 24 hours, how do you change your brain to kind of just reallocate how it is that you approach that activity?

Adele shared that she loves this idea of procrastination because the brain doesn’t actually procrastinate, it avoids, so there’s a big difference.

And what it is avoiding is actually the uncomfortable internal experience that comes about when we think about doing that assignment.

So, let’s take that example that you just gave of a student in school, and they’re trying to write an essay. If they tune in and look at their own personal experience, they’ll see that internally, there is a lot of uncomfortable feelings going on, uncomfortable thoughts going on, such as “I’m not good enough”, or “I don’t know what to write”, or “I’m confused” and all of that stuff.

And so, it’s that that we actually avoid, and we keep putting it off, putting it off, putting it off, because we don’t want to actually experience that.

What we need to know is that, that negative experience is driven by a pattern in our brain. And when we think about it, the human brain isn’t born with patterns, as we enter this world, pretty much a blank slate and we very quickly have to form patterns.

And when we first form a pattern, it works to get us through the situation, but then the brain simply stores it and holds on to it. So, when you were five, six years old, and you first start school, highly likely that you weren’t good enough at certain things, right? Highly likely that you did feel uncomfortable when you went to write an essay, you wouldn’t be writing one at six. But when you went to write your name on a piece of paper, you’d probably feel a little bit uncomfortable.

And so, it’s that that pattern that just keeps presenting itself every time we go through school and that’s why we keep avoiding.

So, what we do is we change the pattern, once you change the pattern and upgrade it, then all of that avoidance, that need for avoidance just melts away and you’ll actually start to enjoy the process of writing the essay, you start to enjoy the process of learning and studying.

Because every part of the human brain is actually trying to guide you to success, it’s just a misunderstanding of how our brain works. So, the only question we need to ask ourselves is when I’m suffering internally, if you know that, that suffering is the result of a pattern that needs upgrading, then all you have to do is change the pattern and boom, you’re no longer procrastinating, you no longer suffer, you’re just at ease doing what you need to do.

Me: That is so true, so true. And that’s kind of where I think most people want to get to at some point, right?

Adele agreed and shared and the brain is designed to do that. The brain has what is called plasticity, it is constantly attempting to rewire itself. It gets trapped in those old patterns, just simply because that action to the brain feels safe.

So, even though it doesn’t work for you to be procrastinating, even though it causes suffering, causes misery to be procrastinating, because that was the same action that the brain took yesterday it will continue to rely on it thinking that it is safe because it is the unknown that the brain fears. So, it would rather you suffer than be in the unknown, that’s a funny little blip in our brain maybe. But once we change the pattern and create a new known, then the pattern in the brain just readily goes along with that new action.

How the Solution of Stress, Anxiety and Overwhelm can be Found in Our Brain Patterns

Me: Now, of course, our podcast is about navigating the customer experience. And we found over the years, just different persons that we’ve interviewed at different levels, as well, from my own training sessions that we have. You can’t deliver an amazing experience if it is that you are stressed. And I mean, the number one, I believe cause why people have so many chronic illnesses globally is because of stress. Stress leads to hypertension, stress leads to diabetes, stress leads to people getting a stroke, I mean, so many different things that stress can lead to, so what do you think is the root cause for stress, anxiety and overwhelm? And if you’re looking at your situations, and you’re looking in the wrong place, could the solution be found in our brain patterns? And how do we tap into that?

Adele shared that she would say that the number one cause of stress is this. And when we think about how the brain works, this makes total sense. A long time ago, when the world was more simple than it is today, more predictable than it is today, the patterns that a brain created in its youth. So patterns are created primarily throughout our childhood and adolescence is a massive other stage of pattern creation, and then it slows down into adulthood.

In a world which is predictable and dependable, those patterns created when you’re little would continue to work quite effectively, all the way through your adulthood. Today though, the world has sped up, and it’s sped up to the point where those patterns created even five years ago, even last year, let’s just think about this pandemic.

And patterns that you created before the pandemic no longer navigate you through the pandemic because the situations required by the pandemic are totally, totally different than who you were before.

And so, it’s adaptability today that is absolutely essential. But when the brain is locked into those old patterns that it created in its youth, and doesn’t know how to change those patterns, like we haven’t given it the tools to upgrade those patterns, then, of course, it’s going to be stressful, because there’s a misalignment between what action your brain is taking and the action that you need to be taking today. Make sense?

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with you, it’s not that you can’t function properly, it’s not that you yourself is stressed, it’s the pattern that is trying to take the action on your behalf is not actually in alignment with the action that needs to be taken and hence the disconnect, and hence conflict.

Me: A whole lot of stuff to really take into consideration as it relates to stress.

App, Website or Tool that Adele Absolutely Can’t Live Without in Her Business

When asked about an online resource that she cannot live without in her business, Adele shared that today, you’d have to say Zoom. She used to do all live events, that was the only way that she would work. So, kind of do some online content but mostly, she would run full year live events and they would rent rooms and do these big, huge events, she would sell from the stage, she did everything from the stage primarily. And then the pandemic hit, and boom, all of those live events went away overnight, and you talk about need to be adaptable pretty quick, that was like, “Whoa, things are changing now.” So, she had to embrace them. So, that’s one of her one must have. The other one is Kajabi. So for her, when she puts all her training onto an online platform, she uses the Kajabi app, which is a training source, she can hold everything in there. So, those are the two that she totally rely on today.

Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on Adele

When asked about books that have a big impact, Adele shared that for her, some of the latest findings in neuroscience are very exciting. So, if people really like to read and they’re really interested in how the brain works. Then Iain McGilchrist book, The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World is excellent.

It dives into the difference between the brain hemispheres and how the right hemisphere is functioning different from the left hemisphere. For her, that’s super exciting.

Another one is Jill Bolte Taylor. She is a neuroscientist who actually had a stroke in her left hemisphere, and came back from that to talk about the difference between the hemispheres and she’s got a brand new book out too, think it’s called Whole Brain Living: The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters That Drive Our Life. So, those two books, she highly recommends if people geek out on the brain like she does.

Another great researcher for brain research is Dr. Andrew Newberg, and he looks at the brain and enlightenment from the perspective of neuroscience. So again, anybody who likes to geek out on that, great author.

What Advice Would You Give a Business Owner or Manager who Lacks the Constantly Motivated Human Capital to have a Successful Business?

Adele shared that that’s a great question. So, motivation, let’s just look at these new operating instructions as she was saying at the beginning of this podcast. The old operating instructions with this, set a goal, and then determine the steps that you need to take to get to that goal. And it’s all inside of striving, it’s all inside of trying to figure out what is right, what you shouldn’t do, what is wrong and it creates a lot of stress and a lot of demotivation because internally, it’s creating so much conflict. So, here are the new operating instructions, set a goal, instead of determining the steps to get there, ask yourself, “What is preventing me from being there now?”

You will notice as you ask that question, that a whole bunch of actions, behaviours, and beliefs bubble up to your mind. So you might say, “Oh, yeah, I should be picking up the phone and calling clients but I’m not.”

So that’s an action you’re not taking, you want to write that down. You might notice “Oh, yeah, like, I really feel nervous when I talk to new clients.” Great, write that down. Your belief might be, “Oh, gosh, I’m really bugging people like sales is slimy.” She’s just making all of this up, but write down all of those things that are preventing you from being at that goal today.

Imposter syndrome, that was one of her big ones. She was a big people pleaser, that was a big one for her that was stopping her. So, you’ll start to see yourself in a whole different light. Under every single one of those actions, behaviours and beliefs know that there lies a brain pattern, which is giving rise to that action, behaviour, belief.

Your next step is not to try to fix that brain pattern, it is instead to remove it. And, she’d love to gift to all of anybody listening her book, they can get a free copy, all she ask is that they pay for shipping. In that book is the four steps to remove that brain pattern. Once that brain pattern is removed, your brain will do what every brain does, it will create a pattern, it will create a brand new pattern.

And that brand new pattern is going to take you automatically in the direction of that goal. That new banner is going to take the action needed to take why?

Because like she said before, your brain is always striving to always trying to get you into alignment with what is going on in this present moment. And if the success of your business depends on you taking that step, then your brain is going to create the pattern to take that step. You don’t have to worry about that. Your job is to remove what doesn’t work. She cannot tell you how effective this method is, it truly is something that every person needs to experience for themselves, it is not based inside of knowledge, it’s based inside of experience. Once you experience that though, it’s like night and day, it’s like oh my gosh, bring it on world. I don’t care what the problem is. I know I can solve it because you’ve got a brilliant brain that can solve it on your behalf.

One Thing Going on In Your Life to Develop Yourself or Your People

When asked about something that she is excited about, Adele shared that she just started when the pandemic hit, she moved everything to an online platform, and she started a membership site. And it is very exciting what’s happening in that membership site. So there’s a lot of activity there and she keeps adding new content. So, that’s her primary focus at the moment. She’s building out all the content that she used to teach in live events into an online platform like Kajabi and supporting those members. 

Me: So, you said you started a membership site? 

Adele shared that she’s putting all the content in there. So, there’s lots of classes in there which is really exciting all around the brain and different things. So, she has leadership classes in there, relationships.

So people who are in conflict, she’s finding that a lot of people probably because of the pandemic trapped inside of addiction patterns.

So, she’s working with people with addictions now, so there’ll be a class on that. Peace of mind and stress, as you were saying before, that’s a massive thing.

So all of this content is going in there and people, they’re just loving it, like the members in there, they’re just really eating it up and really gaining valuable information and valuable tools and resources for today’s very complex planet.

Where Can We Find Adele Online?

Website – https://www.adelespraggon.com/

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Adele Uses

When asked about a quote or saying that she tends to revert to, Adele shared that she would say her quote is always, “I created that.” And she’ll have to explain that one more. So, as she was saying before, patterns are created in our youth then they continue to inform us about the world today. But everything that we see about ourselves and about the world, about the situation is driven by our pattern that was created in our youth. So when she finds myself in a situation that doesn’t work for her, she just gently reminds herself of that, “Oh, yeah, that’s a pattern. I created that.”

And that just helps her to position it and then she can apply the four step technique that she teaches in her book and remove the pattern.

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