The aspect of your attentive mind that can see the bigger picture, including your inherent worth, capabilities, and accomplishments.

The Wise Advocate knows what you are thinking, can see the deceptive brain messages for what they are and where they came from, understands how you feel (physically, emotionally), and is aware of how destructive and unhealthy your habitual, automatic responses have been for you.

The Wise Advocate wants the best for you because it loves and cares for you, so it encourages you to value your true self and make decisions in a rational way based on what is in your overall best interest in the long term.

Equally devastating were Steve’s deceptive brain messages that kept him from being able to truly connect with his wife, children, and coworkers. In his case, Steve’s deceiving brain tried to convince him that everyone in his life wanted something from him and that they were not spending time or talking with him because of who he was or because they genuinely cared for him. This false perception caused Steve to become easily annoyed and excessively angry with anyone he perceived was indirectly asking him to do something. Of course, Steve’s deceptive brain messages were clouding his ability to invoke his Wise Advocate to help him see the truth: that the people in his life really liked and respected him because he is smart, funny, caring, and insightful, which draws people to him and his ideas. Contrary to what his deceptive brain messages were saying, the people in his life didn’t want him to do their work or take care of him—they wanted to spend time with and learn from a genuinely interesting and charismatic man.

Sadly, believing in and relying on his deceptive brain messages caused Steve to live in a state of chronic stress. No matter where he looked, he saw needy, helpless people everywhere, which drained his energy and fueled his frustration further. Unfortunately, his response to these unsettling surges of anger and disappointment in others was to avoid people whenever possible and to seek solace and relaxation each night in a few glasses of wine. While drinking definitely helped dissolve the stress, it created worsening problems at home and at work: Steve became ever more emotionally distant from the important people in his life, which made him feel alone and deeply sad. Ed, Sarah, Abby, and Steve are just a few examples of the devastating toll deceptive brain messages can take on people’s lives and how listening to such false messages can lead to depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, isolation, addictions, unhealthy habits, and more. When they were not able to use their Wise Advocate to look at the bigger picture and did not align their actions with their true self, our patients were stuck in an endless cycle of deceptive brain messages.

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