In spite of popular belief, new experiences don’t necesserally help us keep an open mind or make us more performant. They could more than likely trigger some negative thoughts like “I wish my relationship was this perfect. If only my boss could notice how hard I’ve worked on this project. I wish I could afford to do that more often.”
Are we doing ourselves a favor by being all over the place experimenting every new trend? According to neuroscience, probably not.
Once a negative thought enters your mind, you’re caught in a downward spiral, entertaining a bunch of ideas that disempower you. The new experience just confirmed to your brain that you’re not quite good enough and that trying to find the fault is the appropriate way to react to a new experience. You are hard wiring your brain to react this way, which in turns makes sure that it becomes an automatic unconscious response. It’s like if your brain is thinking “This must be the best way to handle this kind of situation since we do it all the time. Let’s make sure that we continue doing that.”
To help you change your ways:
– You need to become aware of these thoughts, usually by how you start to feel and the emotions that surface.
– Once aware change your train of thought or what you’re doing by choosing to question your perception asking yourself if it’s really that bad or if it’s only your brain playing an old trick on you.
– It’s now time to redirect your actions or mental processes to something productive and empowering.
– Take note of what just happened. You will be in a better position to reflect and evaluate your progress.
It’s only through repetition that you hard wire something and that it becomes a unconscious way of being or of doing something, in other words, a habit.
Yes, it takes time and effort.
Is it worth your while? You bet! Improving you, and improving your life is the name of the game.
Tell me what habit you’ve tried to change and what you did, I’d love to know!
© 2011, Chantal Ouellette. All rights reserved.