Consider a Reset
The stories we tell ourselves, over and over again is one of our greatest challenges. That voice in our head provides a running commentary on what we’ve done and are doing. And since a key function of the brain is to protect us, the nature of this commentary is negative – for our own protection. But negative is limiting, cautious and even defeating. And that’s just at the conscious level. Think about how deep your subconcious thoughts run and I’ll let you know that those thoughts are also negatively-skewed for our protection. Knowing what obstacles you face is important, but more important is knowing how to get back up on the proverbial horse again, when something has taken you down. A reset is what you need. Grounded in Neuroscience, we know that we can rewire the brain. By changing your mind, you change brain patterns, which are grounded in your thoughts. Don’t believe me? Check out neuroplacisity. And then come back to get started.
Interrupt the Pattern. A Simple 2-Step Approach
So, let’s get started and let’s make it simple. A simple 2-Step approach that begins with awareness and requires action.
Step 1. Relabel your thought as something else.
Think about some nagging thoughts you have. It happens like this. A thought pops into your head and tells you that ‘You aren’t going to make this happen’ or ‘Why would you succeed at this challenge over all those others’. This is where you need to interrupt your thought by RELABELING that thought as something else. Challenge yourself. Tell yourself: “That’s a brain glitch, not a rational thought” or ‘That’s an untrue or unfounded message”. By Relabeling, you are training yourself to recognize and identify what is real and what isn’t. You are refusing to be limited by your own thoughts. Sounds easy right? Please know, like any change, this will take some practise. You are in training. You are working to get your brain out of a stuck gear, out of an existing routine, out of a well-entrenched habit. But keep at it. Just like sit-ups, it will get easier each and every time you do it.
Step 2. Redeploy
This step is the action part. This is where you are take action and change what you do. You have to replace the old behaviour with another behaviour. A new behaviour —something positive, something you enjoy doing and something you can do consistently every time. This is where the change in brain chemistry occurs, because you are creating a new pattern, a new mindset. You have identified the old thought(s) as untrue or as a ‘glitch’. You now have to manually switch the gear to drive, vs staying in automatic. So, for example, if you are trying to shake procrastination: you need to get up and take action; if you are trying to improve your confidence, you need to take action – there is work required, vs doing what you’ve done before. This is often where we will ‘hide’ and plug ourselves into email or social media, because that’s easier. Refrain from avoiding this work. The more you do it, you create a new pattern and the easier the shifting becomes. An example: For me procrastination is a terrible, almost daily plague. When it strikes my action is to make a call. That’s right, a telephone call. I swallow the lump in my throat and pick up the phone to connect with a potential contact, client or prospect Like most other things, the more you practice, the more natural it becomes because your brain is beginning to function without thinking about it. Eventually the old thoughts begin to fade, the brain works better, and you feel happier because you are not a slave to negative thoughts.
So why aren’t people doing this?
- It’s easier to do nothing: change is hard, uncomfortable. People’s confidence has been knocked, it’s ‘safer’ to stay with the known
- Maybe people don’t believe they can or deserve to change – which I would say is a brain glitch to begin with. We all have the ability to change and do change when forced…
All reasons to Invest in your mindset
Mindset is more than mindfulness or meditation – although these can be tools and part of your process, but you want specific tools to help you redirect your thoughts in the situations that are relevant to you. A Reset is a tool, a practice for making significant change. You are in mental training… Get your mental six-pack equivalent and all the benefits that comes from having a strong core. If you aren’t sure where to start, keep a piece of paper handy for the rest of today. A sticky note & a pen in your pocket – Write down all of the negative thoughts or words that are spoken to you, by you. I think you’ll be amazed at how critical we are of ourselves. At the end of the day go through the list and RELABLE them all – are they true or are they a glitch you want to reset. This will set you up for relabeling tomorrow as you’ll have in front of you, the thoughts you are currently having. Learning to train your thinking so that your mindset works for you is an investment in your future. We will always be faced with changes and challenges in our lives but how you think about these experiences is where your results live. Your personal, professional and economic potential is yours to discover and there is no better time than the present.
Heather is a communications executive and change management professional with an accomplished 25 year track record in advertising and marketing, spending the last ten years on Bay Street.
A high-energy, ingenuous, 'people-person', Heather is a natural leader, passionate about the outcomes of collaborative work, pride in a job well-done while seeking that glorious state of balance amongst work, motherhood, challenge and happiness. She has parlayed her vast personal and professional experience into a successful coaching business, now focused on mentoring other high-achievers to shift their mindset and perspective to find their balance, uncover their resilience, improve their networking and ability to make critical connections -- allowing them to thrive!