“If you think you can you’re right. If you think you can’t you’re right” This quote by Henry Ford is one of my favorite quotes because it explores the very essence of the adaptability of our brains. Every single time we do ordinary every day routine things we are building and strengthening the neurological pathways within our brain. Years of training the brain to do exactly what we believe we want has been the secret to our adaptability as a species. The challenge, however, is to harness that power of adaptability and use it towards positive ends to make choices about who we want to be as happy and extraordinary human beings in this world. Okay, so if it’s that easy, why is it so hard to make lasting changes in anything–health, relationships, productivity, happiness and so on? We can thank our brains for that too. Our habit-loving brains can’t tell the difference between habits that are positive for us and habits that are negative for us. It just keeps strengthening the pathways we tread.
We are told constantly that genetics play a huge part in the outcome of our well-being story–however genetics actually play a much smaller part than our culture leads us to believe. We have so much more power than we think we do, thanks to the science of neuroplasticity, to become the great and extraordinary humans we want. We can “re-wire” the habits that are not serving us well and keep those that are contributing to our well-being. Musicians, actors and athletes all use repetition to build muscle memory that can withstand great performance stress– and it works.
What if we ordinary folks used this brain re-training skill concept to make personal improvements that help us evolve into our best and most extraordinary self?
The first step is to examine deeply rooted and personal values. Do you truly believe that you are deserving of being a happy, well person? Can you define who the extraordinary you is, looks like, feels? How important is it to you to make changes towards becoming a better human? If it’s incredibly important to you, then you are off to the races and onto the next step! that next step is to develop self-awareness or mindfulness as it’s so often referred. This is the tool that helps us identify which habits contribute to our well-being and which habits we need to retrain or implement as new. It is also the tool that provides the power to keep us on the pathway as we journey. The third step is to fill in the knowledge gaps with skills and information needed to make the changes we desire. How confident are you that you know exactly what you need to do? What skills or information do you need to accomplish the change? If you are very confident in your abilities, are armed with self-awareness and the true belief that you deserve success, then you are ready to begin taking small meaningful steps, incorporating them into ordinary every day routines and creating new and lasting habits that result in making you the extraordinary version of yourself you want to become!
Yep. It’s difficult. But here’s the thing, you CAN do it. “If you think you can you’re right. If you think you can’t you’re right” –Henry Ford