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Stretching Your Limits: Necessary Steps to Rewiring Your Brain for Success


Transformation requires a mindset shift. There’s no way around it. No matter how many goals you set or how many vision boards you make, if you are locked in a finite way of thinking you will not progress. 


The book The Power of Habit explains the existence of a habit loop - when a habit is formed for an individual the brain adjusts to ignore the decision-making step. In this way, the brain is working to be more efficient and “save” us from doing unnecessary processing. This is what makes it so difficult to change our patterns and routines. Understanding this fact highlights the importance of retraining our minds, specifically the subconscious, to shift our reality. 


When preparing to make lasting change, there are three areas to confront in relation to your goals. 


Limiting Beliefs

This area is the most obvious but also the most difficult to rectify when it comes to deconstructing and reconstructing your mindset. Many of us have picked up subconscious beliefs from other people or our experiences that cause us to fail before we even start working on a new way of living. What I have found is that most of our negative beliefs about ourselves and our capabilities are not rooted in absolute truth but in emotions and specific situations. For instance, you could have the internalized belief that you are terrible at spelling because you got a word wrong in an elementary school spelling bee. When we take an objective look at some of the beliefs we hold concerning different areas of our lives, it quickly becomes clear how absurd most of them are. What are the limiting beliefs you are still holding onto? 


Rationale

Closely linked to limiting beliefs but slightly different, we often come up with rationales or excuses for why change is not possible in our lives. While this could be a limiting belief, this could also just be an inability to exist within discomfort. One thing to note is that discomfort is not inherently bad, we’re just conditioned to believe that it is. The truth is that any sort of change that occurs in our lives will present a certain level of discomfort. But that does not mean that the change we are experiencing is negative. Just think of some examples. Deciding to move to a new state or country for an amazing job opportunity will come with some unease because of the unknown but there is a palpable reward on the other side of that short-term uneasiness. Our brains are naturally wired to fear change, but to live a life you’re proud of, you will need to become comfortable with (and dare I say excited about) change. The same physiological sensations we get with anxiety are quite often the same sensations we get with excitement. So, begin to address the excuses you have made for yourself, get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and launch into your new future.


Roadblocks

This last area deals with external factors to our success. At the end of the day, all you have control over is you. Depending on your specific situation and goals, you can feel blocked from bringing certain things to fruition. When you encounter this problem, it’s important to begin thinking outside the box. When you encounter a roadblock in the literal sense, you don’t just sit there waiting for something to move it. You usually take one of several steps: go around it, find an alternate route, or move it yourself. This is exactly what is required when we encounter intangible roadblocks. So, begin by identifying what you think is blocking your path to success, begin questioning why it is a roadblock, and then brainstorm some alternative routes to get to your end goal. 


Once you have identified the limiting beliefs, excuses and roadblocks that have been pooled in your subconscious, the key to success is dissecting them and feeding your mind with new truths. An important question to ask yourself is “Is this 100% true or insurmountable?” Nine times out of ten, the answer will be “no”. Most likely this mindset you have been carrying was never true to begin with, and even if you struggle with accepting that, it no longer applies to who you are now. We are constantly evolving and changing whether we recognize it or not. You are stronger and more capable now than you have ever been. So, start believing in yourself and make that move into your next greatest transition. 





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