If you read a lot of self help and motivational literature, you may have heard the terms: Finding your Personal Power and Self Actualisation, but what does it really mean and how can we create changes that last?
A few power affirmations, some breathing exercises, state changes and we think that we are good to go, but around the corner our ego based, fear thoughts are lurking, ready to take us down again.
So why is it that many of us, myself included, often fall back into old habits of powerlessness and fail to reach the sustainable personal power that we have been looking for?
The simple answer is Neuroplasticity!
Our brains are conditioned to bounce back into old habits. These have been carved out in our neural pathways for decades, creating easy routes to follow based on our social conditioning.
Think of these pathways as roads in the brain. The conditioned roads are covered in tarmac, have fancy lights and signs that make it easier for us to drive on. When we are stressed or tired we continue to take the easy routes to prevent further overwhelm or resistance and then we get stuck in old habits.
If you can recall your childhood for a moment, where there any phrases you heard over and over that you still repeat today? Are there any belief systems, habits or thoughts that leave you feeling stuck?
These are the conditioned neural pathways that are not always consciously created by our higher selves and limit our progression.
According to researchers, 95% of our lives are spent in these conditioned habits on auto-pilot, playing out on a loop without us even realising that they are happening. In turn, they create a backing track to our lives subconsciously which serve to either enhance or oppress our development.
The good news is that we can create new pathways in our brains, but it takes time, effort and practice.
The unbeaten roads are the new neural pathways in our brains. The changes we wish to make need to become consciously created idealised habits; ones we envision, aspire to and motivate us to reach our goals.
Although initially these are the harder choices to make, once established they can lead to a foundation of healthier living and become our "new normal".
Like anything, once we've paved the foundation for change, further steps in the right direction are easier to make.
One of my favourite sayings is...
“Nothing worth doing was ever easy”
Neuroscience has shown that it takes between 30-90 days to forge these new habits, regardless of the type of brain, age, or health condition.
It also shows that we can make these changes but it takes time, practice and work.
I made these changes in my life by starting with one simple new habit each day and repeating it religiously. Now my brain automatically goes down a consciously chosen road with ease and I am creating the life I deserve.
So now that you know it’s possible, I guess my question to you is:
Are you ready to do the work?