6 brain hacks to reprogram your life
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
By Angela M. Joyner, Ph.D.
like a computer, your brain responds to programming. But reprogramming your
thinking is a lot harder than upgrading your computer -- many of your current unwanted
behaviors stem from unconstructive programming you received as a child, and
these old ideas can stand in the way of change.
his book Psycho-Cybernetics,
published in 1960, Dr. Maxwell Maltz says, "Beliefs about ourselves have
unconsciously been formed from our past experiences … especially in early
childhood." So keep in mind, when you want to change a particular habit or
belief, that the unwanted behavior was built on patterns developed over time.
this classic book, Dr. Maltz introduced the idea of a mind-body connection and
that positive outcomes are achieved through changing our attitudes.
are some simple steps that can help you overcome self-sabotaging tendencies,
much like installing new software into the computer of your mind:
1. Identify the issue. Write down everything you know about
the habit, such as when it started and why. Be as detailed and truthful as
possible because it's hard to change what you don't acknowledge. And list all
the reasons you want to change. According to Dr. Maltz, "Change the self-image
and you change the personality."
2. Set realistic goals. If you want to lose weight, for
instance, simply saying, "I want to lose a few pounds" is not enough to bring
about lasting change. However, if you state "I will lose 10 pounds before my
birthday," your mind has a distinct path to follow. Make sure your goal
is both realistic and attainable so that you set yourself up for success.
3. Use "creative
your imagination to picture how you want
to behave gives you a huge edge in overcoming unwanted habits, because the
subconscious mind sees in images. For example, as you recall what you had for
breakfast, do you picture the words "I ate scrambled eggs," or do you see
scrambled eggs on a plate? So "see" yourself as having accomplished your goal.
4. Act as if you have
achieved your goal. Imagining you have already accomplished your goal goes a
long way toward actually achieving it. For instance, someone 10 pounds lighter
may exercise more or be more confident, so if you already act as if you weigh less, you will
automatically start moving more and feeling better about yourself.
5. Use positive
affirmations. Power words or phrases spoken as if you mean it keep you
motivated and help you turn negative programming into positive change. According to many experts, including Maltz, it usually takes
only 21 days to create change in our self-concept. So you are just 21 days away
from achieving your goal from the day you start!
6. Reward yourself. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the
back for every positive step you make towards achieving your new goal. It’s
important to reward yourself with something that will make you feel good about
yourself and to "imprint" your newly forming positive habit.
brain is simply a "goal-striving mechanism" that operates very much like a
computer, Maltz says. Your mind is the software that makes you uniquely you.
Following these six steps is a means of "hacking into" your brain, changing the
programming and creating the life of your dreams.
by Black Health Magazine as one the "25 Most Influential African American
in Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Health Food Industries," Angela Joyner
is passionate about helping women develop a professional brand that helps them
stand out at work. She is vice president and general manager of the
refrigerated portfolio at ConAgra Foods Inc. and founder of The Wonder Loft
LLC. Her career has included leadership positions at Hallmark Cards Inc.,
Mattel Inc. and Sara Lee Knit Products. Her doctoral research, The Theodora
Effect, focuses on character strengths and high performance in executive
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