Making Success a Habit
10th April, 20110 Comments
In the 19th Century William Wordsworth (English poet 177-1850) said “Not choice, but habit rules the unreflecting herd.”
Today we are all aware that habits can be our greatest supporter or our biggest enemy. Very often they take over our behaviours before we have even had a chance to make a conscious choice over how we react to a situation. Our brain seems to be on auto-pilot and our behaviour dutifully falls into line with what we have done over and over again in the past. Even though we are aware that this is the case stating “this always happens”, we seem quite content to sit back and blame them for our outcomes without taking responsibility or control over them. Nowadays the word ‘habit’ has even developed negative connotations. One major area where this occurs regularly is when individuals are trying to lose weight, and often lose motivation and slip back into old eating behaviours. This outcome yet again reinforces their belief that they cannot control their weight as they have not managed to in the past.
What we do know these days, however, is that we absolutely have the power to change negative habits if we choose to. We have the ability to control our actions through our conscious brain and re-programme our subconscious which stores our deeply ingrained habits.
Scientists now know that when we create new empowering habits we create new nerve connections for our thoughts to travel along in our brain. As these strengthen with positive thoughts, our new empowering beliefs and habits are embedded
From puberty onwards the brain starts to predominantly preserve only the modes of thought that have been of most value during the first decade or so of life. From then on these thought processes become stronger and more ingrained, whether they are positive or negative. In time these form our habits.
Continuing to operate within the constraints of our habits therefore restricts the healthy development of our brain. We must ensure we continue to learn new things, undertake new experiences, consider a variety of options available to us and be curious in order to build new thought processes and unleash the power of our true potential. Even varying our routine in small ways, such as travelling to work in a different way, watching different television programmes, eating different foods breaks the stagnation of old routines and habits and opens a whole new world of possibilities for us to consider.
So by being flexible and making conscious positive choices in what we experience on a daily basis, we are quite literally developing our brains. Therefore, it is within our control to choose to make success a positive habit.
In order to develop success as a habit a good place to start is to know what you are good at. Take time to reflect on all the past successes you have had, in all areas of your life, notice what resources you used and how you learned the skills required to ensure success. From this foundation create a plan to develop further behaviours to build on for the future.
One of the first successes to acknowledge is changing a routine, even in a small way, which brings fresh new experiences to enjoy and reflect upon. By just changing one way of behaving in a small way, instantly creates a new thought pathway in your brain. The more positive and consistent the changes are, the stronger the brain’s pathways becomes until it has no other option but to process all thoughts through the empowering successful pathways that have developed.
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