Our thought patterns, personalities and emotional reactions are wired into our brains, says Richard Davidson, Ph.D., author of The Emotional Life of Your Brain. But your brain is capable of real change. Here are a few simple exercises that can help to rewire your brain’s neural pathways to become more self-aware, to think more positively and to find greater success.
Make your workspace more optimistic. Want to have a more positive outlook? Add some reminders of happy times to your space. Include a favorite quote, picture or letter of appreciation from a colleague in your area. Put an inspirational personal artifact in your top drawer to glance at when you need a boost.
Identify your emotional triggers. Wish you were less emotionally reactive and more tuned in to the big picture. Keep a quick list of the specific events or behaviors that trigger your responses. Make a point to recognize events that happen repeatedly and work to improve your reactions over time.
Nose to the grindstone. The secret to great success doesn’t lie in natural ability, but in deliberate practice. Some researchers indicate that being world class at anything requires 10,000 hours of practice. But it’s not just doing the same thing over and over again. It involves pushing yourself to master tasks just slightly beyond your capabilities.