Shifting Our Mindsets Means
Shifting Our Mindset Neural Connections
Let me give you a simple example. We each have a neural connection, or pathway, spanning our three major brain regions that is prone to interpret risk as being bad (i.e., prevention mindset). We also have a different neural connection that is prone to interpret risk as being a signal for growth and progress (i.e., promotion mindset).
The neural connection that is stronger is going to be the one that we primarily filter information through when we encounter a risky situation or decision. This is because that stronger neural connection fires more rapidly and loudly.
So, if we want to shift our mindsets, we need to activate and strengthen our less-dominant mindset neural connection. As we do this over time, we will come to primarily rely upon the previously weaker mindset because it will be the one that now fires more rapidly and loudly.
Shifting Our Mindsets Is Easier Than You Think
It is a great thing that our brains are incredibly plastic, making this prospect of shifting your mindsets more doable than you might initially think.
An interesting research study demonstrates this.
The researchers split a large group of financial professionals in half. Half of these people watched a three-minute video about how stress is debilitating, and the other half watched a three-minute video about how stress is enhancing. This was an intervention designed to activate and strengthen different mindset neural connections.
Then, they tracked their engagement, performance, and blood pressure over the next two weeks.
They found that those who watched the stress-is-enhancing video had higher engagement, higher performance, and lower blood pressure.
One three-minute video designed to shift mindsets had effects on these professionals’ emotions, behaviors, and even their physiology for two weeks.
If watching a single three-minute video had these kind of effects for two weeks, what do you think would happen if we continued to engage in similar mental exercises on a regular basis? Sure enough, we would continue to strengthen our positive mindset until it becomes the dominant way that we process information.
Basic Process of Upgrading Our Mindsets
To help keep this simple, I think it is helpful to compare upgrading our mindsets to learning how to count to 10 in a different language and becoming fluent in doing so.
Learning to count to 10 in a different language requires three steps:
- Have the motivation and believe it is possible
- Learn the words associated with the numbers
- Take 5-10 minutes a day to practice and in a matter of weeks, you will be fluent in counting to 10 in a different language
The same process applies to mindsets.
1. Have the Motivation and Believe it is Possible
The first step is recognizing that shifting your mindsets will help you more effectively navigate your world.
(For more on this: Do You See in 2-D or in 3-D?)
Then, you need to believe it is possible. Hopefully, the study described above helps you see that it is.
2. Learn the Language of Mindsets
Next, we have got to put labels to mindsets and learn what they are. Without labels and a basic understanding of mindsets, we will be unable to introspect about our mindsets and the foundational role they are playing in our lives. I have created the most comprehensive and research-backed mindset framework to date to help you learn the language of mindsets:
(See the prior articles for more information on each of these mindset sets.)
3. Regularly Exercise Your Positive Mindset Neural Connections
Knowing the language of mindsets, you are now prepared to exercise and strengthen your positive mindset neural connections. Effectively, you need to hit the gym for your brain.
But, science suggests that all it takes is 5-20 minutes a day, and in the matter of weeks, you will have rewired your brain to process your world more effectively.
If you want to work out your mindset neural connections on a global level, (meaning improving your mindsets across all of the mindset sets), there are three primary options:
- Digital Mindset Coach – A micro-learning tool that invites you to spend 10 minutes every other day engaging in questions and exercises all designed to strengthen your positive mindset neural connections.
- Gratitude journal (I like and use The Five-Minute Journal)
But, if you want to work out specific mindset neural connections, there are five basic exercises for working out our mindsets. They are:
- Deep learning
- Writing exercises
You can find vast mindset exercises and resources specific to each of the four success mindsets here:
You will find these PDFs in the library portal along with a Mindset Development Planning Guide