Coaching Icon copy“That’s just me, that’s the way I am, I’m not going to change now” she tells red10 coach Piers Carter.

And she won’t if she sticks with that mindset.  BUT – and here’s the thing – we can change. We can change how we think. What is emerging in the field of neuroscience is that we have a huge potential to massively change our brains and develop new skills, change old habits and create totally new ways of thinking which we might previously thought not possible.

We have 100 billion different neurons in our brains and each one has up to 10,000 possible synaptic connections and each one of those is responsible for our thoughts, actions, emotions etc and the brain is ultimately plastic in that it is capable of creating an almost infinite number new connections well into old age. We just have to begin the process of making that happen.

Each thought we have, be it positive or negative, is like a seed that if cultivated will continue to propagate and grow. So if we have negative, angry, stressed out thoughts then that’s exactly the type of mind or brain we are creating for ourselves for the future. Like a garden, the seeds we cast will be the plants that grow.

If you have a propensity to road rage, that anger outburst will be a synaptic connection you’ve developed and become ‘good at’. So that means you can learn a new response, more thoughtful and considered if you practice.

It all takes time but consider that you are creating the mind you are going to live in, in the future, and that might change how you think.

Here’s a little thought pattern you can use;

Pause – Challenge – Choose PAUSE when you have an unskillful thought. Take a breath and ask if this is the thought you want to cultivate. CHALLENGE your assumptions about the situation, about yourself, about what you think you know and what is truth. CHOOSE a more skilful way to respond. Think about forgiving the perceived wrong doer, the late direct report, the annoying boss, the awkward client. As Donald Hebb postulated in 1949, Neurons that fire together, wire together. So if you want to change your thoughts: change your thoughts. It’s accumulative. I can vouch for it personally.