Choosing A Different Path

Did you know your brain can actually grow and change? It can adapt to new learning and create new pathways based on new information. This process is called neuroplasticity.

Until the last 60 years scientists didn’t believe that your brain was capable of change. They thought your brain was what it was and that it wasn’t possible to change it.

Why is this important? Well, it means you can retrain your brain.

Imagine you’re hiking through the woods. You know where to go because many people have traveled this same path and packed down the ground in front of you. The trail is labeled and it’s clear.

Now, imagine that same has a huge rain storm and parts of the trail got washed away. It’s not an easy fix to recreate the trail in the same spot, so a new trail must be created.

To create this new trail, someone must make a new path by clearing branches, dead trees, and brush. Once they do the hard work of clearing the trail, they will mark the trail so it’s clear where to go. Over time, this new trail will get so worn down that it will be even more clear than the old trail. Many hikers won’t even know the old trail existed.

This hiking story is a peek inside your brain and how it works. To think differently, you have to begin blaze new trails in the brain. Once new trails are created, they become they are used, and more ingrained they become and the more regularly the new route pathway is traveled.

If you’ve ever moved and needed to learn a new route to work, you’ve created a new pathway. Or when you were learning math problems or cursive as a kid, you’ve created new pathways. At first, it’s uncomfortable and hard. But the more you do it, the more natural it becomes. So natural that you really don’t have to think about it any further. That’s the goal.

Engrained pathways that become automatic habits.

So what engrained pathways do you have currently that aren’t serving you? Think about 1 habit you have that doesn’t serve you currently or help you align with your future goals. Determine one small step you could take to begin to adjust the habit – or begin to create a new pathway in your brain. Write it down and plan how you’ll implement it. That’s all it takes – small steps in an intentional direction on repeat.

Ingrained pathways become automatic habits.

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