Imagine standing in front of an audience of 500 people for an hour selling the products or services that you or your company offer.
A few weeks ago, I was working with a woman who was chosen amongst her peers to do just that. Not only was this something she forgot to celebrate, her self-analysis led her to focus on what she wasn’t good at.
Over the course of our sessions, I learnt how she, in her role of Digital Marketing Manager had increased her company’s fan base by over 200% via the use of social media.
It took a deep dive session to harvest this information from the person in front of me.
What I discovered is that this particular person was concentrating on all the things she hadn’t achieved in her own career and company rather than what she had.
This is a very common occurrence and something we can all relate to.
Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and author says, “As we understand better and better how this brain works, it gives us more power to change our mind for the better.”
“The brain continuously scans for bad news,” says Hanson. “As soon as it finds the bad news, it overly focuses on it.” He continues by saying –
“The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.”
There is an abundance of neuroplasticity and mindfulness research being conducted around the world illuminating us with hundreds of ways we can move from focussing on the negative experiences of our day and life to positive ones.
Awareness is the first step towards making a change. Today’s first Small Act that will have a Major Impact on your business and life is to be aware of the negative bias of the brain. From there you can put in place many other acts that will have a major impact on your happiness and wellbeing.
Here are three small steps to get you started –
- “Neurons that fire together wire together.” The 20 second rule.
Whether it is learning a new language or sporting skill, it is the repetition of an action over and over that creates competency. Your neurons fire and wire together committing it to memory.
Research suggests that two thirds of our brains neurons detect negative experiences and quickly store them into our long-term memory. Hanson says by allowing a good experience to stay with us for 10 to 20 seconds, we can actually change our brain to store more positive experiences.
One 10-20 second experience won’t change your life, but continuously repeating the exercise will. The more you get your neurons firing by letting positive experiences soak in, the more you’ll be rewiring your brain to store positive experiences.
Like everything, it takes practice. Every time you hear or experience something positive, spend 20 seconds committing it to your memory.
- Excuse me – Are you ready?
Best-selling author Gretchen Rubin says, negative feedback or experiences don’t arrive with a permission note. Often they hit you when you least expect them. Gretchen’s advice – have a store of positive things to neutralise them. It can be as simple as looking at some happy photos on your phone or rereading a beautiful text message from someone.
Try it, it really helps.
- Ten to one
Rick Hanson says it takes 5 to 10 positive events to counterbalance one negative event.
So next time you get fixated on that looping negative thought, tap into 5 or 10 positive things that happened to you that day. “The boss actually said 19 good things about you, but you’re obsessing over the one bad thing,” Hanson says. This means the next time you feel valued, the good feelings experienced in that moment will be stronger working towards firing and wiring your neurons in a positive way for the future.
A Small Act that is sure to have a Major Impact is to think about how quickly you rebuff a compliment rather than really letting it sink in and feeling good about it. By internalising the compliment you transfer the positive feelings associated from your short to long term memory.
Wishing you many positive thoughts for the week.