C’mon Brain Give Up Your Secrets!

The brain fascinates and keeps me curious.

Being a trainer I’m intrigued about the impact of learning on the brain: I’m a huge supporter of brain based and accelerated learning, committed to creating ‘environments’ where all can learn, and the more I delve deep, the more I wish the brain would give up it’s secrets, a little amount, at least in my lifetime!

Looking back over brain research over the past 100 years, it’s amazing what was once taken as fact is now classed as complete baloney. I can’t believe the way we treated the brain. For people experiencing mental health illness in the past 100 years this ’treatment’ was horrendous.

Did You Know This…

The Taub Therapy Clinic (University of Birmingham, Alabama) has been reseaching and treating people who have experienced a stroke with CI Therapy (Constraint Inducement Therapy.) Ya, what?

In brief: they have been treating people who have had a stroke by ‘disabling’ their ‘good’ limbs or strapping them down (well, it’s probably more medical than ‘strapping’!)

And the result is: the severely damaged (note: I used damaged, not broken) brain starts to re-wire and re-boot itself, the brain finds a navigates a different route so that the person begins to use the limbs affected by the stroke.

Scientists discovered that by denying the person the ability to access their ‘good’ limbs increased the chances of the brain finding an alternative pathway…a rewire!

You see, on the side which is limited in movement, everything is still in working order (it’s ready to go) but the signals or messages from the brain are not getting through because of the damage left by the stroke.

I can’t even imagine how frustrating that must be for the individual, however, the best part is the Taub Centres success rate, which is an astounding 95%!

Why Tie Up the ‘Good’ Limbs?

Simple, our brains always take the EASIEST route!

I didn’t say ‘always the most beneficial route to you’, I said the easiest!

The easiest route for the person who has had a stroke, is the pathways currently working or the strongest wiring.

(As a trainer, this is awesome, it’s another great example of the saying ‘Use It, or Lose It’)

And this ‘easy way’ is not just happening to people who have had a stroke, brains seek the simplest and easiest route…always!

Here’s An A-ha Moment

Could this be the reason why we can write our goals easily however reaching them is (generally) considered tougher than writing them down? Why do some of us start a goal or go down a specific path of action and quickly resort back to the old behaviours and habits?

What’s needed?

A re-wiring in the brain, shutting down the old paths and firing up and new ones.

How though?

We’ll get to that…

For example: imagine someone who is sitting in a car and hasn’t learnt to drive. They know everything works yet it cannot be driven because their brain has not made any ‘wiring’ about how to drive a car!

The brain needs to learn the information first, wire it in (connect all the dots) deep, only then will the brain know how to drive and send messages to the different parts of body, telling it what to do.

What about someone who has set a goal to lose weight: they know it can be done, they have the power, resources and ability (they have probably proof, a part of the wiring in place already, if they have been around someone who has lost weight.)

Why do many resort back to over eating? Because the brain has not rewired itself, the easiest route is to eat!

What about fear? Again, (I’d say the majority of us) do everything to avoid the things we fear the most, which makes sense, we need to deconstruct the old wiring first!

The bizarre thing is we all know that to deconstruct the wiring of the fear, is do what you fear the most!

Why? You’ll create the new path (new programme), you’ll be re-wiring your own brain.

How about changing career? Again many take the easiest route…they do what’s simplest or most comfortable, not because they don’t have the ability to do something else, because we haven’t a created a new pathway.

Which is why many change ‘job’ and not career! Same crap, different wallpaper!

Is this why our confidence levels go up and down. We have a wiring of where we are confident in life and where we aren’t. The goal is to make the path to the most confident you the strongest, creating a pathway so strong it overrides all others.

The dominant wiring has to be you, being the most confident you.

Think about this deeply, you can see this happening everywhere…

For some people losing weight, they may take a huge step (perhaps Gastric Bypass Surgery) and remove from their life the easiest route (eating),in doing so, the brain has to re-wire itself.

For some people dependant on drugs and alcohol, they remove the easiest route (easy access to substances) and perhaps live for months in an environment where they are forbidden to use.

What about a life full of fear?

Fears are unique to the person and can cover millions of fears. I’ve been working with someone recently who is fearful of never being loved by a significant other. How does that become rewired? We cannot create or demand a person love us: but can we re-wire the fear?

What about the fear of never ‘making something of their life, dying with regret’ can that be re-wired?

Basically, the internal fears, limiting thought patterns, beliefs and habits are they harder to re-wire?

I have to say no, they aren’t harder.

Whatever we want to re-wire we must remember the brain likes the easiest route. To change anything the easiest route is to say ‘it’s just to hard to re-wire’, we probably wouldn’t say that, it would more ‘I tried to, but it didn’t work’ or ‘I failed’ or ‘I’m just not good enough’.

Create New Pathways. How?

You could use coaching, hypnosis, counselling, CBT, NLP?

Finding someone who doesn’t have the same wiring as you? (The more you confirm that your wiring is right, the stronger it gets, making it harder to re-wire. Have you not liked someone very much, friends disclosed to you they didn’t either and before you know it you hate them with a passion?)

We all know that easiest way to conquer anxiety and phobias is to do what we fear the most, like the individuals above who had experienced a stroke, their treatment must have causes such pain. But they gave themselves no choice but to push through the pain and fear.

Here's a thought...

To deconstruct anything, it’s simple case of taking it apart, piece by piece:

Take one of your fears just now...

What evidence do you have that the fear is wired?
Picture yourself carrying out the fear you once had successfully.
Keep playing the picture over and over again.
Only see, think, feel, be success.
What are you doing? Re-wiring. Laying the new track.

Author's Bio: 

Dawn is a personal development trainer and coach. She specialises in delivering quality live learning event and is committed to empowering individuals to maximise their full potential at work and play.