Emotional rollercoasters are crucial for positive outcomes in business…
Have you ever wondered why it can seem to take a long time to persuade yourself into a new way of thinking? Our thoughts and our feelings run deep within us, and it’s not always easy to change them.
The reason? Every time you experience a new thought, your brain creates what we call a “neurite”. Essentially, it is a physical pathway that the thought will travel down and it subtly changes the structure of your brain; more so if you think the same thought subsequently.
But those pathways can change direction any time. Which way your brain chooses to send your thought depends on where there is least resistance. Like electricity, your thoughts will travel down the strongest route; the route that has been used the most; a pre-built emotional rollercoaster.
In other words, the more times you think one particular thought, the more likely you are to think it again.
As you can probably see, this is great news for anyone who is keen to condition their mind to refocus on a more positive outlook to achieve success. Since your established thought processes are strengthened by repetition, the more you consciously rehearse them, the more often they will happen naturally going forward.
Where does an emotional rollercoaster come in?
While it takes a shorter amount of time than you might think to embed these pathways of positivity, you will certainly want to continue rehearsing them to drive them deeper into your way of thinking.
But there is something that will accelerate the change in the way you think, and that is emotion.
Indeed, emotion has an extremely powerful impact on the rate at which neurites grow. Allow me to illustrate with an example.
“Hot ovens burn”
Visualise a toddler who keeps trying to touch the oven. Her mother or father will patiently and gently block her way and ask her not to because it will burn her. But she’s a toddler, she is curious. So she continues, with the same response from her parents. Weeks later, after the message has been repeated a sufficient number of times, she finally stops persisting.
Imagine how much more quickly that “hot ovens burn” pathway would have been established had she, albeit unfortunately, given herself a shock by successfully planting her hands on the oven door earlier on. The tears and distress that she went through, indeed the emotion, would have established the thought pathway immediately.
So you see, an intense emotional rollercoaster will build big neurites quickly.
What does this rule mean for business?
The answer is simple. Knowing now that emotion establishes reusable thought processes, you can appreciate that the more emotion you put into your mental rehearsal for positive conditioning, the faster you will find yourself in the positive state.
It is not just the frequency of your repetition that will have an effect; it is the intensity that you put into the process that will make all the difference. Of course, there are several techniques you can exploit to capitalise on this plasticity of your brain, to home in on a more positive and resilient outlook, and drive success in your workplace.
If you would like to know more about these techniques and start exercising the power of positive thinking now, please let us know if you would like a copy of our founder’s recently published book; Positive Leaders, Positive Change.