Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Change is easier than you think

There is a famous quote that change is the only consistency in life. It's a natural part of life and just think for a moment about the many changes you already have been through in your own life. Moving to a new house or city, visiting different schools during your eduction, getting in and out of relationships, marrying, having children, and much much more. Just alone in your career path I can imagine how many changes you have had. Life is full of changes and you have gone through changes many times successfully.

Essentially, change is quite easy. It just depends on three factors:
First of all: That you really want the change.
Second: That you give yourself a chance to change.
And last: That you know how to change.

To give you an idea: Imagine someone - a person who drives to work the same route every day - and who has a specific neuro network in their brain supporting their way of driving to work, going one specific route to work every day. Essentially in their brain this is a deeply rooted network of neurons connecting with each other, and they have a longterm relationship with each other. Now imagine, that that same person would drive to work a different route to work at least once a month!

The amazing thing is that research has shown: every time someone makes a change by reestablishing for example an aspect of their life, or a belief or even their idendity, the neurology in their brain automatically changes as well also. Old longterm neuro connections are being severed and new ones are being established. This is a very encouraging fact when thinking of integrating change into our lives and how actually easy it is to have the change be effective and lasting.

Allright, back to our friend on the way to work. Just by driving a new way to work once a month this person now has a new neuro connection in their brain and by practicing that new way more often and even finding other routes to work their brain literally becomes more complex, more neurons fire with each other which means they wire with each other. And this in the end effect means: more resources, more choices.

So, when you think about that - what that means for you and your own life. You can break old patterns, habits, ways of thinking, things that don't work for you and that you are ready to let go off. Isn't that great?! Just by practicing a new way of doing something, like driving to work a new way or brushing your teeth differently than usual. - You know what I mean, we all have our ways of doing things. - There are so many things we always do the same way, like tying our shoe laces, or how we react when we are being criticized, how we prepare a meal, or how we go to sleep. These are deeply ingrained patterns and habits.

As a little personal exploration, just fold your arms infront of your chest in the way you usually fold your arms. Most people on this planet fold their arms the same way every time. There is either the right hand on top or the left hand. They won't switch, like one day they got the right hand on top and the next day the left hand, that's not how it works with habits. The point of a habit is to do it the same way every time. So now, just change the position of your arms, lets say you usually have your right hand on top and the left one folded under. Now, change it around, fold your right hand under and have your left hand rest on top. Doesn't that feel weird. That's because you are so used to doing it one way only. And that is what we consider a deeply ingrained habit.

And just by consciously doing these things differently once in a while or as often as we choose we are opening up the window of possibility, our brain gets more resources and choices and we get to live a more enriched and empowered life. So the key is, start practicing new behaviors and thought patterns and change will naturally occur as the new way of doing something becomes integrated into your brain.