Is Your Brain Preprogrammed For Success or Failure?


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According to a study by Raj Raghunathan, Ph.D., Associate Professor with University of Texas McCombs School of Business, between 60-70% of self-talk is negative.

And, according to a landmark study by B.L. Frederickson, called The Broad and Build Study, this is a major problem. Negativity, they found, shuts down part of the neocortex, impairing focus, cognitive ability and lowering risk tolerance.

If you are pursuing success, a negative mental outlook acts like an neurological anchor, holding your brain back from optimal performance, thus increasing the odds you will fail.

The reality is, we are often too critical of ourselves. We obsess over mistakes and failures, thinking about them constantly.

The self-made millionaires in my study forged the habit of focusing on their successes in life. Instead of beating themselves up over mistakes and failures, they learn what they can from those mistakes and move on.

Positive thinking opens up your entire mind so that it can see opportunities and solutions rather than just problems. It toggles on the incredible powers of the subconscious mind’s Reticular Activating System, Insula and Thalamus.

These brain centers receive information from the environment through the five senses. If your brain remains preprogrammed for negativity, these brain centers will do their job and focus their search for negative things. As a result, they become blind to opportunities for success or solutions to your most pressing problems.

If, instead, you were to preprogram your brain for positivity, these brain regions will search the environment, via the five senses, for things that will help you realize your dreams and achieve your goals.

I discovered two tools the self-made millionaires in my study used to keep their mind positive, upbeat and optimistic.

The Victory Log  is a listing of all of your successes in life. Its purpose is focus on your successes and not your mistakes or failures. It’s a tool that stops your inherently negatively-biased conscious mind from focusing on the bad. It programs your subconscious to be success-focused and not failure-focused. It’s a psychological pat on the back and it works. Every time you screw up, pull out your Victory Log and begin reading. It will stop you from beating yourself up the rest of the day and prevent you from going negative.

Mistakes and failures are nothing more than valuable learning. They are not a reflection of your incompetence, lack of education, or some character flaw. They are just things to learn from. The Victory Log help put mistakes and failures in their proper context and keeps your mind positive.

A cool modification of the Victory Log is the Dreamer Victory Log, which I’ve written about before.

The Reward Strategy is another way to shift your habitual thinking from negative to positive.

Here’s how it works: every time you experience a success in life, no matter how small, reward yourself. This reward can be anything that you like. New clothes, candy, going out to dinner, the movies, buying yourself a gift, a milkshake, or in my case a Fosters Lager.

By rewarding yourself, you are reprogramming your subconscious for success. Your subconscious receives the message that success is good because it’s rewarded. This programming becomes part of the software code that directs the Reticular Activating System, Insula and Thalamus to begin seeking more success in life in order to receive a reward. Behind the scenes, your subconscious becomes a GPS, searching for opportunities and solutions, through intuition or gut feelings.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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