A growth mindset isn't about achieving goals - it's about falling in love with process required to achieve said goal. Most of us initially feel really motivated to achieve a certain goal but then fall short when we are faced with the work required to get there. How can we hard wire our brains for success when the work feels so challenging? Here's how. Let's talk about brain's own motivation and reward dopamine system.
Whenever we anticipate a reward, our brains release the feel-good chemical dopamine. Too often, we associate reward with the big, long-term goal, i.e. being able to lift a certain weight in 3 months, lose 20 lbs before your wedding, or beat this year's marathon time next year.
However, when the goal is so far away, it's tough for our brain to pursue the short-term work required to achieve it.
We have to fight against our own neural circuitry to follow through on getting the work that's required done.
So, uncomfortable actions like going to the gym three times a week, keeping track of your caloric intake, or getting out for that morning run are a lot more challenging for our brain to pull off.
The trick is to wire your brain to release dopamine in response to the short-term challenges that move us towards our goals, rather than the long-term goal itself.
The biggest achievers aren't chasing the end goal, they are usually chasing the process. By rewarding themselves (either mentally/internally, or with something external) on a frequent basis, for every increment on their journey, they fall in love with doing the work required.
When we reward ourselves in this manner, our brain starts to associate the dopamine release with the process, not the long-term outcome. It is much easier to stay consistent and on track this way!
Repeat these small process-oriented rewards as often as you can. As they say, "what fires together wires together," that is, the more you do it, the easier it will get. 💪✌️
Looking for some guidance and support to finally overcome your back pain, knee pain, foot pain, shoulder pain, elbow or neck pain? Has arthritis or a tendonitis been getting in the way of doing what your love? Or are you trying to stay motivated to get healthy in general? I am happy to help - book in for some one on one physiotherapy here at physiobox, located in Calgary, Alberta. Book in here or get in touch just for a friendly (and free) chat. - Mark Austin, Registered Physiotherapist