Do you think that your character, personality, or even your outlook on life is determined by genetics? Just like genetics determine the color of your eyes or hair?
"I'm sorry, that's how my mind works"
"That's just who I am"
"That's how God made me"
If you're always overanalyzing what you're doing, if you judge your behavior according to how other people view you, if you don't have the self-confidence about your potential to push the envelope just even a little—then your mindset has become a major obstacle to being a successful performer.
You can change how you think. Thinking is not predetermined like the color of your eyes. It is the difference between, as psychologists say, "traits and states."
Eye color is a genetic trait. How you think is a state—a state of mind, momentary, malleable, within your control, changeable, even programable. And while there's great deal of talk about how "someone's mind works" and "he's been tenacious since birth," it's just loose talk, not to mention bad science.
More often than not it's an easy excuse for not being a better thinker. That some people are born successes while others are born losers , and the best most of us can do is hope that our DNA has aimed us toward the front end of the line, has no basis in fact or science. Nor does success only depend on how our parents have raised us or on education or other kinds of training. Don't get me wrong, God-given talent and proper training are valuable variables for success. Talent or training alone may tee up high-level performance, but they are not sufficient.
Success is due neither to nature nor nurture. Everyone can choose to change how they think, but there is a resistance to this idea. We believe that we are stuck with "the way our mind works" or with the education that we've been handed or with the responsibility to "adulting" every day of our lives. But that's just conditioning. Whether you made the choice consciously or not, you still made a choice about how you think and you've been conditioning ever since.
When we practice a certain behavior—that is, doing it over and over— we actually produce new and stronger synaptic connections. Nerves pass information by releasing chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, acetylcholine, etc.) called neurotransmitters from their synapses unto the space between the neurons—the synaptic junction. The neurotransmitters either bind to receptor sites on the dendrites or body of another neuron, or are reabsorbed by the presynaptic "terminal button". In basic terms, the more a nerve cell is activated, the more neurotransmission is optimized to keep up with the "flood" of signals. The whole process is formally called "Hebbian Learning". And it works in the other direction as well.
When neuropathy is inactive, the neurotransmitter volume decreases, channels are lost. and receptor sites die. The next time the corresponding motor pattern or memory or skill is required, the less strong, the less effective the brain signals will be.
Thinking patterns, therefore are a product of repetition. What you experience as a mindset is nothing more than a strong pattern synaptic junctions with a lot of neurotransmitters. If you want to change the way you think, you merely weaken the synaptic junction and strengthen new ones. In other words, choose a new lens through which to see reality and start using it the majority of the time. The military and NASA purposefully train people's bodies and minds. The rest of us however, do not train that way. We do not identify a thinking pattern that we want to use under pressure and then practice it over and over. We do not put our minds through intentional repetition so that when the going gets tough, rather than freaking out we know that the training will kick in. The military, of course, are specialists in disaster. Most of us are not. We tend to coast through life and work in normal gear. On the occasions when we need to think exceptionally— for an important job interview or in closing a big deal, for example—we can only hope that our minds will rise to the occasion. And that uncertainty and lack of preparation only increase our anxiety and fear of failure.
High Performers in any field do not leave how they think to chance. And neither should you
In good health,
Efren Guerrero Rodriguez
High Performance Personal Training.