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Your Brain is Made of Plastic: Change in 21 Days

March 8, 2017

Brain Plasticity — what is it and why is it important? For years psychologists have told us that personalities can’t be changed but this is most likely not true. Our brains have an amazing ability to change and form new neural connections that can realign our thinking and ultimately alter who we are. Researchers have found that we can change habits and other aspects of ourselves in about 21 days, the time our brains take to grow new neural connections.

So what is this mean? Let’s say you want to be more positive with others. For example, instead of saying “if you don’t sell more and work harder, you’re going to miss quota”, you might want to be more positive saying something like this, “when you work harder and sell more, you’re going to exceed your quota”. I find in my coaching practice that when individuals become aware of how to speak more positively, they pick up on it immediately. Practicing positive language every day, for example, for 21 days will change the habit. Those around them often comment that the person seems happier and more focused.

What works for me. I like to identify something I want to change and then work on it for about 30 days. After that, it is habit. When I am focused on a task and somebody tells me something I need to remember, I often don’t because of my focus on that task. So I am changing the way I let people know that I may not remember what they tell me or I stop and literally write down what I need to remember.