Feb 5th, 2021
Do you find it challenging to break old habits, to change your behaviour even when you want to, or do you understand how the process works to rewire your brain and have a new way to do things? Hi, this is Grant Herbert, Emotional Intelligence Speaker and Trainer of the Year and Sustainable Performance Coach, and today I want to start a conversation around the things that we can do so that we can overcome those roadblocks that we've talked about before and become who we need to be so that we can get the results that we want.
Over the last few weeks, we've talked about a number of things to help us to get on track with a plan, to make sure that we know where we're going, and to do what we need to do so that we can get there and have the results that we want. However, a lot of people have been talking to me about the fact that it's challenging to leave the old behaviour behind and become this new person, do these new things. And the first thing I want us to understand, it's not hard, or it's not easy. It's just unfamiliar. Up until now, you and I have performed in a certain way and we learned to do that. We conditioned our brain through repetition of doing things a certain way that started with an initial thought pattern and led to that behaviour. So the beauty of that is we now know that if we can learn that behaviour, we can go through the same process and learn the new one. So, unfamiliar becomes familiar by doing it.
So, what I want to do is I just want to take you through a process, a formula if you will, that I use with my clients to help them to rewire their brain with this new behaviour. And once again, as it normally is with me, there's a bit of alliteration and there's some R's involved. So, I'll tell you what they are, and then I'll take you through them one at a time and tell you how to use them. So, the four-part process is to recognise, reject, replace, and repeat. And those four things together done in order will rewire your brain and your old behaviour will be changed to this new behavior. Now, our old habits are stored deep in the brain. So, it's not about getting rid of those habits. It's about developing new habits, new behaviours that are a path of least resistance in our neural pathways. So whereas before we would think this and it would lead us to do this, we would experience this, we would behave this way, what now is going to happen is that we're going to have a different synaptic connection, a different neural pathway built from that initial form now to that learned behaviour. And when we repeat that over and over, it becomes stronger than the old one. So, let me take you through the four steps.
So, the first step is to recognise. We need to recognise beliefs and behaviours that are not currently serving what it is that we're trying to do, who it is that we're trying to become. So when we looked at our roadblocks back a few weeks ago, some of those would have been thought patterns, they would have been mindsets, and definitely would have been behaviours. So, we've got to recognise that they're not actually giving us the result that we want. Subconsciously, we think that they are. So if I am avoiding having a conversation with someone, it's keeping me safe. However, what we've got do is recognise that avoiding having that conversation could actually be stopping from moving forward. So, step number one is to recognise.
Step number two is to reject, as I said, those thoughts, those mindsets, beliefs, behaviors that we have been using for many, many years, we thought they were doing us good. So to be able to move beyond them, we need to go through a process where we reject them, where we call them out for what they really are and we tell them we don't need them anymore. The mini-me, as I call it, that inner dialogue that keeps us safe and keeps us from doing things that we don't want to do, that keeps us in that comfort zone that we've created, it can sometimes come through and screaming if we start doing things that are different. What we need to do is we need to reject them and recognise, once again, that they're not serving us and go, "That's it. I don't want them anymore", so that we can then retrain those thought patterns, that inner dialogue, that whenever those things pop up that they're not good. They're actually holding us back. So, the second part of the process is to reject.
The third part of the process is to replace. So, we had a previous thought, a previous belief, mindset, behaviour that we thought was doing what we wanted it to do, and then we rejected it. What we need to do obviously is replace that with a new thought pattern, a new belief, a new behaviour. And to do that, we can quite often just flip the old behaviour into the positive. So for example, if I use my previous analogy of me avoiding a conversation because I thought it was keeping me safe and clear of conflict, if in rejecting that and going, "Well, that's not working anymore. I've got to do something differently here." And then I go to replace it and I can go, "Okay, well, what do I need to replace that with?" So first, I need to replace the belief. I need to replace the belief that not talking to someone is surely going to stop the conflict. But as I reconcile all through this process, and I have a look at that, I go, "Well, hang on a minute. No." What's actually happening is by me avoiding that conversation, I'm creating more internal conflict for myself and I could even be creating more internal conflict for the other person because we're not getting it resolved. So, what I could do instead is replace the belief to say, "Having a conversation with that other person is going to reduce the conflict and allow me to move forward." So, we're flipping the old belief into a more empowering and positive one. So, the third part of the process is to replace.
The fourth part of the process now is to just repeat like we did with the old behaviour, the old beliefs, the old patterns. We formed those by repetition of those same thought patterns, those same beliefs and rehearsing those, and then doing the behaviours over and over and over. And things that used to be outside our familiar zone are now familiar because we were doing them over and over again. And they became second nature because the neural pathways were built in our brain that when we had this initial thought, we could go to that learned behavior in 1/250,000th of a second. So to finish this process off, what we now need to do is repeat that new thought, the new belief, the new behaviour, so that it can form its own neural pathways.
And there's a white fatty substance in our brain called myelin, and what it does is it actually coaches those neural pathways the more and more that they are fired. And it acts like an insulator in an electrical wire, therefore, it stops any off shooting and other synaptic connections. And so when we have this thought, that's why we can go to that behavior so quickly. So by repeating the same process, it becomes our new normal. It becomes our new way of thinking, our new belief system, and our new behaviour patterns.
Putting those four together: recognise, reject, replace, repeat, means that we rewire the brain and therefore we're able to become who we need to become to get those results that we're chasing. What I'd love you to do is exactly what I do when I facilitate this with my coaching clients: sit down, have a conversation with yourself, make sure that you're speaking to your big version of you, not your mini-me, and go through that process. Write them down, recognising, "Well, Hey, this is what I've been doing. This is what I've been thinking. It hasn't got me where I want it to go." So, get those down then call them out for what they are. Reject them, make some affirmation statements, whatever it is that you use, to go, "No, no, I'm not doing that anymore. I'm doing this instead." Speak to that internal dialogue when it screams at you and go, "Yeah, I know I taught you that. Here's what we're going to do. Now, I need to unlearn that so that you can learn this new thing with me." Then replace the behaviours, replace the thoughts. So, write that down. What do I need to do differently so that I can go from where I was, the things that I was thinking, the things that I was doing, to where I need to be? And then set yourself on a path of just doing that on a day-to-day basis so that you repeat the same process and you get the results that you want. You go from disempowerment to empowerment in your beliefs, in your thoughts, in your thinking, and your internal dialogue, and then in your behaviour.
Well, that's it from me for another week. Join me again next week, where we continue to look at how we can do things differently and become who we need to be to get the results that we want at the end of this year. So, make sure that you hit the subscribe button that you hit the bell so that you know when I'm here again. If you're listening to this on the podcast, please, I'd love you to leave a review, hit the stars, write a review if you can. It really helps me to get the message out, and I look forward to being with you again next week. So, have an amazing week. You deserve it and I'll talk to you then. Bye for now.