We all need goals in our life, whether they are for our personal life, our career or professional life, or both. But setting and reaching goals can be tricky. A key component in setting and accomplishing goals is having a positive mindset. Our minds are made up of thoughts and beliefs, which may not always be based on reality. However, it seems that we think those thoughts anyway, which causes us to respond negatively. We tend to replay over and over the negative experience or thought, which creates a more powerful event on our mind. Our mind goes into overdrive, which keeps the negative thought there. When we are faced with a situation, we will usually bring up the past negative thought since it is so powerfully engrained in our mind. This can prevent us from moving forward or taking action on our goals, which can lead us to feeling upset and angry at ourselves. The negative thought experience repeats itself. We don’t give us a chance for future events to be or act positively!
But, there is good news! It is possible to retrain your brain into new ways of thinking. There is scientific reasoning for why we go back to negative ways. It starts with an area in our brain called the amygdala, which is where our ‘fight or flight’ response is located. This can cause adrenaline to be released into our bloodstream, causing our heart rate to go up and for us to be in a hypersensitive mode. This causes the negative event to become more powerful as we repeat over and over the experience, all the while engraining the event more powerfully into our mind. When we train our brain to think more positively, we are using our left prefrontal lobe area, which is stronger than the right, which will create a new neural pathway and cause us to override the negative events we face in the future.
Our brains also have an area that sorts and stores information, which is called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). When we set a goal, and particularly if we write it, the RAS will bring the goal to the forefront of our mind, excluding other information and thoughts, and this will lead us to goal realization. By focusing on the positives, your brain will automatically”kick in” the positive thoughts and feelings, which will allow you to keep on the positive and find the resources you need to keep focused on your goal. Your brain knows what to do – you just need to allow it to do it’s job. It does take practice, but the rewards can be achievement, happiness, and success!