Justin Harrison explains how we can use neuroplasticity to create positive financial habits.
Whenever we make financial decisions, a complex set of neurons travel the neural pathways in our brains, winding and twisting their way through both the logic and emotive parts of our neo frontal cortex. Unfortunately though as human beings we tend to favour our emotive neural pathways, and this is why we often override our own logic when it comes to financial decisions.
Luckily human beings are highly adaptive creatures, and with a few tweaks and hacks, we can learn to open up new neural pathways that will enable logic to supersede our primitive emotive cognitive reflexes through a process known as neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is basically the ability of the brain to adapt to changes in an individual’s environment by forming new neural connections over time. This explains how the human brain is able to adapt, master new skills, store memories and information.
In this article, I am going to five ways you can take advantage of neuroplasticity and rewire your brain to create positive financial habits.
Set Yourself A Challenge
Creating a really big challenge for yourself forces your brain to react and adapt differently as it tries to problem solve. The simple act of creating a challenge for yourself opens up new neural pathways in the brain as it tries to figure out how to help you achieve these goals.
Maybe you set yourself the challenge of paying off all your debt within a year, or maybe you challenge yourself to double your income in six months. Whatever it is, make it big, make it bold and then write it down somewhere you can see it every single day.
Take Small Consistent Steps
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and so does opening up your neural pathways. Choose small simple steps that you can consistently do to work towards your goal. Not only will this create momentum, but on a deeper level, your brain will react by forming new habits around the actions you are taking. For example in the case of paying off your debt, creating a budget and tracking your spending is a great start, or in the case of doubling your income, make it a daily habit to look for income opportunities.
Change Your Circle Of Influence
Our brains are very much a product of what we feed it. Negative news, social media and toxic friendships become the limitation of our thoughts, and since our thoughts become our actions, it all starts with controlling what we feed our brains. There is an old saying that says “Show me your five closest friends and I will show you your future”. And in the case of your circle of influence, this extends to everything you are stimulated by – including what you read and listen to. So start aligning your goals with people who will support you, expose yourself to positive input through what you read, watch and listen to and before long you will create a new reality.
Break Your Routine
Routine can be a really good thing, or it can be a really bad thing. For most people, it’s the latter. As people, we easily fall into lazy routines, and this is what we need to break free of.
So instead of coming home from work and sitting in front of the television, read a book, go for a walk or spend time with your family. Not only is this healthier, but breaking your negative routines will help build those new neural pathways.
Track And Measure Your Growth
As people we love progress and our brains respond to positive feedback by opening up those new neural pathways – these are called positive feedback loops. You can literally rewire your brain to succeed financially by tracking and measuring your progress. As you succeed your brain will do all the work and open up those positive feedback loops. Before long, it will feel like everything you touch turns to gold.
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