We can actually change our mind by changing our actions. We need to act our way into thinking differently. It is our actions, not our thoughts that determine the stories we tell ourselves. Our actions determine the structure of our brain. The brain’s ability to change and evolve is referred to as neuroplasticity. We have the ability to develop new habits at any age. This process of neurogenesis occurs in response to our actions and is ongoing throughout our life. Our brain continues to change and evolve as we change and evolve.
Our current paradigm is the internal control system that our unconscious mind has created to maintain our current actions and results. Any improvement in performance and results will only be temporary unless we change our paradigm. There is an ongoing battle within each of us, between our old and new habits. Our existing habits are fighting to maintain their dominance. Repetition of the new habits strengthens them while changing the stories we tell ourselves.
Authentic, emotionally intelligent leaders demonstrate selfless acts of emotional generosity that build trust. It is our actions, not our thoughts that develop authentic leadership and emotional intelligence. This developmental process initially requires a leap of faith. A belief or Vision that is so strong it motivates you to move out of your comfort zone in pursuit of that belief. There is no preparation required. Focus on the Vision of your desired result and begin to take action that is moving you in that direction.
As we begin this leadership journey our brain releases cortisol and norepinephrine (adrenaline) is secreted into our bloodstream in short bursts to alert us to potential dangers of moving outside of our comfort zone. This often triggers a fight, flight and freeze or submit response. As we continue to move forward, through our fear, instead of retreating back into our comfort zone, our brain rewards us with the release of dopamine, the feel good hormone. The release of endorphins temporarily masks any physical pain as we move toward the reward of desired results.
When we put our self at risk for the sake of ourselves and our tribe serotonin is released within the brain and we feel a sense of pride and confidence. Within the tribe oxytocin creates a feeling of trust and safety. Our brain’s open loop limbic system is influenced by the emotional connection we have with others. We ‘catch’ the feelings or mood of the others in the group. Positive emotions spread like a virus. Smiles and laughter create a positive chain reaction. They send a message to our unconscious mind that causes us to lower our walls, establishes trust and cements relationships.
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