You’ve heard of the concept that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, right? Well, that has everything to do with neuroplasticity. You have the ability to change your brain at any time to create new thought patterns, behaviors, and attitudes.
In yesterday’s post, I discussed the concept or right vs left brain and the myth surrounding the idea that we are hard-wired to be one or the other. How often do we just assume in our lives that we are preconditioned to be certain way and we must accept it? Well today, as we speak more about how people make decisions based on emotions, we will focus on how we can create new neural pathways in our brains and affect long-term change.
What is neuroplasticity?
Neuroplasticity (or cortical remapping) is essentially the brain’s ability to change and grow by making new synaptic connections to form new thoughts and ideas. The key driver for these changes is experience. The more powerful the experience, the stronger the new connections.
New Experience = new connections = new memories.
As we talked about in part 2, the right brain is responsible for memories and is where we connect ideas to emotions. So in order to really get someone to remember something and respond emotionally, we should follow this thought process:
- To create change, we must form new neural pathways (neuroplasticity)
- The driver for creating these changes is experience
- The more emotional weight the experience has, the better we remember it
- Memories are formed in the limbic system
- The limbic system is designed to draw us towards things that make us feel good and away from those that make us feel bad.
All of these actions in our brain happen without us consciously thinking about them. As you see, none of this is happening in the neocortex, or our thinking brain. To get someone to take action on something and create change, we must focus on creating an experience through emotion, not logic. We will discuss more about what types of activities we can do, but a few that we will be covering are:
- Altering environment
- The power of storytelling
- Rapport building skills
How we can use neuroplasticity
There are a lot of salespeople who have been selling based on logic for years. Learning to tell stories, build stronger rapport or developing better emotional connecting skills are all elements that will help them sell better. But, if they have been selling a certain way for years, it will take a concerted effort to form new pathways. But it can be done. So start slowly and learn a new skill…
Certain types of intuitions we have acquired naturally or have been passed down from our ancestors. For example, if you have had a bad experience at a restaurant with a terrible dish, you are quite likely to remember it vividly and it will be easy to make future decisions about that restaurant.
As we discussed at the beginning of the post, it takes 10,000 hours to get to a master level of any skill. Expertise in complex tasks such as high-level chess, firefighting, surgery, or sales is a slow and intricate process because it is not a single skill, but a massive collection of mini-skills. These mini-skills are developed through the new synaptic connections (neuroplasticity).
This is why a serious chess player is familiar with thousands of configurations, and can visualize arrangements of related pieces through their intuition. And why it seems like some salespeople just seem to make it look so easy. They have developed these mini-skills over time and their intuition is pretty good.
Which means for anyone, that you can learn to do anything you want as long as you commit to the small steps. Science proves it. No excuses.
But why is it that some people create a stronger emotional bond with others quickly? In the next post, I will discuss a hugely powerful brain component called mirror neurons.
Here are a couple of great posts on neuroplasticity that you can check out as well.
And while we are on the subject, why not check out Lumosity who has built an entire business on neuroplasticity!
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