How to Train Your Brain | Achieve What You Believe
In a crowded room, our brains can distinguish our own child’s voice among hundreds of other voices. If we buy a white car, our brains suddenly “see” every other white car on the road. On a regular basis, our brains filter billions of bits of data to figure out what is most important to us. The bundle of nerves responsible for this brain gatekeeping is called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). And, what’s even more amazing is that we have the power to train it to work better for us. Here’s how to train your brain to achieve what you believe by understanding its reticular activating system.
Train Your Brain by Focusing on Your Goals
Every one of us says we focus on things that make us happy, but how many of us practice the art of being intentional with goals? To train your reticular activating system, you must marry subconscious thoughts to conscious thoughts. You must focus hard on your goals and filter out what is not getting you there. “If you care about positivity, for example, you will become more aware of and seek positivity,” says Tobias Van Schneider of Medium. “Focus on the bad things and you will invite negativity into your life. Focus on the good things and they will come to you, because your brain is seeking them out. It’s not magic, it’s your reticular activating system influencing the world you see around you,” Schneider explains.
Setting goals means acting. Focus on ways to think ahead in your personal and professional life. Here are tips on how proactive thinking can activate your career.
The Carrick Institute describes the neuroscience behind setting goals as it relates to our reticular activating system. It starts with a clear goal definition. For example, if you want to start something philanthropic, “set that goal for yourself, write it down and create a plan of action, and suddenly you will start noticing connections in conversations and seeing different avenues in your environment to navigate towards that goal (Carrick Institute). It is like noticing a white car, but instead it is noticing what it takes to reach our own goals.
This can work for anything. For weight loss, set a goal and focus daily on that goal. Notice what will get you there. For your career, set your goal and intentionally look for ways to reach it. This may mean exhibiting positive self-talk. Here are ways to practice positivity to optimize your career.
Train Your Brain: What You Think You Become
Are you an optimist or a pessimist? That is truly up to you. For the RAS to “work,” you must change your core beliefs. “Beware. Your RAS is more of a computer than a friend,” says Business Leadership Coach Dana K. Dwyer. “It will reinforce whatever you believe, and it cannot distinguish between a real event and an imagined event.” Dwyer says that your RAS will notice your perception of your own lack of skill if you believe you don’t have what you need, whether it is true or not. “Your reticular activating system only finds information that supports your beliefs. You tell your RAS what to look for,” Dwyer states.
Our reticular activating systems are very powerful. The RAS regulates wakefulness and our transition from being asleep to being awake. It filters information from our subconscious to our conscious. We can train it to filter information to meet our goals.
Got a sales goal? Focus on that goal with intent and see what opportunities your RAS presents. What ideas come into your brain that may not have been there before?
Trying to get a new job? Narrow in on what you need to do to reach that goal. Perhaps your reticular activating system will direct you to recruiters like those at Artemis Consultants, and you will see new paths to reach your goals.
–Written exclusively for Artemis Consultants by Content Writer Mellody Melville