Okay, it isn’t a password for your brain exactly. It’s more about how to use you passwords to help change your brain. The other day a client told me about a story they had read about a guy who started using affirmations and goals as his passwords. (You can read the original story here.)
This struck me as a brilliant idea. How many times do you type a password each day? If you are anything like me, you have quite a few accounts or programs that require passwords. Why not use them to accomplish something besides cyber security?
Many people dislike using affirmations for a variety of reasons. Often they feel silly saying or thinking something that they may not believe. Or, they think that affirmations are supposed to be helpful because of some greater power or tapping into some energy in the universe. Those ideas may or may not be true. But affirmations do work because of a much more scientific reason…they activate neural pathways in our brains.
Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “what fires together, wires together.” That means that when you think or say a thought, a neural pathway in your brain fires off. And if it fires again and again, that pathway begins to get stronger, or wired together. And our brains like to use the pathways that are the strongest. It’s like using a highway instead of dirt path. It’s faster and easier.
Think about times you have acted quickly without thinking. Maybe you are driving home from work and want to go a different way so you can stop at a store. Then you get talking to a passenger or singing a song or thinking about what you are going to do Friday night. Suddenly you realize you missed the turn and are heading directly home. Your brain followed the most developed pathway and told your body to head that way.
One of the really cool things about our brains is that we don’t have to believe the thought, we just have to make the neural pathway fire. We start believing it as the pathway gets stronger. And, our brains don’t really care about content. It just fires of the pathway you tell it to. If you think to yourself, “I am lovable” a thousand times, it doesn’t matter that maybe another part of your brain is arguing. That neural pathway still fired and is starting to wire together.
Affirmations are effective because of repetition. They don’t have to be a stand alone process to work. Incorporate them anywhere you can. Passwords are a simple way. Try “I am capable!” or “I can set boundaries!” or “I c@n 3mbr@c3 ch@ng3!!” Make them part of your everyday life and see if you don’t start thinking differently.
Have other places you could do this? Shoot me an email and I’ll share your ideas!
photo credit: VOLKSWAGEN: QUEL MILIONE BUTTATO IN PASSWORD DIMENTICATE via photopin (license)