Neuroplasticity and Growth Mindset
Do you ever feel like your abilities are set in stone? Like you’re either “smart” or “not smart,” “talented” or “not talented”? This way of thinking is known as a fixed mindset, and it can be limiting, frustrating, and ultimately self-defeating. But what if I told you that you could rewire your brain to adopt a growth mindset, which sees challenges as opportunities for growth and thrives on learning and development? Recent research shows that self-directed neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change and adapt in response to experience, can help cultivate a growth mindset. And the good news is that with re-origin’s brain retraining program, it’s easier than you might think to make the shift. In this article we’ll discuss exactly this—neuroplasticity and growth mindset.
- What is the growth vs fixed mindset?
- What is neuroplasticity?
- Why is motivation so important?
- What is neuroplasticity’s role in boosting motivation?
- What are some things I can do to help facilitate neuroplasticity?
- How can I use Neuroplasticity to cultivate a growth mindset?
- 5 ways foster a growth mindset using neuroplasticity
What is the growth vs fixed mindset?
The concept of growth mindset versus fixed mindset was first introduced by psychologist Carol Dweck in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” According to Dweck, individuals with a growth mindset believe that their intelligence, abilities, and talents can be developed through hard work, dedication, and learning from mistakes. On the other hand, those with a fixed mindset believe that their intelligence and abilities are set in stone and cannot be changed, leading them to avoid challenges and giving up easily when faced with obstacles.
The implications of having a growth or fixed mindset are significant, as they can impact an individual’s motivation, learning, and overall success. People with a growth mindset tend to embrace challenges, persevere through obstacles, and view failures as opportunities for growth and learning. As a result, they are more likely to achieve their goals, both personally and professionally. Conversely, those with a fixed mindset may be more prone to give up when faced with difficulty, avoid challenges, and view failures as evidence of their limitations. This can lead to a lack of motivation, a fear of failure, and ultimately a lack of progress towards achieving their goals.
A lack of motivation can negatively impact your day. Making you more likely to repeat patterns of procrastination, taking you away from improving on your personal goals. But did you know you can increase motivation from within your own brain? Yes, it’s true. And it doesn’t require a degree in neuroscience! All it needs is a little bit of knowledge on the basics of neuroplasticity, its ability to impact motivation and a few simple steps to help take action.
What is neuroplasticity?
Neuroplasticity is essentially your brain’s ability to change and adapt its structure and function in response to new stimuli. Learning new skill, and new way of thinking, or a more adaptive way of responding to a given situation – all involve the learners brain to stimulate the firing of neurons in a new way that leads to the development of new neural pathways. Essentially, if you want to harbor more of the growth mindset, you could pause and ask yourself periodically: “how would I respond in this situation if I had a growth mindset?” – Then you could practice the mental, physical and emotional behaviors that align with that person you’d like to become.
Through repetition, you brain changes and as you undergo this learning process and with just a bit of time, your new growth mindset could become one of your many default basic abilities. Because this process is self-directed and behaviorally driven, it is important to maintain intrinsic motivation.
Why is motivation so important?
If each day feels like an uphill battle to motivate yourself. Then focusing on improving your motivation could be the bottom line most important factor in creating real change within your life! It might just be what manages the amount of hard work it takes to keep motivated and accomplish your big goals by harnessing neuroplasticity to forge new neural connections.
Start the new year off on the right foot by making neuroplasticity-based activities a part of your daily routine and experience the power of neuroplasticity in creating real and meaningful change in your life. A 2017 publication entitled Functions of Positive Emotions: Gratitude as a Motivator of Self-Improvement and Positive Change, supports the use of neuroplasticity activities, such as practicing gratitude, to improve motivation levels. Feeling stuck and not seeing desired results may take a toll on your self-esteem and overall well-being, but neuroplasticity-based activities can help you turn things around and achieve real progress and positive changes in your life.
What is neuroplasticity’s role in boosting motivation?
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to create new connections. Basically, it’s your brain’s ability to create change from within the brain itself. Pretty cool, right? Neuroplasticity plays a role in the formation of habits. But not all habits serve the person you want to become. The brain is highly susceptible to turning a behavior into a patterned habit the more that behavior is repeated. So if you want to improve your motivation through neuroplasticity remember this simple statement. “A little bit of action, in a new direction, goes a long way”. In other words, getting yourself out of your comfort zone in small but meaningful ways can help create meaningful changes to boost your motivation.
It may be as simple as using your intention to change, as the driving force behind why you’re choosing to take action. The quality of your intention alone can help with creating new connections within the brain.
What are some things I can do to help facilitate neuroplasticity?
Direction is important when leaning on the principles of neuroplasticity to boost motivation. Being clear with why you’re doing what you’re doing is necessary during this process. For example, before trying to achieve a goal. Focus on straightforward actions like getting up and moving more during the day to increase motivation overall. A study in 2012 entitled Neuroplasticity and Positive Psychology in Clinical Practice: A Review for Combined Benefits, within the journal of scientific research, found that incorporating more movement into your day, may help you to increase motivation through neuroplasticity2.
Similarly in a different study carried out in 2013 within the journal of Neuroscience & Behavioural Reviews by Kirsten Hötting and Brigitte Röder, also supports being consistent with a habit such as intentional movement can create new connections within the brain. For example, being intentional with your actions 4 out of the 7 days of the week may create new connections within the brain, boosting your motivation levels. Consistency is key, aim for more days on than off to boost motivation and manage burnout.
How can I use Neuroplasticity to cultivate a growth mindset?
A quick way to remember what drives you is reconnecting to your core “why”. You can do this by asking yourself the following question; what is the most important driving factor in my life? With your answer, ask yourself the following; “Why is this my answer?” Repeat this process 3-5 times until you get to your core “Why”. Reconnecting to this may be your first step to achieving the small tasks while remembering the big picture.
Reconnecting with your “why” and setting small personal goals is key to improving the quality of new connections in your brain through neuroplasticity. A lifehack to improve your well-being is to take a few minutes each day to reconnect with your “why” and let it act like a breath of fresh air, helping to rewire negative thoughts. Repeat this practice a few days each week to strengthen the connections in your brain and improve your overall well-being.
5 ways foster a growth mindset using neuroplasticity
1 – Simplify
Focus on a few key goals, take it one day at a time, and delegate or eliminate any activities that don’t align with your goals and passions to streamline your progress.
2 – Movement
Incorporating movement into your daily routine is essential for overall well-being and productivity, even taking just 2-3 minutes a few times a day to focus solely on movement can make a big difference.
3 – Small Daily Challenges
Practice your goal setting with bite-size measurable goals to help get out of your comfort zone.
4 – Cold Water Practice
Improve your body regulation and motivation by trying a few simple practices like graded cold exposure, such as placing your hand into a basin of cold water or turning the hot water to cold during your next shower.
5 – Reconnect
Stay motivated by reconnecting with what’s most important to you, remember your why, and let it drive positive change in your daily motivation.
Neuroplasticity and growth mindset FAQ
How Can I Train My Brain To Be More Motivated?
At re-origin, our team of experts has created an easy-to-use limbic retraining program, designed to help you reclaim your full health and achieve your goals by utilizing the latest research in neuroscience and brain plasticity. This program offers science-based techniques to help you:
- Increase your levels of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins while reducing cortisol and inflammation.
By participating in this program, you’ll be able to retrain your brain to achieve greater levels of motivation.
How Can I Help Motivate Myself Every Day?
Start by setting small, simple goals with a purpose and creating daily habits to achieve them, and watch yourself become motivated and empowered to take on bigger challenges.
Remember, no matter how hard things may seem, there’s always hope for a brighter tomorrow, and the power to create it lies within you. re-origin’s science-based neuroplasticity program and supportive community offers the tools and guidance to boost your energy levels and ability to accomplish your goals in healing and in life.. Join a group of like-minded individuals who understand the challenges you may be facing and empower yourself to become happier and more motivated.
- Armenta, C. N., Fritz, M. M., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2017). Functions of Positive Emotions: Gratitude as a Motivator of Self-Improvement and Positive Change. Emotion Review, 9(3), 183–190. https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073916669596
- Shaffer, J. (2012). Neuroplasticity and Positive Psychology in Clinical Practice: A Review for Combined Benefits. Psychology, 03(12), 1110–1115. https://doi.org/10.4236/psych.2012.312a164
- Hötting, K., & Röder, B. (2013). Beneficial effects of physical exercise on neuroplasticity and cognition. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews, 37(9 Pt B), 2243–2257. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2013.04.005