3 Tips to Win the Inner Game of Business and Success
Our subconscious mind is always operating in the background, just below the level of conscious awareness. But are you aware of just how pervasive and influential it is?
It’s essential to realize that your business goals are intimately shaped by deep, personal, and hidden emotions that are governed by our unconscious limbic brain. i Damage this part of the brain, and our ability to achieve our goals will be severely hampered. ii
Insight #1: The successful achievement of your business goals is deeply dependent upon your emotional states.
Most of us don’t realize it but many of our emotional states are set in place by age twelve. They become part of our core memories and they get stimulated whenever we engage in any activity that is similar to events we’ve experienced in the past.
Here’s common business example: your boss or employee or colleague says something that hurts your feelings. You’re not aware of it, but your limbic brain recalls a time when an elementary school teacher scolded you. When you were eight, you reacted with shame; but there may be other similar childhood events that made you react with anger, fear, or confusion. So your unconscious brain – not your conscious mind – decides to react with one of those memory feelings: shame, anger, fear, confusion, etc. None of them are the “right” response, but your old brain isn’t dealing with the new event that’s happening in your life right now.
If you want to respond to the current situation, you need to train your brain to remain in the present moment, and to slow down your “reaction” time long enough to decide which emotion is the best one that will maintain a good relationship with the other person. All you need to activate this new and positive behavior is to be aware that your brain’s first reaction is to feel what it felt in the past. This awareness alone is enough to build new neural pathways – and better, more useful memories – in your brain.
Take a moment right now and write down on a piece of paper five dysfunctional ways you’ve reacted to people in the past. Recall, as best you can, an early memory associated with that poor behavior, and then write down a better way you’ll respond the next time a similar feeling and memory are stimulated.
Insight #2: Many of the emotional states that govern our successes and failures in business are largely a matter of unconscious habit, closely tied to the emotional programming of our childhood.
These deeply ingrained memories and habits were originally formed to help you cope with childhood experiences, but most of them are “out of date.” You just can’t use the thinking of a 12 year old to handle the problems that a mature business person must deal with. But first, we have to be aware that our subconscious mind is filled with these outdated habits, behaviors, and feelings. Fortunately, because the connections in our frontal lobes can be easily changed, it only takes a conscious commitment and a better strategy to build better habits, and therefore a better brain.
Surprisingly, some of the most important “executive” functions of our brain aren’t even fully operational until our mid-to-late twenties. iii This is the part of your brain that lets you take conscious control of your life, which means that it is essential to constantly, consciously, and conscientiously innercise our frontal lobes by deeply meditating on new business strategies that are more efficient and effective than the old ones still rambling around in the recesses of our ancient limbic brain. If we don’t choose to consciously build better habits, we’ll automatically use the old ones from the past.
Insight #3: You have the ability to become aware of your old automatic behaviors, but it requires a daily and hourly commitment to do so.
sciously choosing to take full responsibility for your present circumstances and your future, you can remove any toxic guilt that stops you from transcending the automatic behaviors that limit your financial success. When you realize that your emotionally triggered, automatic behaviors are producing less-than-satisfying results, you can take control over your unconscious mind and literally install into your neural circuits a “millionaire mind,” implementing the tried-and-true practices that every successful business person has used.
Not only will your business ventures thrive, but any old remnants of self-doubt and insecurity will fall away. You’ll feel the emotional pleasure of being fully responsible for your actions, and best of all, you’ll be able to accept and forgive the failures and errors from your past.
And remember: every mistake is an invitation to make a significant change, not only in your own life, but in the lives of everyone you meet. Once we realize how much of our lives have been governed by childhood memories and feelings, we can make the necessary changes that will rapidly transform our life and business in spectacularly positive ways.
i Emotion is essential to all intentional behaviors. Retrieved from http://sulcus.berkeley.edu/wjf/CE.%20Neurodynamics.and.Emotion.pdf. Freeman, WJ. 1998.
ii The Neurodynamics of Intentionality in Animal Brains May Provide a Basis for Constructing Devices that are Capable of Intelligent Behavior. Retrieved from http://sulcus.berkeley.edu/wjf/CI.MachineIntelligence.pdf. Freeman, WJ. 2000.
iii Dynamic mapping of human cortical development during childhood through early adulthood. Retrieved from http://www.loni.ucla.edu/~thompson/DEVEL/PNASDevel04.pdf. Gogtay, N, et al. 2004.