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Working on strengths – self-belief and muscle memory

Here I’d like to introduce you to some insights into how our minds can either help or sabotage us. Sign up to consider your leadership approach.
Mental strength icon. Willpower and determination for goal achievement. Mind power for success. Cognitive skills.

After this step there is a podcast that talks about muscle memory, and shortly after that, one that discusses self-belief and mantras. Here I’d like to introduce these with some insight into how our minds can either help or sabotage us.

Many of us are not as confident as we might look to others, and over the years we have formed some beliefs about ourselves which are not very helpful. These negative beliefs are where we doubt ourselves, and therefore doubt our strengths. If we are someone who for example is a perfectionist, and therefore finds it difficult if they haven’t done something perfectly, we run the risk of spending a lot of time thinking about the past and how we should have done better. It’s a common phenomenon. And then the mind reinforces that belief, as it is ‘hearing’ it more frequently than, say, a more positive reinforcement.

So self-belief is very much attached to the concept of muscle memory for the brain. We have the power to make ourselves believe in ourselves, if we are bold and start practicing more positive thinking. One way to do this is to ‘re-prime’ our brains, as some have called it. The way I have done this is to note down all the things I believe in and want to be, as well as the opposite of the things I think I am not (but would like to be). This second step is just to capture anything I may not have thought about immediately. Then I write a script formed of present tense statements based on what I have written (“I am courageous, I am professional, I have high levels of integrity” etc.). A further enhancement is to include strengths or desired strengths, again in the present tense (I am an achiever, I am really strategic, etc.). Then I select some music in the background (in this case playing on my PC), and record me reading out the script on my phone through the Voice app. I play this ‘brain re-prime’ morning and night, and over time I experience real change in my levels of self-confidence. What I have been doing is improving my self-belief by getting rid of any underlying negative thoughts or beliefs about myself, and replacing them with positive ones, as my brain (which loves hearing its own voice btw) works exactly the same way as with other types of muscle memory.

Connecting this with strengths, by reinforcing our strengths in our minds, we then become much more confident in them, and they rise to the surface, so to speak, and are there to support us better. We are much more likely to use them and benefit from them, as they are at the forefront of our minds, and any doubts about ourselves have, hopefully, been removed.

In the next step we’ll talk more about muscle memory, and some of my learnings as a musician which I have applied to business life.

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Applied Leadership and Self-Development: Expanding the Toolkit

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