Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Insight Can Redraw Your Destiny

By Amy Price PhD

An alternate title is “What you see on the inside produces consequences on the outside”. The Bible states this a couple of other ways “As an individual thinks in his/her heart so is their destiny” The prophets explained the Israelites initial inability to enter the land of promise by saying “They were like grasshoppers in their own sight and so they were the same in the eyes of others”.

Science bears this out. According to integrative neuroscientist Evian Gordon (2001, 2008) minimizing danger and maximizing reward is a significant principle in how the brain organizes and in so doing impacts our lives. If a situation leads to a reward response such as positive emotions, words, or activities the brain engages and approaches or engages. When a situation brings up negative emotions or punishment the brain sends out an avoid response and detaches.

Can you see where this principle would lead in marriages, the work place or learning? In one research study participants completed a paper maze that featured a mouse in the middle trying to reach a picture on the outside. Half of the group saw a piece of the cheese as the picture to reach while others saw a predator.

The effect on learning the maze was astounding those that had the cheese picture solved more problems more creatively than those with the predator picture. (Friedman and Foster, 2001). Other studies relate how people who specifically visualize and mentally practice winning have significant advantages over people who did not practice and in fact what they ‘thought” gave them a similar advantage to actually practicing (Logie and Denis ,1991)

Transferring this concept to the real we can ask these questions. How likely is someone who senses their credibility is undermined to be able to produce answers to complex problems or initiate creative solutions?

Performance reviews, constructive criticism, even unasked for advice can threaten status and cloud thinking. You can even threaten your own status by seeing yourself as hanging by your fingernails over a cliff or rehearsing failure. There are a series of steps you can take to change your mind and get it working for you from the inside out.

As an employer, parent, friend or marriage partner are you unknowingly causing threats to an individual’s status or is someone threatening yours? Watch this space for ways of enhancing status and changing your place in the workspace!

For ways to put these principles in action see this article http://empower2go.wordpress.com/

References :

Friedman R. and Foster J. (2001). The effects of promotion and prevention cues on creativity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 1001-1013.

Gordon, E. (2000). Integrative Neuroscience: Bringing together biological, psychological and clinical models of the human brain. Singapore: Harwood Academic Publishers.

Gordon, E. et al. (2008), An “Integrative Neuroscience” platform: application to profiles of negativity and positivity bias, Journal of Integrative Neuroscience.

Robert H. Logie, Michel Denis 1991,Mental images in human cognition (Amsterdam, Netherlands) ; volume 80 of Studies in Surface Science and Catalysis

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