Change-ability Tip #4: Are you “playing it safe” or are you starving your brain?
Facing challenges at work or elsewhere in your life? You’re in good company. Personally, my response is to put my head down and to try to work harder… or at least work longer. For me, this is “playing it safe” rather than boldly initiating change. So far, this strategy hasn’t been as successful as I’d like. As I get older… er… more experienced, I’m thinking that working harder/longer and playing it safe might not be the best path to success.
During the few minutes a day that I’m not working, I love to read about brain research and neuroplasticity/neurogenesis. Check out Brain Leaders and Learners: Practical Tactics from Neuro Discoveries with Dr. Ellen Weber. According to researchers, five conditions (very often present when we “play it safe”) are the very things that prevent us from getting smarter. In one blog post, Dr. Ellen Weber says stress, isolation, boredom, exhaustion, and too little exercise slam the door on “new brainpower regeneration.” Huh!
It becomes circular–playing it safe because we’re afraid we’re not up to (smart enough?) to handle change… results in feeling worn-out, isolated and stressed … and no further ahead in terms of brain power!
So what is change-ability tip #4? Support your brain. Schedule activities to address stress, isolation, boredom, exhaustion, and lack of exercise. Visualize new brain cells sprouting and new pathways zig zagging to new ideas and strategies for embracing change!