I have been working on creating a new web page for our AWARENESS app. In the process I am discovering that I still get contracted around doing something new in the tech world. I have definitely rewired a lot in this area, but as I work with the designer or organizing the page, every cell in my body wants to flee. I feet helpless and overwhelmed. I know that these are just a feelings, but when I am not careful I get hijacked by those feeling and suddenly the refrigerator becomes a good place to visit.
Generally, I do not allow myself to get hijacked since I ground myself in the knowledge that I want the results more than I want to escape the feelings. In this case, I want to create an interesting and exciting page for our AWARENESS app, which hopefully will inspire people to get engaged with this work. I remind myself that it is not so hard, even if it feels hard, and that in time, with practice, I will know this terrain as much as I know my emotional neighborhood – well, probably not – but well enough to feel more comfortable.
So when I hear “It’s so hard” from others, I can relate completely to the feeling. The emphasis is on the feeling. Remember, feelings are just neurotransmitters, chemicals released in your brain, they do not define reality. Our system is wired to stay in a comfortable and effortless state. Learning a new task usually makes us feel clumsy and awkward at first. The resistance is stronger when the new task is something we don’t enjoy or toward which we have some negative association.
Usually really important and worthwhile endeavors are going to be challenging: going to school, finding a job we love, finding a life partner we get along with, raising healthy happy children, losing weight, etc. We choose to pursue these because we want to experience their rewards: sharing, fulfillment, joy, good health, love. When we live in how hard it is to attain them, we reinforce the neural pathways of “It’s so hard.”
When we shift our focus to the reasons we want to work toward a particular goal or learn a new task, we ground new positive neural pathways like inspirations, commitment and tenacity.
Parents can begin to wire their children from the start to associate learning new tasks or pursuing new goals with a sense of adventure, helping them focus on the rewards and inspiring them to override their brain’s tendency to avoid or delay trying something new.
Learning can be exciting even when it is challenging.