Know When to Push
It’s easy to commit to the routine you’re used to, but growth and gains are made from consistently upping your game. According to the Flow Genome Project, a performance think tank, your brain switches into “flow mode” when you’re 4% over your edge. Vincent says, “When your brain senses you’re in excess danger, it flips into the amygdala’s operating system”. This part of the brain controls the fight or flight reaction. While part of your brain says, “Stay unchallenged and comfy,” the other part says, “Teach me something new and watch me master it.” Which mode do you live in?
The moment your brain realizes “we’re doing this,” your body will meet you halfway, releasing adrenaline, cortisol, and dopamine to support the new effort.
By contrast, emotional and mental challenges are all part of conquering new goals. Your task is to acknowledge the experience of guilt or cravings and let it pass before it triggers a slew of negative emotions. If your mind spirals into self-defeating self-talk, reiterate that you’re in charge of your choices. As for cravings: You are genetically programmed to want to eat high-energy foods, like carbs and fats, and not to want to work out, so acting against this is hard. But like any challenge, your body will adapt to a new mindset or habit, and before you know it, that’ll be the new norm.
The Pain: You may lose steam sometimes because the brain is adaptive and will integrate your new routine, taking away the edge it once gave you.
The Gain: Vincent suggests, “Create a sense of urgency to push your brain past your edge.” Can you speed up your routine by 15 minutes? Or if you’re a business owner, set a deadline that pushes you into a healthy stress mode.