Did you know you can train your brain for success?
Having success leads to more success. It’s not just progress and triumph that move you towards more success. It’s what happens inside your brain that propels you forward.
“success breeds success”
So what happens in your brain when you succeed in a task or accomplish something? First, your body releases dopamine, the pleasure and reward chemical. Then, it tells certain parts of your brain to pay close attention to what you just did because it wants to do it again in the future.
Also, the dopamine feels good in your brain and gives you feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Your brain wants to experience that feeling again and again.
And this is exactly what you want to train your brain to do: repeat success.
This means that it’s essential to reinforce each small win to motivate yourself from one small success to the next and towards a larger goal.
How to train your brain for success
When you take time and effort to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, it helps you and your brain make a strong connection between the accomplishment you’re celebrating and the actions that got you there.
It’s also a great way to stay motivated on the way to a larger goal. It’s fun and it feels good!
If you tick off a box after completing your goal without taking time to celebrate, you tell your brain that what you did wasn’t that important. You tell your brain it was just a thing to tick off your list, like vacuuming or picking up the dry cleaning.
So instead of teaching your brain that what you accomplish is not essential, train your brain to remember that achieving your goals is exactly what you want to keep doing.
Now when I say “celebrate” or talk about rewards, I don’t mean you have to throw a party every time you achieve something or buy yourself a diamond necklace. But you must do something special just for you that feels like a reward that you earned.
How to make the most of rewards & celebrations
When you plan your next goal, make sure you not only break it down into tinier achievements but also set rewards for each of those smaller wins.
Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology says that immediate and frequent rewards work better than delayed rewards only given out at the end of a long project. This is why you want to break your goals down into smaller actions or milestones with associated rewards.
It’s also important to set those rewards in advance because it’s not just receiving the prize that gets the dopamine in your brain going. It’s also the anticipation of the reward!
So I encourage you to take the time to celebrate your small wins on the journey towards your big hairy goals to make sure that your brain and neuropathways are helping you to achieve success.
- Acknowledgment and rewards encourage your brain to release dopamine
- Dopamine helps your brain to steer you towards repeating the experience of success
- Rewards don’t have to be elaborate or expensive, but they do have to feel special to you
- Break your goals into smaller goals or milestones and set rewards for each of those smaller goals in advance
- The anticipation of the reward already sets off chemical changes in your brain
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