Taking risks is not only beneficial for getting closer to your goal. It’s actually good for the brain! So this week's goal setting challenge is to actually pick an activity of something you've never done before.
German research scientists have studied how the need to venture beyond the familiar routine is important for human development. The brain actually responds to an anticipated unknown event as if it were already a positive outcome. As MRI scans have shown, this is because the brain interprets a potential experience of originality as if it already happened and triggers the release of the body’s ‘celebration’ chemical, the neurotransmitter dopamine.
This reward signal is a motivational tool for learning and ensuring that we explore again in the future. The more you take on the unknown, the more inclined you are to venture. The researchers have given this amazing biological event the name “exploration bonus.” What a cool term!
So if we lose our fear of risks or the unknown we can give ourselves a “bonus” everyday!
That can’t be done when fear is calling the shots. Studies show that failure to manage anxieties leads to aversive behavior, which isn’t good for risk-taking or growth.
Funnily enough we cling to the ‘normal’ because we think it provides safety and comfort, but that shuts off progress. I love this quote from John Steinbeck “We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.” And we know it! Comfort feels warm, but fall too much under its cosy spell and the result is stagnation, boredom and occasionally depression.
So how can you get yourself out of a fear-funk?
Well, my advice is to plunge into exciting activities and new found passions in your own private time. What I mean is, try something you wouldn’t normally do, like rocking climbing. This may have absolutely nothing to do your fear of starting a business, or your ultimate fear of progression, but it’ll have the power to help reset all the usual barriers. You’ll be free to tackle new risks without judgment, building up your confidence and a belief you can take on new things and handle them, which will cross over to other parts of your life.
The more you step out of your comfort zone more you strengthen your self-esteem, which reduces the security reflex. Researchers have also found that people whose self-worth is based on factors like personal growth and internal validation are much less depressed than those who base their worth on external achievements and approval of others.
So in summary, start reducing your fear of risks and you’ll improve your state of mind, confidence and rewire your brain to allow progression to trump over the fear of moving beyond that status quo.
What will you do this week to help you combat your fear of risks?
Peace, Love & Blessings,