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karen allen

Unlock Your Brain's Potential: Learning New Skills with Neuroplasticity




Imagine this scenario...

It’s your first time walking into a gym in years. You’re on a health journey and are committed to building your strength by lifting a few times a week. You look around and see the bench press is empty, so you decide to start there. 


It’s been a minute since you’ve done a press, but you remember the basics. So you rack up 50-lb plates on each side of the bar, and get to work!



Small Wins, Big Results: Why Repetition is the Key to Leveraging Neuroplasticity 

Are you shouting at your screen yet? Hahaha!


But really, even if you’re not into hitting the gym (hey, I’m right there with you!), you know that this can’t possibly end well, right? Best case scenario, you’re going to struggle and end up discouraged, which will make it that much harder to motivate yourself to start your next workout.


I’m here to tell you, building a new skill or a new habit works the exact same way. Diving headfirst into a whole new routine can be overwhelming, and as soon as those negative thoughts and feelings kick in, you’re going to be spending your energy trying to overcome them, rather than putting your effort into actually learning and practicing. 


That’s a recipe for burnout. And when it sets in, your inner voice can start to poke at you, telling you that you were just too old to learn, that you just weren’t dedicated enough, that you just weren’t smart enough.


And absolutely none of those things are true, my friend! Your struggles had nothing to do with your inherent skills or work and everything to do with not being set up for success.


Because your brain, just like every other part of your body, doesn’t learn new things by maxing out on the first go! If you want to leverage neuroplasticity to learn something new or develop a new habit, you have to work with your brain. Your brain is incredible at building new pathways, but that process requires a couple of things: repetition and positive feedback.


Think about it like that bench press. It’s not the weight itself that builds strength—it’s the repetitions over time. And what keeps you coming back for more is being able to see and feel the gains you’re making. Every time you do, your brain releases dopamine—the feel-good hormone—which helps you stay motivated and keep going!



Patterns create progress

The key is starting small. What would happen if, instead of the full stack of plates, you began with the bar itself. It's manageable, you see progress, and it builds momentum. This, my friends, is the secret to harnessing neuroplasticity and acquiring new skills.


So, how do we translate this into actionable steps?


Here's your challenge: pick one skill or habit you'd like to develop. Maybe it's mastering public speaking, learning a new coding language, or simply incorporating mindful breathing into your day.


Focus on Repetition

Now comes the magic of neuroplasticity. Remember, repetition is key! Just like strengthening a muscle, repeated practice builds connections in your brain, making the skill a more natural part of who you are. Commit to incorporating this new skill for four weeks, whether it's daily or every other day, depending on the complexity.


Share the Journey

Leadership is about fostering a culture of learning. So share what you’ve learned about the power of small steps—take it to your team! Encourage everyone to pick their own skill or habit and support each other's growth. This fosters a collaborative learning environment and unleashes the collective power of your team. Imagine the collective learning power you can unleash!



Here are some additional tips to fuel your brain's learning fire:

  • Break it down: Complex skills often feel overwhelming. Break them down into smaller, more achievable steps. This creates a roadmap to success and keeps motivation high

  • Embrace the challenge: Stepping outside your comfort zone is crucial for growth. Don't shy away from a little difficulty—it's a sign you're pushing your boundaries and strengthening your brain.

  • Celebrate progress: Acknowledge your wins, no matter how small. Celebrate each completed step and milestone—they all contribute to the bigger picture.

  • Find a learning buddy: Having someone to share the journey with can be incredibly motivating. Find a colleague or friend who's also interested in learning something new and hold each other accountable.

  • Make it fun! Learning shouldn't feel like a chore. Find ways to make the process enjoyable. This could mean incorporating gamification elements, using engaging learning resources, or simply choosing a skill you genuinely find interesting.


By embracing neuroplasticity and these practical tips, you can unlock a world of possibilities. Remember, leaders who continuously learn and grow inspire others to do the same. Start small, stay focused, and watch your brain—and your leadership—reach its full potential!


Tools for Brain Training

If you’re looking for some new tools to help you get started on your brain-training journey, I’m here to help! Here are a few to get you started:



What habits are you looking to unlearn in 2024? Now is the time to put a plan in place that will allow you to make those changes, one small shift at a time!

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If you still love a good read, welcome to my blog. My hope is that every article will give you at least one tid-bit to help you shape your life in the most beautiful way possible. 😊 WELCOME!

Hi, I'm Karen! 

Hi, I'm Karen.

I've made it my life's work to teach as many people as possible about synergistic trifecta of human potential and transformation: mindfulness, positive psychology, and neuroplasticity.

 

This fusion creates a holistic approach to personal growth, well-being, and resilience, empowering you to thrive, navigate life's complexities with grace, and tap into your fullest potential.


​​I've worked with companies such as Nissan, Golf Channel, Google, Universal Orlando Parks & Resorts, LG and many more. 

Whether I'm teaching from stage, in a conference room, or via Zoom, my #1 mission is to help as many people as possible tap into the power of their mindset and start living more fully. Because when you become better, you make the people around you better, and that's how you make the world a little better, too. 🌱 #BetterTogether

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