It was once thought that most cognitive hardwiring was programmed in our minds by age 7. So, whatever ideas, emotional habits, and behavioral tendencies we had as children became the hardwired programming we would default to as adults. Sort of a scary thought...
But now neuroscience is showing that most of our mind's habits, emotions, and behaviors ( i.e. our hardwiring) are being developed until our mid-20s.
However, what happens after that? Can we rewire our minds as we mature, or are we stuck as reactive 20-somethings forever?
I believe that in our 30's, we embark on an era of self-development and personal growth like never before. This has certainly been the case for me. This is probably because our minds are fully developed, our lifestyles are established, and our relationships are maturing. Starting the deep work on ourselves seems like a natural progression.
As we deepen our personal growth, we become aware of our actions, habits, and emotions that no longer serve us. We begin to take accountability for our faults because acknowledging them is the first step to change.
But, if our brains are already pretty set in their ways by the time we enter our late 20s, how do we begin to fix the negative hardwiring as we age?
Neuroscientist Tara Swart says that the idea of our mind being hardwired is not actually true. With proper awareness and corrective choices, we can override the previous programming in our minds. Nothing is permanently hardwired. When practicing a new skill, habit, or emotion, you have to actively choose the new way of thinking over the last, over and over again, until the new way of thinking becomes the more natural way of responding. This takes time, patience, choice, and practice. But reprogramming your mind is possible.
It is our job to become the best version of ourselves. No one can do the work for us. We will never get to where we want to go if we stay emotionally stuck where we are.
Change is a choice... staying stuck is too.
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