The Neurobiology of Personal Transformation
This chapter describes personal transformation as both the context for and product of choosing growth-promoting responses to challenges in life over self-protecting responses. The disposition to make this choice sets a trajectory of personal transformation throughout life which is experienced as the development of innate potential and general well-being.
The growth and protection modes for life engagement are so holistic that they can be measured concurrently at behavioral, mind, and neurobiological levels. This chapter describes them at all three levels while focusing on the contributions of neurobiological research. Neurobiological patterns serve as reliable markers for the thoughts and actions that distinguish growth-promoting from self-protecting responses to challenges.
Most day-to-day life engagement is carried out automatically through habitual patterns of thoughts and actions that require little reflective thought and personal change. This chapter explains how challenges are delineated as opportunities for transformation by the degree to which they drive the need for significant personal change. The need for personal change to address challenges sets up an emotional conflict which is resolved through personal transformation.
Meeting challenges that provoke personal transformation requires reflective interpretations of situations and evaluations of oneself and intentional choices of growth responses. Reflective interpretations and intentional choices offset habitual thoughts and actions. They are both described in some detail, and practical skills and strategies are provided for their application to challenges.
KeywordsNeuroscience Neurobiological markers Self-transformation Growth mindset Self-efficacy Reflective interpretation Self-examination Parasympathetic dominance
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