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The Power of Coaching For Unleashing Your Brain’s Potential

As a kid in the eighties and early nineties, technology and science were evolving at such a rate that we were told the future jobs were primarily a mystery, with many yet to be created. The jobs of the future will continue to be shaped by technology and science, which is why we are seeing a rise in people becoming coaches to help navigate these new and ever-changing opportunities. But the value of hiring a coach lies in what we have learned about the brain.


The Brain

The earliest written reference to the brain comes from the Edwin Smith Papyrus, an Egyptian medical text estimated at 1600 BCE. Nearly 3268 years later Dutch scientist Nicolaus Steno would pen, "The brain, the masterpiece of creation, is almost unknown to us" In the 1960s, neuroscience experienced a significant surge in research and exploration. New technologies emerged during this time that improved our ability to study the brain and better understand its functioning. Neuroscientists began to explore the brain's inner workings with new tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG). These new technologies allowed researchers to observe how the brain works in real-time and at different levels of detail.



Researchers also discovered more about neural networks, synaptic transmission, neuronal communication, and other neuroscience-related topics. As a result of this research, we now have a greater understanding of how the brain functions on macroscopic and microscopic levels. This period was transformative for neuroscience and set the stage for continued growth in the field. Dr. Danial Amen states in his 2016 article why your brain is like the universe. Your brain is the most complex, mind-blowing organ in the universe. It is estimated to have over 100 billion neurons (also called nerve cells or brain cells), about the number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Each neuron is connected to other neurons by up to 40,000 individual connections (called synapses) between cells. Multiplying 100 billion neurons times 40,000 synapses is equivalent to the brain having more connections than stars in the universe. A piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses, all communicating with one another. "



Your Brain on Coaching

Steriotipiclly we may remember the gym coaches of our youth, short shorts, a whistle, heckling you as you desperately tried to climb that dreaded rope! This type of coaching, primarily rooted in fear or humiliation, often leads to learning encoded in our short-term memory.

But the good ol' coach had at least one thing right. We learn through repetition by repeating the same material multiple times until it is firmly etched in the neuroplasticity of our memory. As humans, we are constantly looking to experience the best life offers. Although the cognitive brain is adept at solving problems, it does possess an inherent challenge when learning. The aim of coaching is to support people in gaining insight into how humans react to their environment to become more aware of themselves and their surroundings. A good coach will help you recognize self-limiting beliefs or behavior preventing you from achieving your goals. They will work with you to reframe your thoughts and help you focus your attention on the positives. A good coach understands how to tap into inner resources and help develop strategies to overcome obstacles preventing you from achieving the impossible. Anything is possible with the guidance of a good coach, the power of positive thinking, and the skillful use of attention.


Talking through problems is no longer a task for therapists and phycologists; coaching is about finding creative and research-driven solutions that help people unlock their full potential. Advances in technology and neuroscience have given us a much better understanding of how our brain works, which has profoundly impacted the coaching profession. With these insights, coaches can gain greater insight into how to better help their clients reach their goals. So if you want to jock up your brain, why not contact me for a free coaching session? We will develop strategies that are tailor-made for you and your unique situation.


Footnote

To calculate the number of years from 1600 BCE to 1669 AD, we need to consider that there is no year 0 in the Gregorian calendar, so we must add an extra year when calculating the period between BCE and AD. Thus, the calculation is as follows: Number of years from 1600 BCE to 1 BCE = 1600 - 1 + 1 = 1600 years Number of years from 1 CE to 1669 CE = 1669 - 1 = 1668 years. Therefore, the total years from 1600 BCE to 1669 AD is 1600 + 1668 = 3268 years.


Works Referenced

Harvard Business Review. “Find the Coaching in Criticism.” Harvard Business Review, 26 Jan. 2023, https://hbr.org/2014/01/find-the-coaching-in-criticism.


“History of Neuroscience.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Mar. 2023, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_neuroscience.


“A HISTORY OF THE BRAIN.” Web.stanford.edu, Stanford University, https://web.stanford.edu/class/history13/earlysciencelab/body/brainpages/brain.html.


Life, BrainMD. “Why Your Brain Is like the Universe.” BrainMD Blog, 20 Apr. 2016, https://brainmd.com/blog/how-your-brain-is-like-the-universe/.



“Understanding the Brain: A Brief History.” Queensland Brain Institute - University of Queensland, University of Queensland, 30 Jan. 2019, https://qbi.uq.edu.au/brain/intelligent-machines/understanding-brain-brief-history



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