Kevin Skeens, creator of Shatter Expectations, asserts that in order to change the structure of our brains, we need to be aware of the content we've already downloaded in our most powerful muscle. First, it's completely necessary to shift our thinking so that we can see the good in any situation.
Take inventory of any negative thoughts, reactions, or self-talk you've already made a habit of rehearsing in your mind. If you ask God, he will help you and show you how you could be hurting yourself. Psalm 51:6 (Berean Study Bible) says,
"Surely you desire truth in the inmost being; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place."
Some of us were indoctrinated to believe that viewing everything in an overly "positive" way would be the opposite of piousness or reverence for God's ultimate reality. The Bible clearly contradicts this view, stating in Proverbs 12:25 (NIV),
"Anxiety weighs down the heart of a man, but a good word cheers it up."
Skeens' belief that failure is the catalyst to change (if we allow it to grow us) has been confirmed over and over again in the lives of athletes just like Emmy. Emmy channeled one of the most challenging seasons of her life into a change for the better, instead of allowing it to make her bitter.
God promises that he has good plans for us, so we can rest in the midst of incredible hardship, knowing that it will ultimately produce greatness. James 1:4 (NLT) reminds us:
"So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."
The only way to redirect the course of your life is to ensure that your mental game is strong. This fact always reminds us to discipline ourselves with constant self-inventory. By choosing to admit and analyze any negative or sinful thought processes, you will begin to change the neuropathways in your brain.
Skeens is also an avid supporter of Dr. Joe Dispenza, who asserts that all people are marvels of adaptability and change. He confirms that by simply studying the process of growth (reading books on leadership, positivity, etc.), your brain will absorb the information and transform itself.
A very necessary and important part of strengthening your mind is imagining good outcomes in all life scenarios. This is where visualization and reframing come in. If you're a volleyball player, you should dedicate at least a few minutes every day to envisioning success during a game. Rehearse the way you want to hit the ball when you serve, imagine it floating over the net, and envision yourself making a perfect pass or setting up a teammate for their hit. This mind-practice applies to every area of life, and we already rehearse either negative or positive outcomes subconsciously. No matter what career field, sport, or activity you want success in, you should always take time to visualize your success.
Positive self-talk is the best and most essential jump-start for rewiring your brain. Coming up with a mantra or a Bible verse for difficult times is essentially meditating while you're still working. For example, several years ago at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Volleyball Camp, all athletes were told the story of a man who always said "I'm still here," whenever he underwent his football team's brutal conditioning. As simple as it may seem, his mantra kept him going and even inspired future generations of athletes—regardless of their difference in goals and training.