040 – John Assaraf – Unleashing Your Brain’s Potential

040 – John Assaraf – Unleashing Your Brain’s Potential

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In this episode, John Assaraf, New York Times bestselling author, founder of NeuroGym, and leading mindset and performance expert, shares the science behind rewiring your mindset to get rid of self-sabotaging patterns. John shares about his troubled childhood and how his first mentor taught him the difference between “interested” and “committed”. He gives practical “innercises” to shift your mindset and make decisions free of fear or self-limitation. Listen in to get tips from his latest book – and learn the first step towards achieving your biggest dreams and goals so you can get there faster.

Time Stamped Show Notes

[02:00] –John’s story and background

  • 2:30 – He had trouble communicating with other kids and didn’t speak the same language as the others
  • 03:00 – From 12-17 years old, John got into trouble and fell behind in school; at 19 he went to a lunch and was asked one question that changed his life forever
  • 04:43 – The man at lunch asked why he didn’t just “use his brain better” to make money and take care of himself; the man suggested he have bigger goals and dreams
  • 05:15 – The man asked John to write down the specifics of his biggest goals and dreams and asked him if he was interested or committed to seeing them happen
  • 06:30 – If you’re interested, you make excuses and do what’s convenient; if you’re committed, you move to a different level and do whatever it takes
  • 07:20 – John said he was committed, but his conditioning was so strong he immediately questioned the possibility of what the man was asking him to do
  • 09:25 – His family helped him pay to move and enroll in a real estate class; he passed the test and saw that he had more potential than he ever knew
  • 10:30 – John invested in learning from his mentor and invested one hour a day in leveling up his knowledge and skills
  • 10:45 – He made more than his father at age 20, more than tripled his income by age 21, and traveled the world for 14 months at 22

[11:25] – The power of understanding beliefs, habits, and the story we tell ourselves

  • 11:40 – John realizes that the stories he told himself were true, but what was needed was a reframing to re-script the future
  • 12:10 – Had he not reframed the story, he would be in the same place today as he was before he met his mentor

[12:40] – On mentorship

  • 12:45 – John’s mentors showed him a different way of thinking and being; they showed him his own power
  • 13:15 – 40 years ago, John was invited to explore consciousness, the psyche, and the facets of thought that make us human

[14:20] – The first step in re-writing stories

  • 14:25 – Be aware that you have stories around money, worth, values, etc.; figure out the limiting beliefs and fears that are holding you back
  • 15:25 – Ask what self-image you have about yourself and assess the stories you have around trauma
  • 16:30 – You must decide to let go of the old stories that hold you back to build a new identity
  • 16:47 – When you’re ready to release your old programming, it’s time to find the tools necessary to reprogram and repattern your neural networks
  • 18:00 – Some patterns can be changed instantly while others take weeks; cognitive priming and repetitive techniques reactivate your neuroplasticity switch
  • 20:15 – Stretch past your comfort zone when re-wiring your brain; it’s natural tendency will be to return back to its old “normal” that feels “safe”

[21:15] – “Take six, calm the circuits”: Innercise exercise one to deactivate your brain’s stress response

  • 21:20 – Be aware that change is coming and deactivate the stress response in the brain by taking six deep, slow breaths
  • 22:50 – Notice your thoughts, feelings and patterns and assess whether they’re moving you toward or away from your goal

[23:00] – AIA: Innercise exercise number two

  • 23:10 – In a relaxed, calm state, ask what you’re thinking and feeling – and ask if you’re moving toward or away from your goal
  • 23:30 – Make choices when you’re calm and have the tools to understand your brain’s patterns

[24:40] – How to build your neuro-muscles

  • 24:45 – We build muscle by exercising; we build neuro-muscle by innercising
  • 25:00 – The brain doesn’t differentiate between good habits, thoughts, and beliefs or bad, it just works the muscle you’ve given it by repetitive use

[25:40] – On strengthening your mindset

  • 25:50 – Most people don’t ask what they can do to strengthen their mind or upgrade their emotional skills and resiliency
  • 26:00 – We’re conditioned by age 10-12 and must change and re-wire the parts of our brain that house belief systems and habits that drive our behavior

[27:45] – John’s latest book Innercise

  • 27:50 – The book teaches readers how to align their brain with the setting and achieving of goals to activate more of their brain for less resistance and more harmony
  • 28:40 – It teaches how to achieve goals and dreams faster and easier – basically, how to “use your brain better”, like John’s mentor had originally advised
  • 29:10 – The book comes with free audio and video exercises

[30:30] – John’s free Brain-A-Thon

  • 30:37 – John and some brain experts on his advisory team at NeuroGym offer a free 8-hour Brain-A-Thon to teach how to let go of the stuff that holds you back

3 Key Points

  1. When you truly commit, everything changes.
  2. Get out of your comfort zone in order to reprogram your brain.
  3. Interruptive patterns change neural networks.


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