Authors, Here's Your Brain on Success

Listening to John Assaraf, bestselling author and 8-figure business owner, speak at an author event about "mastering the inner game of success" recently, I was reminded of how critical it is to take the time to nurture yourself on the way to becoming a successful author. So, rather than discussing strategies and tactics for your book publicity and marketing, I'm going to kick off 2012 by sharing some of John's discoveries about how to "rewire" your brain for success.

Those of you who know me are aware that I've used what we now call the Law of Attraction in my career, and in my life, for decades. Vision boards, meditation, EFT (tapping) and more have all helped me create the career and life of my dreams. What's interesting about John's approach is how he integrates brain science into these processes.

"Your brain becomes accustomed to certain patterns, and if you don't retrain your brain to release some of the patterns of thought that you have, if you don't release some of the behaviors that are responsible for your results, all you're going to do is gather more information," he explains.

Okay, so let's get right to it: how can you "retrain" your brain to become the wildly successful author you know, in your heart, you were born to be?

First of all, John says, from a neural programming standpoint, you need to understand that establishing a goal is different from achieving it. To establish goals, you use the declarative, explicit part of your brain. Achieving them, however, means changing your behavior, which involves an entirely separate brain region.

That, John explains, is one of the reasons it's so important to retrain your brain -- so you alter not just your core beliefs, but your behavior also. You brain, John adds, "is the 800-pound gorilla you're fighting every single day, whether you're trying to lose weight, change the relationship you're in, make more money, grow your business" -- or become THE hot new author of 2012.

Whenever your brain detects change, including desirable, positive change, it sends a "danger" signal to the amygdala, which is an almond-shaped piece of your brain situated roughly above your ears. In response to this "distress" signal, which is the product of your brain's inherent resistance to change of all kinds, your frontal lobe, which is your brain's creative or "genius" center, shuts down. Before you know it, you're back to achieving as much success -- but no more -- than you have in the past.

Fortunately, there are real and specific actions you can take to overcome your brain's faulty conditioning. Over time you can force your brain to integrate new messages that open the pathways to becoming the bestselling author you're destined to be.

Here are the techniques and strategies John uses himself, and teaches his many clients, for reprogramming your brain for success:

Build your vision. First, you need to create a specific vision for your success. To make it tangible, create a vision board with your name and your book at the top of the NYT bestsellers list, for example. Write glowing reviews of the book you haven't yet written. Devise a list of all the major media outlets that will lavish attention on you and your book. Include as many details as possible, including dates, numbers, colors, names, and dollar amounts.

Blow it out. To force your brain to change, you've got to "create a bigger vision than you've got right now," John says. Imagine every aspect of your new and outrageously successful life. Envision your ideal bank account balance, your dream literary agent, the adoring emails you'll receive from your readers, and how all your newfound success as an author will color your entire life, from Sunday morning through Saturday night, sun up to sun down.

Do your "inner-cise." Just like you exercise your body, you need to dedicate thirty minutes per day to "working out" different parts of your brain with meditation, visualizations, affirmations, and your vision board.

Commit to 56. According to the most recent research, it takes 56 days to reprogram your brain, especially if you're over 40. The key, he says, is to commit to your "inner-cise" every single day of every single week, no matter what.

Do less to achieve more. (Yes, you read that right.) Successful people, John asserts, focus "on the critical few things versus the trivial many things." Once your brain is reprogrammed for bigger, bolder success, working until you drop is as unnecessary as it is unproductive.

From experience, I can tell you that it's critically important to invest yourself at all levels in your success in an author. Using John's guidance, I hope you, too, will start "priming" your brain for an outrageously successful 2012!

Arielle Ford has launched the careers of many NY Times bestselling authors including Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Neale Donald Walsch & Debbie Ford. She is a former book publicist, literary agent and the author of seven books.