Goals: Psychological Distance

Our brain associates three types of distance with a goal: psychological, social and spatial and you can move the goal closer psychologically.

Have you ever noticed that as you progress with a goal it seems closer, easier and the final part seems to be achieved faster?  This is actually true for both experience and when we envisage and imagine achieving goals.  Studies have shown that by doing either, the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) lights up.

The outcomes are that planning and envisioning gets stronger, the ventral striatum (where we experience reward) fires up and we get a nice dopamine hit that causes pleasant feelings associated with achieving the goal, even if it’s in the future.  NLP performance coaches deliberately encourage this activation, and anchor it, using a neurological alignment technique.

The statistics for doing this are quite compelling:

The goal seems 30% closer (therefore more achievable), 17% easier and 23% faster (less limiting inhibitors and the addictive nature of Dopamine).

I’m always surprised just how powerful our brain is and how many of us are unaware of this. Think of all that untapped potential!