The whole kaizen method can be contained in this saying :
Even a journey of a thousand kilometres begins with a first stepLao Tseu
It reflects the fact that a minor change helps your mind to free you from the fear that blocks your creativity. In this way, in a non-anxiety environment, you master the small steps of change.
Be careful not to wake up your brain’s amygdala
We all want to achieve the greatest results as soon as possible. It must be recognized that many of us fail in such a radical change in behaviour.
In the event of failure, it is easy to inflict the double penalty of calling oneself incapable, of settling into suffering and malaise. Most of our objectives are intimidating.
Failure in our efforts aggravates our fear of change. Often, even a positive change generates anxiety. By trying to overcome blockages, we can remain as if paralyzed. As soon as anxiety sets in, it prevents our creativity from being expressed and drives success away.
With each deviation in our reassuring routine, such as to take up a new challenge, the tonsil lodged in our brain can appear. It warns our organization to prepare for action. In this scheme, it is “escape or fight” and it will limit or even short-circuit access to our cerebral cortex.
Too many important questions will generate fear and anxiety like this :
- Which service or product will generate profits for my company ?
You may notice that the stakes are high and too high to find fully satisfactory answers quickly. In addition, with this kind of question, your brain’s inhibitory function is on and your tonsil is disconnecting you from your cortex.
Also, when you follow programs that involve radical changes, some fears that are sometimes hidden can wake up like with this kind of question :
- What will happen if I am dissatisfied ?
- What will happen if I fail ?
Such fears will generate a high level of stress and destroy all forms of creativity. This is how the positive energies that are essential to maintain your long-term goals disappear.
What your brain expects from you
Behaviours can be summarized as follows :
- The more important the goal is => The more important the fear => The less access to the cortex => The more important the failure is
- The more modest the goal is => The more fear is evacuated => The more involved the cortex is => The more important the success is
Remember that the human brain is programmed to resist change. The only alternative to the fear he proposes is “to flee or to fight“. But then, how do those who succeed do it ?
They have managed to recognize their fears and can openly talk about them, admit their hesitations and doubts about the challenges they are trying to overcome.
Your brain loves questions. Indeed, the hippocampus, which is located in the mammalian part of your brain, has repetition as its main operating criterion. It decides what information to store or retrieve. By repeatedly asking yourself a question, you leave your brain no choice but to formulate answers.
Fear can be divided into two categories :
- The fear of not being worthy : I don’t deserve such a situation !
- Fear of not being able to control the situation : What would happen if I failed to meet this challenge ?
To apprehend your fear, the Kaizen method recommends taking the smallest step. A new habit that will require confidence and optimism at the beginning.
Click HERE, to find your habits and help you achieve your goals: “7 steps to define a good habit“
His first small steps thanks to the kaizen method
The kaizen method is part of a total and continuous search for improvement. Thanks to it, you will be able to achieve major objectives while being on a minor step. If the step seems small, the goal is not.
With just a few small steps you will be able to break the blockage that paralyses your creativity and enthusiasm. By approaching the kaizen method in a benevolent and patient mind, it will serve you whatever the problem you encounter.
You will be able to look positively at things and avoid fear by asking yourself a Kaizen question like :
- What is the smallest step I could take in this or that situation ?
By focusing on the problems you have raised, you will suggest useful solutions.
Fear exists only to mobilize us. For example, the more we care about someone or something, the more they will be present. Remember that you can use difficulties as a springboard to bounce back.
Fear is a normal feeling and a natural sign of ambition or attachment that should encourage us to take small steps towards a better future rather than withdrawing into ourselves.
Ask yourself small questions to free yourself from fear
By patiently and regularly asking yourself a small question, you mobilize the coxrtex and it becomes almost a pleasure.
Thanks to the little questions, you stimulate your desire to change your habits. Of course, you will not change from one day to the next, but you will be on the right track. All this, thanks to modest information introduced on their own initiative.
By asking yourself small constructive questions, you will be in a good kaizen habit. For example, you can repeat the following questions for several days or weeks :
- Is there anything I would like to bring to the world with my professional project, a book, etc ?
- Is there someone who could inspire or help me ?
- Is there a specific department that would satisfy or interest me ?
Similarly, in your search for improvement, you can ask yourself the following question :
- What is the smallest step I could take towards my goal ?
Remember that you train your mind at the beginning to be more creative. Ask yourself the questions of your choice for several days or weeks. Therefore, instead of paralyzing your brain with demanding demands and pressing orders, you will instead achieve a productive output by gently soliciting it.
The hippocampus, the part of the brain that stores information, will have no choice but to record it and your cortex will take over to provide you with answers.
Use small questions, avoid awakening the amygdala and any weakening inhibitions. When the fear is minimal, the cortex can answer all your questions at its own pace.
In addition, the small questions of the kaizen method give you good mood and bold creativity to your mental environment. By asking yourself small questions, you establish your personalized program that will contribute to the success of your change. Thus, the “escape or fight” reaction will not occur.
Building a mental sculpture
You can increase your potential and sculpt your mind with “little thoughts“. Everyone can use it and achieve an objective that was previously beyond reach, even in crisis situations.
Small questions are a lever that will give birth to your ideas. Just ask yourself :
- What tiny step could I take to achieve my goals ?
By letting the question mature for several days or weeks, you can then imagine overcoming your obstacle and sculpting your mind.
Give yourself small rewards
Reward is a way to shape your behaviour through reward.
Whether it is painful or not, a reward must be given for a personal journey, whether it is a personal project, in a company or any other initiative that has inspired you.
To determine a reward that will suit you, it must have the following 3 characteristics :
- Be inexpensive, even free of charge.
- Be in adequacy with the objective pursued.
- Be in adequacy with individuals because some rewards can be misunderstood and become unpleasant. You can ask him the question by asking for 4 or 5 answers while giving him several days to think about it.
Stay aware of the little moments
Here is another exercise of the kaizen method to be sensitized to “little moments”. To achieve this, you need curiosity and an open mind. You will be able to perceive the promises of the little moments and increase your chances of recognizing them to exercise your creativity.
Often, we miss these little moments because we are torn between rethinking the past and anticipating the future. Every time you feel overwhelmed by a concern or regret, ask yourself this :
- Do I need to change something in my life that results from this concern or regret ?
If the answer is YES, you know that you can use the kaizen method to take the first step towards this change.
If the answer is NO (which is more often the case), think intensely for 30 seconds about a person or object that gives you a feeling of pleasure to force your brain to live in the present moment.
To conclude on the kaizen method
The kaizen method is much more than a simple gadget to help you achieve your goals. Whether it is to achieve a goal in a personal project, for your career, your health or your personal life, it invites you to consider life as a place of permanent improvement to achieve ever better criteria of excellence.
Look at everything. Aim for a big project. Improve yourself a little bitJean XXIII
Keep in mind that despite an impeccable organization, you will sometimes encounter strong resistance. Don’t give up, try to reduce the small step instead and you won’t even notice the effort required.
Solve small problems and pay attention to small mistakes and hazards to save you long and costly years of cleaning up.
While you are getting familiar with the kaizen method for a specific purpose, don’t forget its essence! An optimistic credo and confident in the possibilities of human nature.
To go further…
Robert Maurer In : One Small Step Can Change Your Life : The Kaizen Way [Online] The format of the paper book is available on : < https://amzn.to/2Hs6IuG >