What makes you tick? Have you ever wondered why you are the way that you are and why you do what you do? A lot of people have been curious about that question, and the explanations you’ll learn are truly fascinating. Dr. L. Carol Scott, a graduate of the University of Kansas with dual BA’s in Anthropology and Human Development, an MA in early education and a PhD in Developmental Psychology, will share some insightful information about how the first three years of life affects you. Living through a traumatic childhood herself, she is on an ongoing path of recovery with the goal to show people how to treat themselves and others like the unique gifts we are. She shares that it is so important for people to understand that so much of what they are today is imprinted in a time they do not even remember. By coming to learn and understand that, you can focus on the positive and highlight the unique gifts in yourself.
As parents, it is really important to understand the impact that the first 3-5 years of your child’s life has on their brain wiring and how it imprints them into becoming the person they are as an adult. What are our brains like at birth and what is the mechanism that changes it? Metaphorically speaking, our brains can be compared to a big bowl of spaghetti noodles when we are first born. That bowl is full of very fine neurons with most being loose and not connected. From the moment we are born, every single second of our experience in this world creates a million new neuron connections in our brain! Those neurons will connect to one and another and make multiple connections. By age 3, 85% of our brain is wired with what we will end up with and 95% by the age of 5! How we are taken care of in our first 3 years of life determines the way our brain will develop.
How do those early three years of life affect you as an adult in social relationships? Dr. Scott explains how you set social parameters for yourself in the first three years of life, especially in the first 2 or 2.5. We have conflicts within ourselves about our social being that we must resolve. The first conflict is trust versus not trusting with that decision being so dependent on other people. What you decide depends on how cared for or not cared for you were as a baby. Babies learn that if they need something, someone will come care for them. If not, then they do not know who cares for them or how to attain what they need. Within all those experiences they have, their brain continues firing those neurons and make countless connections with each other. This all has an influence on how confident you are as an adult. It affects how your brain develops and defines who you are as person.
She shares her seven Self-Aware Success Strategies (SASS) that help coach your productivity and success in life. The first three years are about your ability to be in a social relationship with other people and creating your ability to get along with a group of people. The next two years after that is when you solidify your personality. Once you know who you are and what you want to get from the world, the following two years is you practicing that. Those years you learn how to get people to pay attention to you, be loved and get the things you want. The next six- and seven-year mark is realizing that you need people for success in life and seeing where that gets you. Then every seven years, your brain goes through a pruning process and gets rid of whatever is not part of your network anymore. Remember, even though those early years of life effect you, it’s never too late to change or grow into who you want to be. You can do recovery work and continue to rewire your brain. By learning about the origin of those first 7 years of life and the continuous cycle of our brain changing, you can do something positive with that knowledge by knowing you are not stuck. It takes effort to create those new neural pathways in your brain, but you will find great success if you choose to do so.
How can you re-wire your brain and what is involved in that? The 7 self-aware success strategies that Dr. Scott teaches is the fastest brain development do over. They are strategies you can continue to repeat over and over in your life. First and foremost, you need to deal with the big deal or deals in your life that effect you. You must start with the most obvious and get it out of way first. Start looking at where your behavior is around those 7 success strategies, where in life you are with trusting people and needing things from people. If you do not have trust, that will lead to consequences. You can get help with that from therapy or others. The truth is that we are all needy and need things from other people and that is normal. Once you start to repattern certain behaviors, then that will help you to re-pattern your brain. To reiterate, try not to overlook the incredible fact that you can start this process at any time in your life. It takes effort, but you can get help and re-wire your brain to become the person you want to be in life!
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Written by Rebecca Younger | Staff blog writer