Understanding Defensive Behavior 3


Understanding Defensive Behavior 3

Strengthening Your Self-Actualizing System

The Self-Actualizing System of the brain is strengthened by sustained learning, reflecting, experimenting and experiencing new activities and behavioral responses. Strengthening the Self-Actualizing System — building neural connections between the emotional/instinctual brains and the rational brain can only happen through the repetition of new behaviors and the letting go of old, unproductive habits of mind. Living from our Self-Actualizing System is key to becoming who we are meant to be and fulfilling our potential. The Self-Actualizing System must be strengthened before we can do any other developmental activity; it does not just develop on its own. You can’t just say “I’m not going to do that anymore” or “Now I know what to do. I just have to...” So, it’s important to know exactly how to do it.

By trying new things, facing your fears, having new experiences and by making different choices for how you think and behave, you can develop the neural pathways connecting your three brains in order to start living from your Self-Actualizing System. This takes a planned and disciplined approach with constant checking in with yourself to make sure you haven’t slipped back into auto pilot. Remember, change and development are physiological processes, and if you don’t stay on course, you won’t be building the new neural pathways that create the desired automatic habits of mind.

For more information about how you can learn to live from your Self-Actualizing System, take the SSPS Level I Assessment and download your complementary Development Workbook. It contains everything you need to help you become who you are meant to be. It provides a complete roadmap for development with the steps required for developing your Self-Actualizing System. It offers all the information, tools and experiential activities needed to help you get to know yourself and the mechanics of your mind. You will build self-awareness through the practice of mindfulness and other developmental activities; learn the needs that drive your behavior in relationships; and build skills to create the types of relationships you want to have.

Anne Dranitsaris, Ph.D.