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How to Break Through Plateaus Mentally | Grit and Resilience

How to Break Through Plateaus Mentally | Grit and Resilience

How to Break Through Plateaus Mentally | Grit and Resilience

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discipline is great having the discipline to stick to a diet having the discipline to stick to your tracks that you can reach your goal it’s something we all want it’s something that’s sort of this ideal right this this disciplined ideal where if we can just be focused if we can just be disciplined we can achieve all of our goals the reality is the human mind doesn’t work that way we can’t be disciplined all the time we can’t be hyper focused all the time it just can’t allow it and I’m gonna explain it in some detail and hopefully give you some ways that you could start looking at your life so you can truly optimize every aspect of it whether it be your workouts whether it be your diet whether it be your family or heck even your business you are tuned into the Internet’s leading performance nutrition fat loss and well today life optimization channel new videos coming out every single Tuesday Friday and Sunday at 7 a.m. Pacific time and a bunch of other videos coming out throughout the week as well make sure you hit that little Bell button that’s gonna allow you to turn on notifications so that way whenever I post a video or whenever I go live you can make sure that you don’t miss it you don’t want to miss my live broadcasts I answer lots of questions and help a lot of people out there are a lot of fun also make sure you check out thrive market there’s a link down in the description it’s where you can get all your groceries whether it’s gonna be keto groceries fasting groceries low-carb groceries paleo groceries whatever and I have my specific keto grocery box there so if you click on that link it’ll take you there alright so let’s get in to some interesting psychology here people look at me and they think wow that person’s disciplined look at they’ve got a business they’ve got their life together they’ve got their family together they’re in shape but the fact of the matter is is that it’s not about discipline anymore you see it’s more about conditioning your mind to actually impulsively make decisions that reflect that of good discipline you see there’s something kind of interesting that I’ve toyed around with a lot recently and that’s the prefrontal cortex and how that really affects us you see the prefrontal cortex is a portion of our brain that allows us to make sort of this logical decision and it allows us to make these quick thoughts that are going to be a little bit more businesslike in terms of our decisions but they’re not necessarily the decisions that should run our daily life you see most animals run off of their implicit brain they run off of their subconscious and they make these good decisions based on instinct the fact of the matter is as us as humans like were far too advanced in terms of prefrontal cortex development to ever really go back that direction so our prefrontal cortex is what allows us to actually think about a situation and come up with something logical so when we’re constantly activating the prefrontal cortex we’re in what I call a prefrontal cortex override you see we can only muscle through something for so long we haven’t reached a stage in evolution or in anything where our prefrontal cortex is our primary means of decision making we still make decisions based on how the rest of our brain works and that prefrontal cortex is only there to help us when we really need it in like that logical instance every time we’re having to muscle ourselves through something we’re having to consciously remind ourselves that we need to do something we are taxing the prefrontal cortex and the prefrontal cortex can only give us energy for so long we can only make decisions for so long before that starts to wear out a perfect example is the person that has been thriving in business and thriving and been successful in so many different realms and finally it’s just like I can’t take it I’ve reached my breaking point I am convinced that the breaking point is the prefrontal cortex just getting exhausting because we’re not supposed to be consistently activating that portion of the brain you see when you look at neural imagery it’s pretty interesting you see that most humans are using that prefrontal cortex a lot of the day and with the advent of cell phones and social media and just the world at our fingertips we’re using even more of a prefrontal cortex because every single time that we send a text message or every single time that we send an email we’re using that prefrontal cortex because by no means is that an instinctual response but here’s an interesting way to look at things we’re starting to get to a point now where text messages and emails are becoming a little bit more of our subconscious communication you see if you think back 10 years ago when you sat down to send an email it was something that you really sat down and focused on doing like you sat down you’re like I need to send this email this is very very focused now it’s like impulse behavior to send an email so much to our detriment we make decisions that our subconscious and instinctual and it translates directly into our phones our phones have become so prefrontal cortex that they’ve actually gone beyond prefrontal cortex and become what is just our normal implicit brain now this isn’t the purpose of this video it’s not talking about cell phones and computers it’s to talk about grit and to talk about discipline there’s a famous psychologist by the name of Angela Duckworth okay she wrote a book all about grid and grid is an interesting thing because grit quite honestly is that perseverance it’s that ability to overcome adversity and to be able to push through things she did a lot of studies she’s looked a lot at very high IQ individuals to try to determine what sets these people apart what sets these people apart in terms of success in terms of IQ etc etc and what she essentially has found is that the biggest common denominator with successful people isn’t a high IQ or advanced degree or anything like that it’s more about grit their ability to push through difficult situations but if you think about what I said in beginning in this video we can’t push through those difficult situations forever so there comes a point in time where we push through something but we also have to accept that that struggle is real and embrace that struggle and if you don’t embrace that struggle and embrace the grit and the discipline that is required it’s gonna always be a prefrontal cortex override you see I don’t want to say that you just have to accept you know it’s not this kind of a just general positivity spin and acceptance of everything it’s not just rolling over and dying and just accepting the fact that you’re gonna be miserable and stressed out not at all it’s a state of acceptance where you say I am working hard but this state of working hard is simply Who I am and it’s a reprogramming of the subconscious so that you’re not having to sit in prefrontal cortex override all the time this prefrontal cortex override is going to burn you out so if you’re on a diet and you’re starting something out and you’re having to muscle through it constantly that’s never gonna get easier it never is take it from someone like myself who’s lost a lot of weight and has been through that struggle I continually had to battle and continually had to fight with my brain to tell me not to make a decision that’s not how I wanted to go through life it’s not at all so it came down to taking a good look at my inside voice did I have a growth mindset or did I have a scarcity stagnant fixed mindset and when you look at fixed versus growth mindset there’s some really interesting science that’s out there too you see for example a fixed mindset is someone that sees a situation or has a situation occur to them so they just let it go they say okay I failed that test I filled that math test I’m going to suck at math for the rest of my life that’s a fixed mindset it’s a small mindset so rather than seeing it as an opportunity to grow you just inherently see it as a reason not to do something now this sounds like I’m going down the traditional preachy path of you shouldn’t always continue to chase your dreams and yada yada yada no it really is about changing the radio voice inside your head now let me give you an example here since you guys all watch my videos because of physiological reasons and you like my nutrition advice my workout advice my hormonal advice and whatever yada yada I think this will make some sense when I explain it like this did you know that our response to stress in a good way or a bad way is virtually the same from a physiological standpoint ok I’ve used this example before but let me use it again if you are excited or stressed out / excited because you get to go to Disneyland tomorrow the effect on your body is virtually the same as if you were stressed out because someone delivered some terrible news to you now up here in your conscious mind one is good and one is bad but everything that’s going on in your body it’s just stress good bad ugly it’s just stress adrenalin norepinephrine cortisol all of those it’s the same it’s all about our perception – the stress so when we get into these situations where things are getting difficult and we have to make difficult dietary decisions or difficult business decisions that perception of that decision is what allows it to either become something that you can concur with ease in the future or something that you’re gonna constantly have to kick in to prefrontal cortex override or hyper drive just to get through it example my wife says we’re gonna go on an amazing backpacking trip we’re gonna have a lot of fun and I’ve got someone to handle all the business and everything I’m stoked right opposite someone calls me and says Thomas your dog died you would look at that situation and you would say there’s no way hell that your dog dying could be spun in a positive way but the fact is you’re not trying to spin it in a positive way and that’s what I’m trying to get across there’s a whole different world between being just positive and putting a positive spin or an affirmation on things that’s kind of cheesy that’s not what we’re doing we’re not just trying to be positive here there’s a degree of acceptance if my dog dies yeah that’s a shitty situation period but it doesn’t change the fact that you can either grow from that or you can regress from that and that all comes down to just the little voice that’s inside your head and the only way that that little voice can change is if you recognize that it’s there and if you recognize that by pushing through these difficult times but accepting that the struggle is real can you change that voice so I’m not saying you just muscle through everything either but I’m saying that you make a cognitive choice a conscious choice to look at things in a neutral way so you give yourself the ability to have that radio voice make yourself grow from it so if I have a choice of going to Disneyland or I have a choice of going to just let’s see what’s somewhere I don’t want to go the IRS right or DMV if I have a choice of going on a hike or going to the DMV or going to Disneyland or going to the DMV I can sit here and I can dwell on the positive and the negative of both of them but the fact is I have to be able to grow from it one way or the other if I go to Disneyland I’m gonna grow from it one way if I have to go to DMV or the IRS I’m gonna grow from it another way and it’s neutral its net neutral it’s living in the moment and embracing that so that your body can develop the grit that it needs to say you can develop the intensity and the discipline to get through more difficult situations so I know this was a lot of rambling a lot of deep thought and explanation on that but when you look at the physiology of the perception of stress that’s all that matters if you look at two given scenarios where someone incurs a lot of stress in their life but perceives it as positive stress versus someone that goes through a lot of stress in their lives and perceives it as negative stress I can almost guarantee you that the person that perceives it as negative is going to have all the negative health implications that go along with stress being a bad thing stress is not a bad thing stress is part of life it’s how you adapt to it and it’s how you see it so forget the positive spin because you’re still going to be stressed out get down deep to the root of it and make it a process and make it a system to embrace whatever difficulty is in your life whether it’s diet workout family or business so as always make sure you keep it locked in here in my channel and I’ll see you in the next video

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How to Break Through Plateaus Mentally | Grit and Resilience – Thomas DeLauer

Growth Mindset & Neuroscience


The science of learning is backed by a basic understanding of neuroscience – the brain is like a muscle, and if you exercise it, it gets denser

You exercise the brain through the stages of learning – in the process of learning, neurons in various parts of the brain begin making new connections

Through repeated practice, these connections get stronger – myelin builds along the axon (the tube that connects neuron to neuron) – more myelin means that the signal travels through the neurons faster with increased timing

That is, the more you practice, the stronger your brain gets, and the more automatic whatever you’re practicing becomes

Then, neuroplasticity was discovered – in 1998, a study showed that the adult brain is actually capable of growing new brain cells – in other words, neuroplasticity explains how neural pathways are always changing due to our experiences

As long as our brains are functioning properly, we can always learn, improve existing capabilities, and develop new skills – our brains can grow as we age

Simply, neuroplasticity explains how your brain can be retrained and reorganized, showing that there is always room to grow.

If you are aware that your brain is constantly changing, then you are more likely to adopt a growth mindset – remember that if the brain is not fixed, then the mind should not be fixed either

Brain Imaging

There is some growth mindset studies that have used neuroscience methods that show that individuals with a growth mindset are receptive to corrective feedback, exhibiting a higher Pe (error positivity) waveform response, which is correlated with a heightened awareness of and attention to mistakes

Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is the region of frontal midline cortex that is related to learning and control

Studies have shown that growth mindset was related to both ventral and dorsal striatal connectivity with dorsal ACC

Dorsal ACC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) are critical to error-monitoring and behavioral adaptation

Growth mindset is strongly associated with dorsal and ventral striatal connectivity, as well as DLPFC

Note: Neural correlates revealed that dopamine is critical for motivation and cognitive control, with motivation-cognition interactions between midbrain regions and lateral frontal cortex – so dopamine modulation could play a role here, too


In a study published in Psychological Science, “Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ In Predicting Academic Performance Of Adolescents,” Duckworth and colleague Martin Seligman tested 164 eighth graders “recruited from a socioeconomically and ethnically diverse magnet public school” in the Northeast for self-discipline and IQ.

They measured the students in the fall and spring through self-assessment, a behavioral delay-of-gratification task, and a survey of study and lifestyle habits, along with a group IQ test.

They found that “self-discipline predicted academic performance more robustly than did IQ… self-discipline also predicted which students would improve their grades over the course of the school year, whereas IQ did not.”


1) Resilient Individuals Use Positive Emotions to Bounce Back From Negative Emotional Experiences. (n.d.). Retrieved from

2) Psychological Resilience and Positive Emotional Granularity: Examining the Benefits of Positive Emotions on Coping and Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from

3) Bouncing Back When Things Get Difficult: The Psychology of Resilience (Positive Psychology Series #5). (2018, December 31). Retrieved from

4) Change Your Fixed Mindset into a Growth Mindset [Complete Guide]. (2018, December 2). Retrieved from

5) The Neuroscience of Growth Mindset and Intrinsic Motivation. (n.d.). Retrieved from

6) Duckworth AL , et al. (n.d.). Grit: perseverance and passion for long-term goals. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from

7) Groth, A. (2013, May 28). Student Test Scores Show That ‘Grit’ Is More Important Than IQ. Retrieved from

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