Living Brain Myths or Realities?

Add life-changing brainpower  through replacing mental myths with  brain facts that reboot your brain.

1. MYTH:Other people or work bore you and that’s why you’re not getting ahead as you’d like.
Reality: Boredom is more a habit formed in brains, and shaped by your choices,  than a reality. 

2. MYTH:Disorganized or unpleasant settings have little to do with people’s mental performance.
Reality: Environment counts, and a healthy setting helps people transform problems into solutions.

3. MYTH:When things in  life change and improve, then people can feel better about their future.
Reality: Well being comes partially from and is fueled and extended by serotonin chemical hormones.

4. MYTH:Sometimes people or situations make others angry, fearful or frustrated and they react as expected.
Reality: Anger, fear, and frustration  are fueled and extended by cortisol chemical hormones.

5. MYTH:It’s best to get things off your chest by venting and speaking out about key problems.
Reality: Venting is bad for the brain and creates new neuron pathways to much more of the same.

6. MYTH:Only once a situation improves at times, can people achieve success in response.
Reality: Dendrite brain cells use the outside world and  take shape, or grow based on what you do.

7. MYTH: Music is the last thing that can help in stressful situations or aid concentration,
Reality: Music changes brain wave speeds in ways that impact moods and alter productivity.

8. MYTH: Lectures offer an especially valuable way to learn – especially when the speaker interests.
Reality: Lectures and talks work against listeners’ brains and benefit speakers’ intelligence mostly.

9. MYTH:Following similar routines and keeping traditions is usually a healthy practice.
Reality: Hebbian workers rewire their brains to kill incentives, limit focus or even shrink their brains.

10. MYTH:In order to include others it’s usually good to attend diversity training programs.
Reality: Diversity training commonly works mentally against benefits because of its deficit model.

11. MYTH: When people feel sleepy it’s impossible to concentrate or to get motivated.
Reality: Brain waves can bring either sleep or peak performance, based on how you activate them.

12. MYTH: Some things are  impossible for some people to learn or perform well, in reasonable time limits.
Reality: Hook even difficult facts onto one thing you know already and learning or doing new skills  increases in less time.

13. MYTH:Following a predictable schedule and holding  strong traditions is preferable practice.
Reality: Basal ganglias store facts and create ruts, working memory holds few facts and leads change.

14. MYTH:Intelligence is established in early years and IQ is pretty much fixed before adulthood.
Reality: Multiple intelligences are common to all, used by few, and can be more developed daily.

15. MYTH:Cynicism is just part of people’s nature and can be an intelligent approach to life.
Reality: Cynical mindsets literally block creativity, impact talent, and stomp out innovation.

16. MYTH: When we get older we tend to forget keys more, and forget people’s names more.
Reality: Memory can be outsourced to help people remember, and to free the mind for  focus.

17. MYTH:Once a person reaches older age, learning decreases and with it, intelligence fails.
Reality: Plasticity enables people to rewire the human brain in ways that keep it younger and smarter.

18. MYTH:When discouragement hits, not much can change moods until life improves.
Reality: Encouragement can change the chemistry of a brain through raised serotonin.

19. MYTH:It’s fine to respond to people in softer ways to avoid  hurting their feelings.
Reality: Meta messages destroy relationships through implications different from what is said.

20. MYTH:Some careers call for hard skills and some call for soft skills, yet hard skills trump soft.
Reality: It often takes an integration of  hard and soft skills to solve problems with the brain in mind.

21. MYTH:There’s good and bad stress, and some situations people work better with stress.
Reality: Stress literally shrinks the brain, and tone in communication acts as a silent killer.

22. MYTH:With so many people gathered at times, use of names is simply not expedient.
Reality: Greet  people  by name, for a spike in the brain area responsible for personal awareness.

23. MYTH: After people master a skill, only then are they ready to teach that skill to others.
Reality: Inspire creativity and invention through teaching others at the same time you also learn.

24. MYTH:There are  many problems that leaders need to solve before improvements are seen.
Reality: Create new neuron pathways each time you add a solution to any problem you encounter.

25. MYTH: What’s good for men is good for women and both can master similar approaches.
Reality: Women’s and men’s brain differ biologically and intellectually in ways that few optimize.

What myths limit your brainpower? Could these realities help to improve your situation?

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset

16 thoughts on “Living Brain Myths or Realities?

  1. Eva Ulian

    Lovely! As our bodies now live much longer than in the past, People will do themselves a favour if they pick up more interests or deepen the ones they have as they get older- that way they will not lose 1/3 of their life by living old age a life that is not life. Old age can be the most exciting part of one’s existance, unfortunately it is looked upon as a curse instead.

  2. Robyn McMaster

    Thanks for posting these myths, Ellen. I have benefited greatly by realizing that I held myths about what it was possible for me to do. I know that these “realities” make a difference for others as they have for me.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..As a Writer – I Can

  3. eweber Post author

    Hi Robyn, it’s so easy for all of us to slip into the myths, especially since many of the research pieces have come out quite recently.

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  5. Steve Roesler


    I am most struck by the fact that many of these myths actually pass as “conventional wisdom,” not only unchallenged by organizations but in some cases heavily defended by them.

    #10 is one of my favorite myths for the very reason you mention. I’ve watched well-intentioned efforts fall flat for all involved.

    Steve Roeslers last blog post..How To Use The Right Words At Work

  6. eweber Post author

    Steve, HI!!! How are you?

    Like you, we also offer tactics to get past mental myths that hold folks back. Concerning #10 – we constantly are told that “Diversity training stinks,” and no wonder it does little to address the problems between races! Rather than a deficit model – we use – why not create the more deserving and avantageous model of valuing differences.

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