Wake up to your lizard Brain

The Lizard Brain…This is how Seth Godin refers to the amygdala! The amygdala is part of the limbic system of the brain – the oldest part of our brains – the part that kept us alive in primitive times.

In his book Linchpin, he says it is “hungry, scared, angry and horny.”!  And he says it is the ‘source of resistance'.

In other words, it will resist change of any kind – it will cause you to find excuses, be defensive and focus on problems and risks rather than opportunities.

It will fight with your creative genius if you remain unaware of its presence and influence.

It will play on your fears. It will tell you ‘you are too stupid' or ‘not creative enough or not talented, skilful, resourceful, capable enough' to do what you want to do.  It will keep you in bad relationships and workplaces because it will tell you that jobs are scarce, partners hard to find, the economy is too bad, the situation too risky – it is a genius at creating seemingly valid reasons for you to stay where you are…miserable and frightened!  It can create illnesses, diseases, make you procrastinate and do all sorts of self destructive things!

I love Seth's book and how succinctly he puts it – “The lizard brain is here to keep you alive; the rest of your brain merely makes you a happy, successful, connected member of society….When put on the alert, the lizard brain wins, every time, unless you establish new habits and  better patterns – patterns that keep the lizard at bay.”

Listen to what you say to yourself

So your first step is to listen to what you say to yourself – especially when you in any circumstance that you PERCEIVE as stressful!  Your amygdala is gearing up and preparing to take over your whole being in those circumstances…and it will be filling your head with its supposedly self preservation focus. Listen to what conversations are played in your head and catch the ones based on fear.  Be conscious! If you are conscious of what is going on, then you can evaluate the true nature of the fear – is it legitimate or is it the lizard taking over?

Fight your lizard. If you are not in a truly life threatening situation, there is no need to be manipulated like a puppet by fear.

Recognizing it is your VERY first step.

How do you fight your lizard brain's efforts to stifle your growth?