How To Tame Your Lizard Brain And Be Your Best
“I’m not good enough”, “I’m not smart enough”, “I’m not qualified enough”……
Ever think this? If so, it’s time to tame your Lizard brain and take charge.
The ‘Lizard brain’ is the oldest part of the brain responsible for primitive survival instincts. Anatomically known as the Amygdala, it’s responsible for our fight or flight response. It’s the size of an almond yet can yield significant influence over our thoughts and behaviour.
The Lizard brain instinctively acts to keep us small, hidden and safe from danger. That resistance in your head, telling you to back off, compromise, don’t do it….that’s your Lizard brain talking.
And sometimes to our detriment. Like not going for that promotion you want because “you’re not qualified enough”. Asking someone on a date because “you’re not good enough”. Changing careers because “you’re not experienced enough”. Making that investment pitch because “you’re not confident enough”. Or running that marathon because “you’ll never make it”.
So how to tame it?
Rather than allowing your Lizard brain to dominate your thoughts, try to defuse it. For example, when you think you’re “not good enough”, say instead “my mind is having the thought that I am not good enough but I am”. It gives a sense of disconnection from that negative thought. Then proceed with what you intended, or want to do. Without delay.
Why not give your Lizard brain a name? I’ve called mine Lizzy. When I now venture out of my comfort zone, and Lizzy starts to go berserk, I tell her to back off and take control. And I believe in myself. Sound crazy? Perhaps. But it works.
Finally, make it a practice to lean into discomfort, be it daily or weekly. Try to keep it regular, to make you stronger, resilient, positive, optimistic. And believe in yourself. Vital attributes to help tame your Lizard brain.
Good luck and let me know how you go. I’d love to hear if these tips help you as much as they’ve helped myself and others.
For Seth Godin’s take on the Lizard brain, visit https://vimeo.com/5895898.