Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lizard Brain

In my mind there has always been one thing holding me back from doing great work, one thing preventing me from doing work that matters, one thing that prevents me from starting a new business venture or applying for a new job.  That one thing has plagued me practically my whole life.  What is it?

Author Seth Godin and I call it the Lizard Brain

What exactly is this monster?

Dinosaurs had a lizard brain.  Their brains told them to:
Be selfish
Figure out how they are gonna eat.
To run and hide from predators.
To stay safe and comfortable.
All animals, chickens, squirrels have a lizard brain.  Including humans.  It's the oldest part of our brain.

95% of teenagers are controlled by the lizard brain.

What are characteristics of the Lizard Brain?

It’s invisible

It’s insidious… it will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work.

Lizard Brain is always full of B.S.

Lizard Brain is Impersonal

Lizard Brain never sleeps

Lizard Brain is universal – we all have it, it never goes away

Lizard Brain plays for keeps

The Lizard Brain Says:

They are gonna laugh at me.
I’m too tired to go for a run today.
Nobody else is doing it.
It hurts to run hard – its not worth the pain
I’m not good enough.
I'm not smart enough.
The teacher has it in for me.
I’m too busy.
The list of excuses is long.
The lizard brain loves excuses.

As we get closer to competition or commitment the louder the lizard brain gets, and before you know it, its screaming at the top of its lungs!  What happens is we listen to the lizard brain,… and hit the repeat button  - then we don’t do the work, we won't ask the hot girl out, we don't raise our hand, we lay low in the background.  And we sabotage our goals and never take a chance on success.

Following the crowd makes the lizard brain happy because then you don’t stand out… you don’t rock the boat and everything stays the same… and when you listen to the lizard brain you become a “pretender”.  You aren’t your true self.   

What if you quieted the lizard brain, what if you took a chance?  What if you decided that discipline was worth it?  What if you didn't care if you failed?  What would be the worse thing that could happen if you did fail?  

What happens if you do nothing?

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