The Lizard Brain – Resistance to Change

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As the owner of a small or medium business owner you clearly don’t work normal hours. Every day is spent on your business (if not in your business) and you are doing all to make it grow. By getting into business, you have already done something unpredictable and brave. But, ever so often, despite taking the plunge you find yourself stuck in a rut, unable to take the business any farther. You are determined to be successful, yet you do everything to sabotage your own success.

You don’t have to feel bad about this. This, often, is a very natural state to be in. And don’t blame yourself for this. You can easily blame the “Lizard Brain” in your head for this predicament. And, as Seth Godin, explains you can achieve a lot by “quieting the lizard brain”.

Human behaviour is, for the most part, irrational. The contradictions never end. Why is it so difficult to do what we say we are going to do? Seth attributes this to the dominance of the lizard brain on our thinking process. Or, as Steven Pressfield, former US Marine and author of historical fiction and non-fiction works, calls “the resistance”.

steve-pressfield-3The lizard  is a physical part of your brain. Scientifically called the “amygdala”, this pre-historic lump on the brain stem is responsible for fear, rage and reproductive drive. Seth says the right answer to why did the chicken cross the road is “because its lizard brain told it to”. When the lizard is activated it can be brutal.

The lizard brain, or resistance as Pressfield calls it, is the voice in the back of your head telling you to back off, be careful, don’t take that step, go slow, compromise….. the list is endless. It is this that creates the writers block for creative artists, puts the freeze on people when giving a public speech and prevents new projects from being led to its conclusion because you imagined scores of obstacles coming your way.

This is one big stumbling block on your path to success. Seth states that the reason many business owners cannot keep up to the best is because they give in to the lizard. They compromise, they have endless streams of meetings, they fear critics and work to appease them and to fit in.

Fact is that the amygdala, or the lizard brain, has been around since pre-historic times. And, it is not going away any time soon. It loves being a cog in the system. It is here to stay. So, as a business owner, the only sure way to succeed is to learn how to quieten your lizard brain. How to ignore it. How to break away from the force of resistance that imprisons you and prevents you from getting to greater heights. It is up to you to tune into the frequency of what you feel is the right decision and tune out the lizard brain.

So, now that you know about it, what are you going to do?

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