Saturday, March 06, 2010

Shutting up the lizard brain

Talk about a day with ups and downs. This has been filled with all sorts of 'em!

I was awake through the middle of the night, so planned to sleep late, which I did. I woke up feeling pretty good about life and began packing stuff to head home, especially since I'm going to be traveling a bit this week.

As I got on the road, all of a sudden this incredible feeling of malaise hit me. I began crying as I considered what a failure I was in my life. A complete and utter failure. Everything that I've done, everything that I've touched, everything is failure.

Before too long I had myself worked up into an incredibly passionate, self-loathing pity party. There were torrents of rain streaming down the windshield of my car and torrents of tears flowing down my face. I was a wreck.

Oh, I did it all during that period of time. Why in the world did I think I was going to fix my modus operandi (failure) with another degree. If I couldn't succeed with what I already had, how would this change it? I pretty well had myself convinced that it wasn't worth it for me to continue to exist in the world.

Then, for some reason or other, I thought about two words from Seth Godin's book, "Lynchpin." Those two words - Lizard Brain - flashed through my mind and I started chuckling. Your lizard brain is that part of you that believes that you can't do great things. The lizard brain exists to keep you safe. Safety comes from never changing, never growing, never attempting new things. The lizard brain reminds us of our failures so that we won't try that again. It's not a good thing to have going on, but there it is.

I would love to tell you that instead of hearing the words "Lizard Brain," God placed some profound piece of scripture in my heart, but today He reminded me of something that makes a lot of sense to me. When I get all freaked out by my past and my future, it's my fears talking. And fears will never allow me to grow.

Within a few minutes of thinking through the fact that I was allowing fear to mess with my day, I dried my tears and put it all behind me.

The rest of the day has gone quite well. A wonderful dinner with friends, a quiet evening with a good book or two and when I sleep I receive the gift of tomorrow.

You know ... there were some other ups and downs during my day, but once I reminded my stupid lizard brain that it wasn't actually in charge, everything evened out to be pretty manageable. So, instead of looking back on today as stressful and emotional, I get to look back on the day as a success.

1 comment:

Peter Shallard said...

Hi there,

I spotted you on twitter and then read this post - something about what you've written hear really gripped me, I guess.

Anyways, thanks for the insight and the honesty. I like your blogging style.

I've been trying to figure out a way to overcome Lizard Brain fear myself... ever since reading Linchpin.

I'd love your feedback on what I've got so far - you can check it out at my site if you want.

Keep it real,

- Peter Shallard