When the mind gets in the way ….

Fear. Doubt. Shame.

They hold us back from so much. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Can I do this? Am I worthy of doing this? I’m ashamed of getting to where I am. I don’t deserve to take care of me. And so on, ad nauseum …

So where does this come from and why does it happen? Our minds are funny things … or not so funny, depending on how you look at it …

Human beings were “designed” to survive, right? To stay alive long enough to reproduce to enable the human race to thrive and continue … and isn’t it the brain that controls these instincts? If you take your mind back to cave man times (a little imagination here lol), what would happen if we came out of our cave to do the hunter-gatherer thing and were suddenly confronted by a very menacing looking saber-tooth tiger? We would likely freak out just a little, and then go into “survival” mode. Our thoughts would narrow completely so that the tiger was the ONLY thing in our consciousness. We would be flooded with adrenalin, giving us extra strength in our arms and legs that enable us to either fight or flee (the fight/flight response). In short, our brain goes into automatic instinctual response in order to survive. Fast forward to modern times and we still go into this response when we feel threatened. But instead of being threatened by saber-tooth tigers, we “feel” threatened by finances, work, family, and a whole host of other modern day phenomena.

The key here is the word “perception”. In order to perceive something as threatening, our mind has to make a judgement about it. In other words, it THINKS. When we were confronted with that tiger, our mind THOUGHT we were in trouble. And was it right? You bet your ass it was! However, when our mind does the same thing and THINKS we are threatened when we feel self doubt, is it necessarily right? Of course not.

So what do we have here? We have a mind that is doing it’s job. Human beings certainly haven’t evolved enough in the last 70 odd years to not have that instinctual survival response. But the modern world has developed at such a fast pace that technology means we are no longer physically threatened. Since we still have that instinctual response, our mind makes the judgements anyway. Nuts, right? No, normal!

The thing is, as human beings, we like BALANCE. Think about it. If your body gets hot what does it do? Tries to cool itself down by sweating. If it gets cold, it tries to warm itself by producing goosebumps. The brain tries to retain that balance in everything we do, even our lifestyles. When we do anything outside of what has become “normal” practice (read comfort zone), our brain will kick up a stink and fight you every step of the way! At least until the new state of affairs becomes our new comfort zone. That is a NORMAL human response! And yet every day we beat ourselves up for it (go figure!)

So, when your brain gives you grief and tries to tell you there is a threat (if you are staring down the nose of that tiger, feel free to LISTEN!). But if the tiger isn’t there, try simply acknowledging your brain’s attempt to do what it was designed to do: keep the balance. Thank it for doing what it was designed for. After all we wouldn’t be ALIVE if it weren’t. And THEN go about taking action on the things that are important to you (even if your brain is having a few conniptions).

YOU know there is no threat. Your brain doesn’t. So which is gonna triumph? 😉

Now all I need to do is put it into practice 😀

Ali

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