There will be blood.
Just as we all have our motivators, the things that encourage us to work harder and make us better at what we do, there will always be things that discourage us, set us back and that have the potential to keep us from achieving. If you’re alive, you will have problems, days when blood will be spilled. That’s just life.
The Sky Is Falling
If you’re like most people confronting a problem – whether it be the fear of being laid off, a financial crisis or just car trouble – you brain will feed you all sorts of negative talk and images of horrible outcomes.
That’s your brain’s amygdala at work. Amygldalawhat?
Your body’s alarm system for fear resides in an almond-shaped brain goo located deep in your noggin’, called the amygdala. Interestingly enough, the word amygdala comes from the Greek word for almond (who knew?) and it is essential for decoding emotions, particularly things that might be threatening. Decoding threatening things is good!
However, that same alarm system has been linked to neuropsychiatric disorders, such as anxiety disorders and social phobias. Not good.
If left unchecked, normal problems will turn into fear and we know what fear turns into – demotivation.
Demotivation kills ambition. It kills drive. And it kills good decision making ability, right when you need it the most.
You may need to leave a comfortable job to reach for a promotion or new job – with no guarantee the new job will work out. Maybe you need to change careers due to industry changes and that may necessitate spending money and time on training to give you the skills you need. Sounds uncomfortable doesn’t it?
Your Brain Prefers Comfort Over Success
But look – fear of discomfort is the leading cause of inertia. Let’s me be brutally honest here – the brain likes comfort. It hates change. And since success requires change, it’s a true statement that your brain, in its natural state, prefers comfort over your success. You see, your brain sees change as a threat to its main goal – survival. As a result, most people fall victim to the bull manure their brains tries to feed them.
It may tell you something is impossible, never going to happen, and/or out of your reach, or just too scary to try. But know this – you must not give in to your brain. This is just your brain doing what it does best, acting like a wimp.
And here’s something else important…
Your brain really doesn’t believe that something is impossible. Or scary. Or out of reach. Nope. It just labels something to be impossible and risky, because it doesn’t want to put up an effort. It doesn’t want to change.
Your Brain Will Trick You Out Of Success
That’s right. Your brain will trick you out of the opportunity for success if you let it.
And that’s the key to overcoming problems and fear – reminding your brain that it works for you, not the other way around.
You’re the boss; you brain is your employee. You’re the craftsman; you brain is your tool. You’re in charge.
To turn off the fear and negativity bias inside your brain, you must shut off the amygdala. How do you do that? Lean into your fears. Keep your feet moving. Confront the fear.
Even though your brain desires comfort, you must go out of your way to put yourself in uncomfortable situations.
Even though your brain may doubt your ability, you must keep going.
Even though your brain may come up with a million reasons to not change, you must still attack life like a raging pit bull.
Get Usefully Angry
Get usefully angry at any negative self-talk and doubts your brain serves up.
And when you do, you’ll turn off your amygdala and turn on your prefrontal cortex.
Stay with me.
The part of the brain that sets humans apart from the rest of the animal kingdom is our prefrontal cortex (PFC). It is the “executive” part of the brain — the moneymaker. Yeah baby. It regulates emotions, thoughts and ideas and makes success and fulfillment possible.
Now we’re talking.
But the PFC must be coaxed into action. Studies show that the average human spends only about 2 percent to 10 percent of their time each day using the executive brain. The vast majority of our time is spent reacting reflexively, just like the other animals on the planet.
But not those who succeed in life.
They’ve learned to summon their PFC and use it to solve their problems, even using it to come up with creative solutions. They have their PFC “on” at all times and use it constantly to move thru life’s challenges and overcome them. They use their PFC to avoid the “messy” thinking of distractions, fear, and paranoia.
They lean into their fears. The keep going in the face of the unknown and they forge ahead. This gets the PFC into gear.
Look, there’s a common misconception that successful people don’t get stuck. That’s just not true. Successful people have just trained their minds to help them get unstuck better than most.
So remember, life is going to throw problems at you but it’s just a problem, not the end of the world. Solving problems is what successful people do every day. Every problem has a solution. Tell your PFC that “you got this” and let it go to work for you solving the issue.
When you confront problems this way, you are able to shut down the negativity inside your brain and when you do, positive solutions will develop. And we know what positive solutions do – create a positive life. A free life.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out these articles from the blog archives below: