When we lived in caves, we had to have a ton of inner dialogue. It’s what kept us from getting eaten by saber-tooth tigers…
When caveman Joe had the bright idea to go fetch an apple in the middle of the night because he was having a craving, his inner dialogue would chime in and say, “Or, how about not Caveman Joe… it’s dark outside… and is an apple really worth the risk of getting eaten by a prehistoric cat?”
You get the idea.
Our inner dialogue was what kept us from doing stupid stuff –– like wandering into the darkness where there were predators just because we wanted an apple.
Experts define what I am referring to as the lizard brain –– which is the part of the brain responsible for fear and aggression –– existing with the sole purpose to keep its owner alive.
While the lizard brain was extremely useful when we lived in caves (often being the difference between life and death), today it has an adverse effect on us.
Believe it or not, when we fear starting a business, public speaking, looking someone in the eyes, making a cold call or taking advantage of a business opportunity… what we are really feeling is our lizard brain going apeshit in our heads telling us, "don’t do that because you might die".
You might recognize this voice –– this inner dialogue I am referring to. Often times it sounds like…
“I’m not good enough.”
“This might not work.”
“I didn’t go to Stanford.”
“I’m too old.”
“I’m too young.”
If you don’t believe me or feel skeptical about anything I just said, pay attention the next time you are having dinner with someone –– take note of the excuses they make to justify avoiding a specific fear.
This is the lizard brain talking.
And, if you pay close enough attention, you will notice yours is talking too.
By Cole Schafer.
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