I was reading an article the other day about the lizard brain and how it is geared for our survival. Survival, not change. It’s why so many of us stay in out moded relationships that no longer serve us, or abusive ones that we feel stuck in and why we cling to jobs that undermine us, why we stay put rather than seek change. This has helped me understand so many of my past situations in life. The funny things is, life is full of change, its the only thing we can ever really count on (besides death and taxes) as it creeps along side us daily and sometimes hits us wham bam, when we least expect it.
Recently as I listened to someone tell me a story about a friend who got upset every time they drove to town behind an older (slower) driver, I chuckled, ‘jeepers if that’s all it takes to piss them off they would never survive in a city.’
Its why I love shows like ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’ as they place contestants in uncomfortable situations which most of us are quietly fascinated by, watching their reactions, wondering how we would react in similar circumstances? I mean, if someone wanted me to bungy jump or jump out of a plane I don’t know what the hell I’d do, but give me a back pack and a few hundred $, I know I could survive travelling anywhere.
Knowing our survival brain craves comfort and familiarity, it stands to reason why we resist change so much. Why we cling to the known routes even though intuitively we are bored, there is little growth present and we long to go on an adventure. The reality is, if we step out into the great unknown, we are on unfamiliar ground. Anything could happen.
And usually things DO happen. Yet if we believe that the Universe has our back (always) then what is there to fear? Sure, there will be a period of discomfort while we readjust out inner compass but as far as I can ascertain, we are always led to something far greater than we ever imagined. Staying calm is the key to navigating past our fears.
Researching for this blog I came across a great article called ‘How to make friends with your reptilian brain’ by Edwina Shaw.
“When we are living in a constant state of fear and stress we’ll keep working at a job we hate; we’ll do things we’re not proud of to get the sex we need, we’ll forget our childhood dreams, and the urges of our higher selves, because it’s all way too scary.”
I myself, like being at the edge of my comfort zone. Even though sometimes the mere challenge of finding a new place to live, organising finances, setting up again in a new city can feel overwhelming at times, I know if I stay calm, go within and consult with my inner well of tranquility – all is well.
I also love this quote by Seth Godin
The lizard brain is the reason you’re afraid, the reason you don’t do all the art you can, the reason you don’t ship when you can. The lizard brain is the source of the resistance.”