Seth Godin puts it down to the lizard brain. That insidious aspect of ourselves that instils hesitancy, fear, and the tendency to be a stick in the mud. He reckons that, “The resistance grows in strength as … we get closer to an insight, as we get closer to the truth of what we really want. That’s because the lizard hates change and achievement and risk”.
I probably resist about a gazillion helpful ideas and urges every day. For instance, I find “I should eat more fruit” rarely translates into me getting up from my desk, wandering into the kitchen and helping myself to an apple.
Fortunately the effect of recognising my resistance has been very helpful. “Gee,” I observe to myself, “I’m very resistant to that idea.” That thought disables the lizard’s power to hold me back. I’ve found myself quickly getting on with stuff that normally I’d need to nag myself to do.
I realised how frequently the word “should” was featuring in the mental chatter that went with ideas I was resisting. In the last few days alone, I “should” have gone for a run, finished a project, done my tax, and signed up for a networking event. I also “should” have sent this article to Sam to review a few days ago, but I was resisting writing it.
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So now, “should” has become a signpost for me that reads “Here be lizard brain”. When I stumble across it, I ask myself whether I’d like to participate in the urge in question and if I did, whether I’d like the outcome. Guess what? I enjoyed my run, sailed through the project and am looking forward to the networking event. Oh, and you’re reading this article.
Tax, on the other hand, is definitely being outsourced.
What has your lizard brain taught you? Any tips for helping to tame it and for overcoming resistance? Overcome your resistance to spill the beans and share your thoughts below.