Tell me if this sounds familiar?
You say you HAVE to change. You say you need a new mindset! Maybe stop a bad habit . . . maybe start a good habit. But a week later you’re living the same old life. If you’re like me, you’ve been through this over and over.
Your brain is fighting against you!
Not your entire brain. It’s your “Lizard Brain.” The technical name is the amygdala. Your Lizard Brain’s top priority is survival. It makes you jump at sudden noises and scary movies. The good and bad is it works mostly within the unconscious level. You can drive your car and have a lively debate with your friend because your Lizard Brain works in the background doing the driving while your “Logical Brain” does the talking.
All your habits feel like survival tools to your Lizard Brain
What you may not yet realize is that your Lizard Brain feels as if every habit in your life is vital to your survival — even the bad ones. And your unconscious brain controls 95% of what you do, according to neuroscientists. Your Logical Brain is more like an enabler, coming up with reasons why your inner Lizard should have what it wants.
Your Lizard Brain wins every time
The reason you can’t break bad habits or start good ones is that you’re using your willpower and mindset. It’s like fighting against an M-1 tank with rocks and sticks.
Your mindset & willpower are finite resources
Tell me if this sounds familiar: You decide you want to lose weight and you start a diet. A few days later, you drive by a Baskin Robbins and get a craving for ice cream. Your Logical Brain says “NO!” But your Lizard Brain hardly lifts a finger. Your craving swells like a wave and you know the result. You give in, even when you don’t “want to”.
Steven Pressfield calls this force “Resistance” in his book Do The Work:
“Resistance is an active, intelligent, protean, malign, force — tireless, relentless and inextinguishable — whose sole object is to stop us from becoming our best selves and from achieving our higher goals.”
There is no “Easy Button”
If you’re like me, you’ve lost so many of these “habit battles” that you’ve almost quit fighting them. I wasted years trying to find the “easy button” to change my life and become the person I said I wanted to be. This is about the place you’re expecting me to say you need hard work and self-discipline, right? That’s the mindset mantra. And it doesn’t work very well.
But you can win if you don’t fight
Looking for a quick-fix-easy-button-magic-bullet is part of the problem. But habits really aren’t hard to break. And new habits aren’t hard to make. If you know some simple strategies. The key is this: don’t get into a fight with your Lizard Brain.
You can choose to change
You have to get your unconscious mind — your Lizard Brain — working for you rather than against you. And there are simple tactics you can use to reprogram your unconscious.
I’m finally making progress to break and make the habits I want. I’ve even changed unconscious beliefs and patterns laid down like cement in my childhood.
Here’s the first step
I’m going to let you in on my secrets here in the next few months. Eventually, I’ll convert this series of blog posts into a video training on how to get a brand new mind. And here’s a hint of what’s coming next time.
The key to “beating” your Lizard Brain is this: You can’t want what you’re not thinking about.
Napoleon Hill said in Think and Grow Rich that the greatest gift God gave us is the power to decide what we think about.
Changing your mind is the key. But that’s coming up next time.
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