Even though we live in a modern society, we have ancient brains. Our brain has one thing in mind…. SELF-PRESERVATION.
If you think about it, it makes sense. At the dawn of man, you always had to be on guard. As a hunter you couldn’t be wandering through the vast tundra reciting positive affirmations about self in a meditative state. You would be putting yourself in a dangerous position, especially when wild animals see you equally as a threat.
Humans are designed to have a strong survival instinct. And the amygdala part of the brain (the fight or flight mechanism) is the safety mechanism that is designed to shut off all rational thinking, and pump cortisol and adrenaline through the body so you can get the hell out of a dangerous situation.
But fast forward to today….
Your “fight or flight” sensor is on overload.
Don’t get me wrong, the amygdala still plays a very important role. It is what alerts you when an action might lead to you being dead. Such as crossing a busy expressway without looking both ways, walking in a dark alley at night time alone, or being in an abusive relationship where if you have a voice, there are dire consequences.
But now, the instinct toward self-preservation is often triggered when you get an overdue bill in the mail, are asked to publicly speak to a large audience, or want to write a book. Your amygdala will send out hormones that speak “danger”, and your subconscious will sabotage your best efforts.
How does this happen, you ask?
We tend to take on other peoples perceptions and words, starting way back in childhood. The world is now a noisy place, and everyone seems to have an opinion as to what you “should” be doing or how you should be.
A simple example…
The kid in high school that calls you fat and ugly, and tells you that you won’t ever get a prom date. Ouch. Your brain registers hurt, then danger, then decides that you need to be protected from all this. But your amygdala isn’t really rational. It says that you should actually eat more, so you stay fat, so you hide in your house, so you won’t have access to anyone that will hurt you again.
But this doesn’t make you happy! And you desperately want to change, to lose weight. But every time you find a bit of success, you end up sabotaging yourself unconsciously.
This is why change is hard. The amygdala will override any logical thought you have. It doesn’t care if you are happy or not.
And it obviously gets confused about what really constitutes dead, and what is just stepping outside of your comfort zone. It triggers a physical response (anxiety, worry, stress) that will overpower your desire for action.
I have been in the business of helping people change for a long time now. I witnessed how long it takes to “out talk” these subconscious blocks. Years.
It wasn’t until I discovered EMDR and Tapping (EFT) that I was able to help people retrain their brain in a much quicker fashion.
These tools directly “speak” to the amygdala by telling it that you are safe, thus calming the physical response. And once your body is calm, you can then reprogram the amygdala to understand that public speaking, for example, isn’t going to kill you.
I also have some videos that pair Tapping / Visualization and increasing self-confidence. You can get those here: http://freebies.loreearley.com/findyourwarrior