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The Mindful Entrepreneur

Banish Your Negative (Lizard) Voice… It’s Holding You Back

Categories: Productivity

lizard on a leaf isolated on white

Do you ever settle down for work and have thoughts such as;

  • “It’s too late for work now, just leave it until tomorrow”
  • “Just watch a bit of television first”
  • “Before doing anything, I should probably grab a coffee”
  • “I’d better not do this as Charlie wouldn’t approve”

That my friend, is your “Lizard Voice” speaking and Seth Godin phrased it brilliantly with this quotation from Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

“The lizard brain is hungry, scared, angry, and horny.

The lizard brain only wants to eat and be safe.

The lizard brain will fight (to the death) if it has to, but would rather run away. It likes a vendetta and has no trouble getting angry.

The lizard brain cares what everyone else thinks, because status in the tribe is essential to its survival.

A squirrel runs around looking for nuts, hiding from foxes, listening for predators, and watching for other squirrels. The squirrel does this because that’s all it can do. All the squirrel has is a lizard brain.

The only correct answer to ‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’ is ‘Because it’s lizard brain told it to.’ Wild animals are wild because the only brain they posses is a lizard brain.

The lizard brain is not merely a concept. It’s real, and it’s living on the top of your spine, fighting for your survival. But, of course, survival and success are not the same thing.

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.” 

Be Aware of It

You should listen for your “lizard voice” and become aware of it. Whenever you think something like “It’s too late”, counter-think to yourself, “is it really?”. Ultimately, who’s to say what is too late? If you could sit down right now and be productive, then who cares whether your fearful voice thinks it’s too late?! Chances are, if you do the work, you’ll wake up much more alert and have a better nights rest anyway. You’ll also avoid the never ending cycle of putting things off until tomorrow, and then the next day, and so forth.

Chances are you already disagree with your lizard voice most of the time, but you’re succumbing to fear rather than choosing the path that will yield results.

The voice is holding you back and usually the main, if not the only thing stopping you from succeeding.

Clear Your Mind

You can actually defeat your lizard voice by being in the now, as with most other thoughts, anxieties and fears that threaten your ability to succeed. Try reading my recent post on the 3 words that can eliminate stress and confusion. Just apply the same concepts to your lizard voice and you’ll be on a better road to success.

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About the author: I’m the Founder of Own the Web (aka. Mindful Marketeer), & I’m passionate about helping good causes, local & small businesses grow by bringing clarity to situations. I do this through my work at Own the Web, whilst practising mindfulness & blogging about it here. Other quick facts also include I’m a vegan, an individualist, equality champion & a mindful free thinker. Connect with me on Twitter or Peter Leigh on Google+.