The purpose of the organ called the brain is to keep the organism, and the species, alive. Therefore, the brain, whether you are asleep or awake, is always on the lookout for harm
The Result: We do not hear and see events, objects and words in the light of reward and possibility. We instead filter all input through a lens that serves to protect what we have.
Also, those we interact with cannot hear our words or see the opportunities we might see since they too, are focused on protection instead of possibility.
What are we most afraid of losing? Rarely are our lives and livelihood at stake.
What triggers our reactions and clutters our thinking are the fears of losing face such as the loss of respect, credibility, position, significance, positive regard and love. We avoid feeling humiliated and embarrassed, looking stupid, being wrong and being rejected.
The Outcome: We spend more time defending our actions and ideas instead of considering new ones.
We take fewer risks, delay making vital changes, avoid intimacy, resist suggestions, rationalize the status quo, numb our brains with chemicals and through denial, and decrease the capacity to see opportunities and different points of view.
BRAIN TIP: Rid the Fear In Order To Hear
Before we can hear and see new possibilities, we must acknowledge any fears that might exist. Before we can ask anyone else to hear our suggestions, we have to acknowledge and help them to identify any fears that might block their perception. Ask
- Am I open to trying out or just hearing something new in this area?
- If not, what feelings are stopping me? Fear, guilt, embarrassment, anger, rightousness?
- What am I afraid of losing, really? Being right, feeling significant, being liked? Or
- What do I think is being taken from me? Respect, love, attention, dignity?
- Am I willing to focus on acceptance, toleration and love/connection? If so, what will it take?
- What would I do if I had nothing personally to worry about? What decision would I make that would make me feel good instead of angry, afraid or vindicated?
Self-awareness is the first step to outsmarting your brain. Know what your brain is doing.
Then choose to act in your highest good.