Do you worry that no matter how much money you make, that it is just not enough?
Do you think that you are never going to find true love?
Do you lay awake at night thinking that there is just not enough time to possibly get everything done that needs to get done?
These universal fears come from the deepest, most primitive layer of our brain, what scientists call The Reptilian Brain.
The Reptilian Brain
Its sole purpose is to constantly broadcast survival fears which fall into two main categories:
Lack: I don’t have enough! (money, love, time)
Attack: Something awful is about to happen/ Someone is out to get me! (Be afraid! Be very, very afraid!!)
You cannot stop these thoughts from happening, our brains are simply hard-wired this way.
Here’s The Good News:
There is a way to change your reaction to these thoughts so that you don’t have to live in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety.
Begin by simply listening and writing down your specific fears. What fearful thoughts are you constantly telling yourself?
I don’t have enough _______________.
I can’t be happy until __________________.
If I’m not careful someone is going to ________________.
Imagine this part of your brain as an actual Lizard that sits on your shoulder screaming these anxiety producing messages at you.
It doesn’t have to be a Lizard. It could be a dragon, a snake, or as one of my clients calls it, “The Bitch that lives in my head.” Whatever works for you.
Picture your Lizard (or Bitch) vividly.
Is it a boy or a girl?
What does she look like?
What color is he?
How big is she ?
Now give your Lizard/Bitch a name.
You gain power over your enemy by knowing it’s name.
Think Harry Potter and He-who-must- be-named.
My lizard’s name Ruth.
She loves to tell me that I don’t know enough and that I’m not smart enough.
When you notice your Lizard yelling one of your favorite fears at you, envision yourself giving her a little treat, patting her on the head and saying, “Thank you for sharing, now go to sleep.”
Or if that doesn’t work, tell her to shut the hell up!
Or, maybe say, “I’m driving the bus now, you can go and sit in the back seat.”
It might feel silly, but give it a try. Make your fears something outside of yourself that you can manage.
The Lizard Is Not You!
Become the Watcher of these fearful thoughts and then challenge them by stating the opposite. Give your mind evidence that your fear is not real.
Ex: I don’t have enough money.
Opposite: I do have enough money.
Evidence: I have food. I have shelter. I have clothing.
Example: I can’t trust men.
Opposite: I can trust men.
Evidence: I trust my Dad, my brother, my friends Marc, Dean and Alex.
Be aware of what your fears are, but don’t blindly buy into whatever they are selling you.
Challenge these thoughts to see if they are real or imagined.
Your Lizard is not bad. He was born to protect you from the dangers of the wild. But we don’t live in the wild anymore.
Be kind to your Lizard by noticing and challenging what he is saying. But don’t believe him.
This is the way out of of fear and into peace.