It is becoming more and more clear to me that our biggest limitations are self-imposed.
When you consider doing something — or not doing something — it’s your thoughts that keep you from taking action. For me, it’s been thoughts like:
“I wish I could do that…but I’m not as talented/thin/athletic/confident/fill-in-the-blank as her.”
“Sure, they say ‘do what you love’ but you’ve got to pay the bills.”
“Who do you think you are?”
Martha Beck calls this our lizard brain. The most primitive part of our brain, centered around the brain stem, is similar to a reptile brain. It’s function is thoughts of Lack and Attack. This serves a lizard well. “OMG, there’s not enough water!” or “Ack! That bird is circling and will eat me!” It’s less needed in our comfortable human world, but that doesn’t stop the lizard brain in us from pumping out those messages.
We can’t remove or turn off this part of our brain. But we can begin to notice it’s tendency to view everything as a disaster waiting to happen and CHOOSE whether to act on the lizard brain or our more evolved self.
Yes, taking a step in a new and unexplored direction is a bit scary. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.