Scared? On the road to success, you must slay the dragon.

A dragon
On the road to success, you must slay the dragon

It’s what stands between you and creativity and insight. Between you and evolution. It’s what stops you from instigating and learning from change, it makes you scared to reach out to someone or to suggest a new idea.

It’s what psychologists call the lizard brain. Here’s management consultant Seth Godin:

“This is a huge impediment to getting what you want, finding your calling and satisfying your customers. The lizard brain is near your brain stem…it’s the part of your brain responsible for anger, revenge, fear, anxiety and reproduction. It’s the original brain, the one that wild animals possess.”

Seth Godin – Management Consultant

What are you more scared of

What are you more scared of, falling into a hole on the beach or being attacked by a shark?  Our lizard brain tells us sharks are much more dangerous. Yet an American study showed that between 1990 and 2006, eleven people were killed by sharks  and sixteen by falling into a hole on the beach. (Not the same hole, obviously!)

Yeah but…it’s true, our prehistoric brain is wired to help us survive, but in a prehistoric world. To achieve success in this life, we have to overcome our fear of failure and rejection by understanding it’s a hangover from when we were hunting dinosaurs.

Are you terrified of speaking to an audience, giving a presentation? That’s your lizard brain. It knows there’s a crowd of strangers in front of you and your survival depends on fighting them off or running away. So when you’re up there behind the podium, your heart races, your mouth dries up and your breathing grows faster and shallower.

Just as if you were running away or staying to fight. Yet those people out there came willingly, eager to hear your message. They haven’t come to attack you, they’ve come to listen.

It’s time to slay the dragon, to confront the irrational fears that stop you from fulfilling your true potential.

As Joseph Campbell, author, educator and expert on world mythology said,

‘The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.’

Joseph Campbell – author, educator and expert on world mythology

You know what you need to do. Write down everything you’re scared of that’s not based on rational thinking. Then develop a strategy for dealing with each one.

Don’t look for immediate or remarkable progress Practice doing the things you’re scared of until they become familiar.

As Warren Buffet, the world’s third richest man says, “The only way to overcome your fears is to face them.””

He should know. When he was in college, he was so shy he skipped classes where he was expected to make a presentation.

Then, he enrolled in a public speaking course but was too scared to attend. He finally managed to complete a Dale Carnegie course and has never looked back.

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