Category Archives: creativity

Quieting the Lizard Brain and Getting on with Business

Are you the one who says ‘Yeah but…’ or ‘We’ve never done it that way’? (C’mon, admit it.) That’s killer stuff. You know it is, everybody knows it is, and yet it rears its ugly head, hisses, and rules the day repeatedly. Because we let it. Because it’s safer that way.

lizard elves by Tom Whitworth

It’s a self-protective thing and very basic really – an instinct that keeps our hands off hot stoves and the other lizards from eating our babies – but it’s not an impulse that engenders adaptation to change or great creative inspiration.

So it must be relegated to its proper place.

Seth Godin has a new book out. It’s called Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, and I can hardly wait to read it. (Hurry up library and process it already! — and I mean that in the nicest possible way, because I LOVE the library.) Anyway, Seth previewed it recently on zenhabits, and what he had to say really left a mark on me.

In the write up, he talks about the lizard brain – that part of ourselves that resists moving out of our comfort zone and argues against any departure from the status quo. It’s that part of our reasoning [sic] process that clings so tightly to our basic survival requirements that it can blind us to the fact the pot is boiling and it’s time make the leap – or at the very least push the go button.

And it’s that niggling part of our mind that keeps us from getting on with business again and again.

It’s a simple thing (it seems) – muffling our usual tendency to carry on as usual while imagining everything could change – and maybe it is simple. As simple as trying something different – even just once. At first. Then again. For fun. (Who cares if it doesn’t work out perfectly?)

Where you end up may not be where you anticipated, but it will likely be better than looking out from the edge of your corner of the swamp wondering if you can make it across the dry patch to the next safe place.

This is good stuff. I know it is.

Jeri Lynn