Hello! I’m the Amygdala and I’m Here to Wreck Your Day!

Mitch Schneider
September 18, 2019

For someone who is supposed to be taking it easy, I’ve just completed a pretty crazy couple of days.

Lesley would say I’m quietly slipping back into my old habits of trying to cram five quarts of effort into a four-quart container, and I’m not sure I could argue that she is being inaccurate or even unfair. That’s because, for the most part she’s probably right. And, while some of the things that have been crowding my days are personally fulfilling, like our walks together every morning or Tai Chi classes in the evening. Most have been centered around the release and promotion of my book: Misfire: What to Do When Things Aren’t Running on All Cylinders.

It would certainly be safe to say that most of those things involve actions and activities that are as uncomfortable as they are unfamiliar. And, with that discomfort comes equal or greater measures of anxiety and fear.

It doesn’t matter if you identify the source of that discomfort and fear as the Lizard Brain: Seth Godin’s term for the amygdala and its function. Or, like Steven Pressfield, you simply refer to it as “the Resistance.” The role the amygdala play in all our lives is critically important to understand. And, even more important to overcome.

The question is: How do you do that?

How do you reason with a part of the brain that is so primitive it has no language skills, and therefore is incapable of communication? How do you make sense of a part of the brain that is only interested in protecting you: keeping you safe and free from harm?

The only way I know how to do that is by confronting that fear and anxiety with a full-frontal attack of my own. The only way I know how to do it is to do it! To face the issue, complete the task and ship the project in spite of the fear and anxiety.

The way to do it is to say, “Sorry, Mr. Amygdala, but not today! Today the day is mine, and I’ll do whatever is necessary to improvise, adapt and overcome until I triumph!”

 

 

 

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