The Lizard Brain and the Wizard Brain
Written by: | Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
You were born awesome. You have talents, strengths and passions – unique abilities that no one else has in exactly the same way. And you can use these abilities to go out and live a great life.
But so many of us choose not to live our greatness. We stay sheltered, afraid to be part of our world – afraid to be bold, confident, courageous and great. As William Shedd said, “A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are for.” It is safer in life for us to live small, blend it and follow the crowd, but that is not what life is for.
Author Martha Beck shares in her book, Steering by Starlight, that we have a “lizard” and a “wizard” brain. Our lizard brain is stuck on fear and alarm – or as she calls, “lack and attack.” We are afraid we will not have enough of what we need, and we are poised and ready for something bad to happen. Our “lack and attack”-based living limits who we are, what we contribute and how we live. So to never run out of what we think we need and to avoid life’s challenges, we play it safe. We blend; we do what others do. We decide who to be based on what others say.
Then there is the wizard brain – the one that sees the majesty of being alive in the world that has provided each of us with very particular talents, strengths and passions – tools to invent and live in a great way. This brain wants to invent. This brain wants to be honest, true and authentic. This brain doesn’t fear not fitting in; it celebrates its difference, passion and purpose. It has a focus on abundance, not scarcity. Moving from lizard to wizard is a change in mindset about who you are and what you want for your life. And we commit to living the life we are born to have when we choose bold over bland, and being authentic over pretending, to fit in.
I spent most of my years in “lack and attack” mode – in lizard brain mode. I missed out on a lot of years because I was trying to blend, make no impact, and discount the things that made me unique or different. I downplayed my unique abilities, my purpose and my passions. Becoming aware is the first step to change. Today, I am committed to focus on opportunity, possibility and greatness. I now choose to go through life with the wizard part of my brain more often – inventing opportunities, and being more fully present. And life is now larger, happier and greater. Mind you, this doesn’t make it easier, but it does make it better.
And as the earlier quote by William Redd says, a ship can indeed stay safe in a harbor, but that is not what ships are for. A life can stay safe by living small and letting fear, worry and others’ loud voices tell us how to live. But living small is not what life is for. We are born for greatness. We are born awesome. But we have to choose to live this way. And when we do, we respect our gifts, become our best selves and transform our world.
Great news should always be shared and learning to connect to your wizard brain is great news. Please share this with someone who can benefit from it. And contact me to learn how greatness and life purpose coaching and the tools at TheGreatnessZone.comcan help you get out of the harbor and into life.