Which Brain Are You Living In? (Part 1 of 2)

Two Brains

Did you know that you have two brains? Survival Brain and Human Brain.

Well, technically you have one, buuuuuutttt….these two parts of your brain that you need to learn to be the lead in order to create a life without limits.

Over the next two posts I’ll be introducing you to both parts, because understanding your brain is the single most important things you can to in order to create change in your life.  

Say Hello to Survival Brain

First I’d like to introduce you to Survival Brain.

This is the oldest part of our brain that has done an incredibly great job helping us evolve as a species.

But this primitive part of our brain is now holding us back in this modern world.

Absent of all the lurking dangers that are no longer present (you know, like that big tiger that isn’t going to try and eat you) your survival brain turns very small, minor things into huge dangerous problems.

How This Brain Operates

Today I had a client crying, literally in a panic about the possibility that she *might* not pass an exam. Like full on freak out, terror mode. Over a test. That won’t kill her. Nor will it eat her.

Survival brain is wired to maximize pleasure, minimize pain and be as efficient as possible.

To be as efficient as possible, this primitive part of our brain creates habits of thinking and habits of behavior so that it doesn’t have to use as much brain power and conscious awareness to complete these routines.

Because Survival Brain pushes us toward pleasure, we end up seeking out many things in life that give us short term gratification at the expense of our long term wellbeing.

We end up seeking comfort, distraction, indulgence – even when we know it is terrible for us because it feels so good right in that moment.

Anything that Survival Brain associates with pain is to be avoided at all cost. To try and steer you clear from anything that *might* be painful, Survival Brain will throw enormous amounts of shade. 

Survival Brain rules with the iron fist of fear.

How This Brain Backfires

Remember that crying fit my client had? She was terrified she wouldn’t pass her exam, that she might have to study more and take it again, that she would get stuck in that course longer. Rationally it seems like it’s not that bad, right? She gets more time, another attempt and all will be well. But this brain led her to believe that failing the exam would be catastrophic, that she would be a failure, that she would NEVER pass the class. So it not only threw all her fears, insecurities and self-doubt at her, but that created the the overwhelming physical sensation of panic.

The problem is that while trying to be as efficient as possible Survival Brain often keeps us in really unhealthy, harmful and stagnant habits because the pain of the known is far better than the pain of the unknown.

Survival brain is the one who sabotages any change you try to create, who overrides your good intentions and holds you hostage in fear.

In part 2 we will talk about Human Brain, and how even without knowing how to lead your brain, you probably have a sense that part is often at war with Survival Brain.  

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