ALL change is scary. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT???? Awwee come on —-you say—that can’t be true! Oh –then you say-but if the change is positive it won’t be scary–right??? NOPE! EVEN IF THE CHANGE IS POSITIVE AND ONE YOU WANT IT IS  STILL  SCARY-to your brain!  

Yes—this fear of change is rooted in your brain’s physiology–whether you like it or not or whether you want to be scared or not!

Now, the good news is that there IS a way to work with this and get the change you want. YIPPPEE!

Lets start with your brain. You actually have three separate brains. One of the interesting dilemmas in being human is developing harmony among the three brains.

At the bottom of the brain is your brain stem. It is the oldest and is often called the reptilian brain. It wakes you up in the morning and sends you to sleep at night and reminds your heart to beat.

Right on top of the brain stem is your mid brain, also called the mammalian brain. It is the second oldest part of your brain. It regulates your internal temperature,  houses your emotions AND governs your fight or flight response. Your fight or flight response is crucial to your survival and actually keeps you alive in the face of danger. That sounds like a good thing to me -right?

OK–let’s move on. Now the third part of your brain is the cortex and is the newest part of the human brain. It is basically responsible for the miracle of being human. It is where our rational thoughts and creative impulses come from. Whenever we want to make changes or kick start our creative juices we need to access our cortex.

OK, so here’s where is gets interesting. Let’s say for instance you decide to lose 10 pounds and then you find yourself eating a tub of ice scream in one sitting two days later–or–you decide to get up early and exercise every day and three  days later you  are back hitting the snooze alarm. This can be very frustrating especially if you seem to be doing all the right things and the change makes GOOD sense!


The problem is smack dab right in the middle of your brains–perfectly housed in a place called the amygdala. This houses your fight or flight response. Now remember this is important and is crucial to your survival. Good–right? YES—but not ALL the time.

Here’s the simple truth—the real problem with the amygdala is that is triggers alarm bells WHENEVER we want to make a departure from the usual and safe routines.What that really means is that ANY new challenge or opportunity triggers some level of fear. Yup–when the amygdala is triggered- your access to the thinking part of your brain is restricted and sometimes literally shut down! YIKES!!

Now there are some people who can actually turn their fear into excitement and get around the problem without activating the amygdala– but most of us who set goals or try to initiate a change have a problem with our fear getting triggered-even though we may NOT be aware of it on a conscious level!  THis is why you tend to return to your old usual patterns. It is simply your brain’s way of preventing you from departure from your usual  and safe routines even if it means hitting the snooze alarm or eating a big tub of ice cream!

Now, I know what you are thinking now—SO—– HOW THE HECK CAN I NOT TRIGGER THE AMYGDALA when I want make a change that I want to make?

I have a VERY simple answer and it is so simple that it almost seems like it will not work. TRUST ME—IT DOES!

READY???  TAKE SMALL–VERY VERY VERY SMALL steps towards change. Sometimes such small steps may even feel silly– but–it works!  By doing this you basically rewire your nervous system and bypasse the fight or flight response….and your brain relaxes and says—oh cool…this is nice—let’s keep doing this!

Stay tuned for more ideas on HOW to take these small but POWERFUL steps!


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