Your brain likes to keep you safe. It likes to talk you out of doing things that are new and perceived as “dangerous.” Like opening a new business, meeting a new income milestone, or launching new products and services. If your brain doesn’t have a point of reference for the “new” thing you are doing it defaults to believing you are in “danger” and it takes immediate steps to talk you out of it. Putting doubts, fears, and sometimes self-sabotaging behaviors into your head. To make you stop. To keep you, “safe.” It’s all laid out in The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.
It’s happened to you before. It has happened to all of us. You get a great new idea and immediately you think, “this will never work.” Or you have repeatable patterns of self-sabotage every time you are ready to launch something new into the world. It’s frustrating and confusing. Why does the brain work so hard to derail anything new? Even if the new thing is good for us, like making more money?
It’s actually quite simple. Our brains haven’t adapted to the fact that we aren’t physically in harms way when there’s something happening the brain doesn’t recognize. The ego wants to keep us in the status quo where it can predict everything, and nothing is going to harm us. This is the part of the brain that watches for cheetahs chasing us. And it hasn’t adapted to life today in 2020. But you can get past an upper limit problem. We need to get past the brains safety switch so we can level up past our previous “set point?”
First, acknowledge that this is new, and you know the brain is feeling fear.
Recognizing an upper limit problem is the first step. Paying attention to how you feel and what’s going on around you as you begin to do or attain something new and different is the first step. Fear may show up in different ways, but the consistent thread is that your brain is trying to talk you out of moving forward and is making excuses for you not to continue. We’ve all done it, had those inner conversations that talk us out if ideas.
Second, reassure your brain that you are safe.
Give it a little attention and thank it for trying to protect you. I thank my brain all the time, and remind it that I am safe, and that we are doing this thing. By paying attention and not ignoring it, the negative voices in my head do quiet down a little. It is okay to feel scared when we try something new. Anything new in our business may feel scary, and in many cases we are unsure of the outcome, no matter the projections and plans. Acknowledge it. Remind yourself you are safe.
Another trick is to trace and minimize the fear by asking, “what if (this negative thing) does happen?” and answer the question. For example, “what if we don’t sell any?” then honestly examine the consequence. By answering the questions you give yourself a point of reference. By giving yourself a point of reference, the brain can calm down.
Third, do your thing. Just do it.
Your brain will create a new set point as it experiences your new level. As you try and succeed (or learn) different things, the brain adapts and knows “how” to do it, and it isn’t seen as automatically dangerous.
I have my own upper limit problems. We all do. I tend to self-sabotage when “new” things are happening, and the business is readying to break through a level. In fact, as I write this, I am on bed rest from an odd back injury. I didn’t fall and don’t remember hurting myself, but I have a bulging disk in my lower back. Is this my body and brain telling me to slow down? I think so. So, I am going a little slower. But I am not quitting, which is what my brain really wants me to do.
Fourth, recognize the growth place and celebrate it.
When you grow and reach the next level, celebrate it. You’ve done it now, your brain has a frame of reference, you are not going to struggle to that level again. Congratulations on staying the course and growing into your next thing.
Finally, rinse and repeat.
Every time you come up against something new, scary, your “growth edge” you will likely have to calm your brain and give it reassurance. It is a part of growing and making permanent changes in your life. And once you are aware of them and take the steps to grow around them, your growth potential is limitless. Happy Entrepreneuring!