My brain is magnificent. At its best, it allows me to generate new ideas and open the door to what’s possible. I can innovate, solve complex problems, simplify processes, maximize the strengths in others… and so much more. I can communicate brilliantly. I can be inspired and inspire others. I can be incredibly focused. I love to cook, and I love to read. And I live to travel.
I can’t read a map to save my life. I lose track of time. And despite two semesters of calculus in college, I still pause when I need to figure out a tip.
At various times, and depending on the circumstances, I feel joy, peace, anger, fear, happiness….. the entire range of human emotions, I suspect.
My brain also does a terrific job of scanning for threats and, for most of my corporate career, when it detected one, it was either fight or flight. My primal brain (aka the amygdala) took over and left the rest of me behind. I became a leader who could be ‘too’…. too direct or too reserved; too argumentative or too compliant; too critical or too nice. You get the picture. When it was all over, I was disappointed in myself. How I had showed up, in a meeting or one-on-one, didn’t serve me. I knew this, but I didn’t know how to fix it. I thought that something was wrong with me……….
Outside of these instances of an ‘amygdala hijack’, my work was excellent. I mentored, I collaborated, I supported my clients and other colleagues. I influenced. I found new solutions. I consistently delivered on my objectives. I worked with others and through others. I laughed and smiled. I worked tirelessly. And I was very successful ….. much of the time.
But I also had a shadow self. One that was anxious and worried. Worried about mistakes, others’ perceptions, budget cuts, staff reductions. Worried about still being relevant, being overlooked on key projects, being an outsider, being hazed. This worry and anxiety I had at work….. it didn’t serve me either.
Here’s why. Anxiety messes with the brain. There’s too much noise in your mind and your ability to perceive subtle signals becomes more difficult. You’re more likely to respond negatively to situations and become defensive and less collaborative. The risk of making poor decisions is greater. Worry, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, uncertainty, fear…… they work against your most powerful mind.
My solution? I invested in a coach….. and my mind was opened. I realized that there was nothing wrong with me. Rather, I was human and my magnificent brain was working exactly as it was designed to work. I just needed to do some reconfiguring for today’s world of work.
So I did the hard work of reconfiguring my mind. Change your brain and you change your whole world. Believe it.
What’s your brain story? Tell me.
It’s all about the mind…..
Are you IN?