Explaining The Role of the Reptilian Brain (And Why You Need to Retrain Your Brain to Get Better Results)

The primal part of your brain influences everything that you do. If you could retrain that part of your brain to serve you, the possibilities are limitless.

Your brain is a complicated thing. There are all sorts of parts to it, each of which has its own job in making you who you are. But, by far, the most powerful is your reptilian brain. Also known as your primal brain, this part of your brain influences everything that you do. It’s the core that you drive from. It’s the oldest part of the human brain. The reptilian brain is the easiest part of the brain to activate and it’s where you form all of your core survival mechanisms.  And it’s these mechanisms that can prevent you from achieving success. 

Sometimes, your brain is so intent on protecting you that it stops you from taking a risk or trying something new that could lead to a positive change in your life. But what if you could change or reframe how the reptilian part of your brain works? That’s when you create new possibilities.

The Reptilian Brain in Action

If the core part of you is based on survival, then isn’t it possible that every action you do – whether you perceive it as good or not – is a survival mechanism? In other words, your actions may be influenced by survival mechanisms that have existed in your brain for years.

Let’s look at a classic example: don’t talk to strangers. Most parents repeat this to their children, especially when the children are very young. The intention behind this advice is pure. Your parents wanted to ward you away from people you don’t know. As a child, you’re innocent enough to believe that everybody you meet is a good person. This advice protects you from getting too close to people who might be dangerous to you.

Again, we see a survival mechanism at play. But the challenge is that this survival mechanism gets imprinted in your mind. Once you become an adult, not talking to strangers can be detrimental, rather than something that serves you. If you want to form a relationship with somebody new, you need to talk to a stranger.

A business owner who wants to form a partnership to strengthen their company will need to talk to strangers. They’ll also need to talk to strangers when hiring people. Suddenly, we see a survival mechanism that served us well as children working against us as we try to develop as adults.

The Positive Intention Behind Survival Mechanisms

After reading the above, you may start to think that your reptilian brain actively works against you. This is not the case. Our survival mechanisms exist for a reason. They’re there to protect us from things that may cause us harm. At the most basic level, all of the survival mechanisms that come from your reptilian brain have a positive intention: that positive intention is to keep you safe. And it’s this intention that leads to the behaviors that you form. 

Knowing this brings us to a revelation… If there is a positive intention behind every one of our behaviors, even those that seem negative, then the only thing that’s missing is for you to learn a new way to behave. In other words, you can use the power of positive intention to create behaviors that lead to the results you want.

Your brain can be your worst enemy when you don’t recognize the positivity behind its intentions, However, harnessing your reptilian brain can make your mind your best friend.  Remember, your brain can become your biggest support and your most abundant resource. Nobody can take it away from you. Others can steal your money… Others can take everything you own… But no matter what happens, you will always have your brain. And your brain is a force for powerful, positive, and profound change in your life.

A New Way to Avoid Danger

When you break down these principles, you see that you’re designed to survive. In the most primal sense, we’re designed to avoid danger in any way that we can. The problem is that we develop so many of our techniques for avoiding danger when we’re very young. 

Again, the “don’t talk to strangers” example perfectly demonstrates this.  You were taught this means of survival when you were five years old. But now, this primitive way of avoiding danger no longer serves you. My point? We need to release the old survival techniques that we formed when we were children.

Here’s a little thought experiment. Picture yourself when you were five years old. Imagine that someone asked you to draw a map of the world. Visualize what that map would look like. Likely, it would bear very little resemblance to an actual map because you didn’t know what the world looked like when you were five.

Compare that map to the one that you could draw today. Granted, your map today may not be perfect either. But you likely now know the general shape of the continents and where many countries are. The map you could draw today is a far more accurate and detailed representation of the world around you.

Why? Because your brain has developed since you were five years old.  You’ve learned more about the world, which allows you to update the version of the map that you drew when you were five to something far more accurate. This is the approach we want to take to our primitive survival mechanisms to create a new way to avoid danger.

How Does Change Happen?

Change happens when we recognize and retrain the primitive survival mechanisms we formed when we were younger.  If we return to the “don’t talk to strangers” example, you now know far more about people than you did when you were five. You’re able to sense danger from certain strangers. You’re also able to sense warmth and acceptance from others.

Retrain your brain so that you see danger in a new, more informed, way.  Use what you’ve learned to hone your survival instincts so that they’re more effective at protecting you, while not being so primitive that they prevent you from grasping opportunities.

I understand that this is a complicated topic. That’s why I’m offering you the opportunity to schedule a Force Session with me today. Together, we can work on making your survival mechanisms less primitive.

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