I am going to fess up, I am a self-help-book junkie. I read a ton of stuff, I listen to audio books and I journal my thoughts regularly. And I am frustrated by my turtle paced trudging through the river of misery – er change. I may have spent the last 50 years forming the neuro-circuitry that makes me me, but I don’t want to spend the next 50 years trying to undo it. Can we just skip to the future me I want me to be please? But then, most annoyingly, I find it virtually impossible to define who that future me is. What a paradoxical quagmire!
In fact, I am learning, as I coach some incredibly brilliant ladies, this challenge to dream beyond our current perceived realities is not an uncommon problem. All five year olds know how to dream. Even teens are still dreaming vividly (and somewhat recklessly at times!) But somewhere along the line of life, we forgot how to dream. And I am going to – correctly or incorrectly – place the blame on our primitive brain. That primitive brain, programmed to survive in an eat-or-be-eaten environment with its change-lethal default setting, is very effectively keeping us safe and secure, deeply entrenched in the familiar!
Our primitive brain, the house-keeping part of our brain that keeps us alive – heart beating, regular breathing, digestion and absorption of our food etc., LOVES ‘the familiar’, even when ‘the familiar’ is not serving us well in the long term. So, change is hard. We are fighting some seriously intense, deeply ingrained, brain biology! Hard wired into our brains since the dawn of time, the change lethal default setting kept us alive in some pretty hostile situations. Well done primitive brain! But, we no longer live in those hostile situations and that change-lethal default is out of date!
We can venture out and dream, despite the change lethal default setting, but it’s not easy. We must dare greatly, take some risks and be proactive. We must cross the river of misery/change even when we cannot envision the other side.
The woman who decided that sharing dark, damp and cold caves with spiders and other little critters was unacceptable, dared greatly and started a ripple, the result of which she could not have imagined. She dreamed of a warm, dry and bug free home. Centuries later, we have air-conditioned luxury condos!
What if we could imagine beyond warm and bug free? To dream about luxury condos instead? Go ahead dare to dream, vividly and somewhat recklessly.
We CAN venture out of the cave and dream. Our primitive brain will not be pleased but venture out anyway.
Dare to dream. Then dare to step into the river of misery/change. Then, act as though your dream is non-negotiable and watch the magic happen!
Buff it up my friends!