From Fear to Courage — Small Steps and Your Inner Lizard

fear inner lizard

Small steps calm your inner lizard.

Fear stifles creativity, shuts down new ideas, and just plain stops people in their tracks.

When you’re in the grip of fear, courage often feels like a death-defyingly out of reach choice.

Some part of you says “danger” and whatever you were contemplating looks like a risk too big to venture — a step too big to take.

And yet, you were initially excited about your idea. It seemed doable and interesting until the lid of fear clamped down.

Fear and your inner lizard…

Some time ago I read a post by Pam Bauer titled “The Truth About Fear (and How to Cultivate Courage).” In this post, she refers to fear as the “inner lizard” — a term borrowed from Martha Beck’s book, Steering by Starlight.

Your inner lizard is a primitive part of your brain. Its aim is to keep you safe and its basic premise is that the familiar is good (safe) and the unfamiliar is bad (dangerous.) So, as you might imagine, nearly any new or creative idea is going to be upsetting to your inner lizard and will prompt a reaction that basically just says, “STOP!”

It happens so fast…

You might think the courageous response in this situation is to plow ahead. But often your response is so quick and so visceral that you don’t even notice that you’ve slammed on the brakes. It happens in an instant.

You decide that your idea is unrealistic, silly, too much of a stretch, or too risky, and you set it aside.  You return to your usual routine, and your inner lizard calms and quiets down.

So the trick, in this situation, is to, first and foremost, recognize when this is happening. That’s a challenge because fear is such a habitual response.

So, what do you do now?

Once you know it’s happening, you can step in and counter your fear response. How?

What Pam Bauer suggests (and I fully agree) is taking one small step to start.

The way to take action in the face of fear is by taking little steps — steps so tiny your inner lizard won’t notice.

A small step is doable and feels less ‘new’ and therefore less risky than a big one. And taking a small step makes another step possible. Success builds on success.

Before you know it, you’ve moved into and inhabited a new space.  Something that was foreign has become familiar (and no longer the least bit scary).

Small steps = transformation.

Ready to take your next (small) step?

We all have voices that chatter at us throughout the day. Your inner lizard is one, and your inner critic is another. Learning to recognize (and counter) these destructive voices is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

Let’s look more closely at your inner critic. It’s certainly a negative and debilitating presence in your life.  And it’s not just the words — it’s the judgmental tone, the rolling eyes, and the scolding wag of the index finger. Beyond sapping your energy and confidence, your inner critic robs you of time and profoundly distorts how you see others and how you feel about yourself. So, what can you do?

Give yourself a big boost with my Exercise and Guide Book titled “These Critical Voices Are Driving Me Crazy!” How to Use Positive Self-Talk to Save Your Sanity and Your Time! This book offers simple, practical exercises, checklists and tips for learning to recognize and counter the critical voices that disrupt and hurt you.

“This guidebook is by a secret genius as far as I’m concerned.
Her name is Paula Eder and she is absolutely brilliant
when it comes to how to be in relationship with self and
how to be in relationship with time.”
Heather Dominick

You hold the power to make conscious choices about the kinds of messages you give yourself. As you exercise this power, you’ll develop new clarity and confidence – and transform your time.

“These Critical Voices Are Driving Me Crazy!” opens the door and gives you a roadmap, so don’t wait. Click this link to get started on your empowering journey today.

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