Fear of humiliation

Fear, Human Brain, Worry

Human beings have been designed to be social animals. Our ancestors used to live in groups so that they were protected from wild animals which were much bigger and more dangerous then them. This meant that the our ancestors had to conform to the group rules to stay together.

Being thrown out of the group would also mean being killed by an animal so dangerous.

So being thrown out was not only humiliating, but the humiliation could become life threatening.

So today our brain still carries the wiring of our ancestors It does not want to get humiliated because then we will be thrown out of the group and the wild animals can kill us. Our survival is at stake.

As I have mentioned many times before our brain is primarily wired for our survival only. The moment it senses a threat to the survival it starts giving resistance. So because of that resistance we try to avoid doing anything new because if it fails it can be Humiliating and that can be a problem of survival.

Have you had your brain give you all the dire consequences of an action you have taken. It is this same feature repeating.

What the brain is not recognising is the fact that today, there’s no survival issue in more than 99% situations. We live in a much more safer environment than before.

That’s one of the reasons that entrepreneurship has been found to succeed in clusters with first generation entrepreneurs. Because then a failure is only seen as an experiment and the social system around you does not ostracise you. The brain feels more comfortable taking risks.

On the other hand if you come from a business family, then entrepreneurship is considered a given and therefore the children don’t even think in terms of failing in taking/starting a business. While people whose parents have traditionally been in service dominated home tend to stick to being in services.

What all our brain can do!

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Your brain could be holding you from succeeding

Affirmative action, Fear, Human Brain, Thinking, Worry

I have this terrific ability to overthink. Over the years I have tried to get better by realising that my brain is going into rumination and bring it back into the present.

Actually because our brain is designed for survival as its basic function, it wants to conserve energy. Since it tries to conserve energy it gives you resistance to anything where it believes that it will need to do work.

So I used to and even now, many a times, create scenarios in my brain. I get an insight, a new idea….then my brain thinks “work” and it starts showing me all the different consequences. How it can fail, how I will not get any more such work etc. My brain also reminds me of all the previous experiments where things didn’t go as per plan so that I don’t go ahead with my idea and it does not have to perform work. It tries to install fear.

Have you also faced this kind of a situation with your brain throwing up various scenarios and getting you tense or worked-up.

So what I have started doing everyday, is identifying one activity which is giving me resistance. Once I identify it, I then go out and take one action step. Once I have taken this affirmative action, I get real world feedback. Somethings work out and some don’t. When things don’t, I try to figure out the possible course correction.

If things work out then my brain gets relaxed that there’s no danger and it starts supporting my next steps.Nobody knows the future. We only have the NOW. If there’s nothing else that you have clear about the problem you are facing, start with the first step in trying to solve the problem and then see how things work out.

I would love to hear your comments – if your brain also plays games with you and shows you all these dangerous scenarios.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Do a brain dump…..reduce the nagging feelings

Brain size, Focus, Human Brain, Worry

I have over multiple posts written about how the Zeigarnik effect helps us. While there might be detractors to this theory, I know something like this exists because my brain keeps me alert on things that I need to get done.

While my brain does not remember all the things that I need to get done at a time, it does ensure that it keeps sending me the alerts if I am missing something.

On the other hand this effect actually keeps prompting you with feelings, for all the unfinished tasks, and eats up a lot of energy.The feeling of overwhelm also could be sourced to this phenomenon in my belief (no scientific proof of this).

You may have also had an experience like this. Whenever I go on a vacation or even for a two day break, for the first day or so, I am always having a feeling that there was unfinished business. I keep trying to rack my brain to find the source of the feeling, it dodges me, but the nagging continues. This nagging feeling makes me more irritable also.

This could also happen because the mind is pre-occupied with a lot of things. If you have a clear mind then, maybe you will get a signal on the exact item that the brain is pointing you towards.

II have found that a better way to handle the situation is to use the focus finder method of isolating yourself for 50 minutes ,which Dean Jackson has (You can search the video on YouTube) and dump down everything going on in your mind, on to a piece of paper. (This method is so good that after I do the brain dump, my mind gets so relaxed that I start feeling sleepy) This way the issues of nagging feelings can be reduced considerably. One day before you go out, just ensure you have ticked-off all the items on the list and you can have a decent break.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Zeigarnik effect – Mystery books

Human Brain, Marketing, Worry

Are you enthralled with mystery books. I have been reading them ever since I can remember , initially it was Enid Blyton, then Hercule Point, then Allistar Macllean. Till now I if I get to read a mystery thriller – I just can’t keep the book down till I have finished it. Same is the case with movies or web series which are mystery oriented. If I identify a good series then I will finish all the episodes in one sitting.

I have written about the Zeigarnik effect earlier also. I will not go into the details about this here. However if you are interested, there are more than 500 articles that you can search giving details about this Lithuanian lady and her research. Like any scientific theory there are also people who don’t agree with this theory. I am however not interested in getting into that debate.

For me, whenever there’s an unfinished task, I have this nagging / worry feeling that I need to finish it and it keeps coming back into the foreground ever so often. For all these years I used to think its a personality trait with me alone, but then I happened to get hold of this theory and I realised I am not the only unique person who has this trait.

Today however I was reading the book Pre-Suasion, yes that’s not an error. That’s the exact name of the book by author Robert Cialdini. He had earlier written the blockbuster book Influence. If you are in marketing then you need to have this book in your easy to access reference guides.

Robert writes very exhaustively and his books are very dense with enough proof to back his theories.

While reading Pre-Suasion, Robert gives the reason why I have the tendency to read a mystery book in one go. Once again, this is not a trait unique to me, its because of the Zeigarnik effect. Our brain like to get closure on things. Till it gets closure, its in active mode to get the item closed. So until I understand how the mystery gets solved, I am not able to be at peace.

That’s the reason why the people who make multiple seasons of web series always put a hook right at the end, so that when they come out with the next season, there’s an audience waiting to watch it.

Imagine the usage of what I thought as a personality trait is also being used in the entertainment world.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!