Did you have a dog as a kid? Man’s best friend is loyal, fun and, if properly trained, can keep you safe. But did you know you have an inbuilt watch dog in your mind?
The prefrontal cortex is our watchdog in our brain. It is what stops you from making rash decisions and can affect any type of goal, from writing a book, starting a speaking career or learning to skydive.
So imagine that you want to start a new exercise programme and you are kitted up to go for a run. But before you step out, there is a strange noise on the other side of the door. Your dog leaps up at the door and starts sniffing. Your friendly, if somewhat over eager, new neighbour is standing on the other side with a freshly baked pie and a little too much personal fragrance. But his intent is good and he just so happens to be the former chairperson of a chamber of commerce.
Now your dog jumps to attention and starts growling because there is an unknown, odd smelling person on the other side who could harm you, its owner. Your dog is alerting you to potential danger. Now as you reach for the door handle, your dog goes crazy, as if it is barking at you “Human, have you gone mad? There is an intruder on the other side? Have you read the crime statistics? Just get back inside and let me handle this?”
Now, you keep on trying to tug at the door handle, but the dog pulls at your lycra pants trying to pull you hack in the house.
“Alert, alert, HUMAN, just get back inside.” You now have a big rip in your clothing and that muffin top that you promised you would exercise away and didn’t is now displayed in all its glory and you are utterly humiliated. Worst of all, your other neighbour was watering the garden with her kids. They saw the left buttock when the dog ripped your pants and called the police accusing you of indecent exposure. And your new neighbour has seen parts of you, had no intention of revealing. So you go back inside and the dog smirks and says, “See, you should have listened to me in the first place.”
Now here is the thing: you own this dog. You bought it to keep you safe, but the dog’s behaviour is now tracking control of you and you have a pair of ripped pants and the police are on their way. Your reputation is shot to hell and you are wondering if you should consider doing all your future meetings virtually from home.
Your dog is now the perfect symbol of sabotage. Its behaviour has moved from protection to damaging. Your goals are dashed and your fear has spiked. So, do you just get rid of the dog and hope for the best? Well, how about you and your dog going to dog training school? Just like you can train a real dog, you can also train your mind to work for you and not against you.
So here are a few questions to ask yourself?
- What are your goals?
- Does your behaviour align itself with your goals?
- If it does not, what can you do to change this scenario?
This week I encourage you to put those niggling fears and doubts in their proper place.
Start upskilling to minimise that fear and find yourself an accountability partner who has walked your journey and wants you to succeed.
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Hello, I am Kim Vermaak
I spent most of my adult life helping other companies build their dream and their brands.
After I turned 40, I wondered if there was more to life than taking care of children and slaving away to earn a living.
I wanted to create a legacy for my children and the next generation. I found that through my books I could celebrate who I am as well as teach others to earn a living through their writing.
Being an author is not a hobby. It is a business, and it is my passion to teach authors how to thrive in that business. I look forward to seeing your book business grow.
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