Battling the Lizard Brain

A word. A look. A forgotten invitation. And the slippery slope begins.

When you struggle with deep insecurity, it’s not hard to go from “That could have gone better” to “I am worthless. I will never amount to anything”.

We all battle this to an extent. Many of us will learn over the years that no one thinks of us as much as we think they do. We learn to be who we are without fear or worry. It’s a very normal path of maturity.

But for those of us who have deep-set insecurity, the journey is not so simple.

We win a battle, have a period of confidence, only to be overcome once more, attacking ourselves, believing the worst, allowing the lizard brain to take over.

What is lizard brain? The “you’re not ever going to be good enough”, “you will always fail”, “you will never have deep friendships”. It’s the slimy voice within that makes you want to hide under the covers and never show your face again.

I understand now that I may never be completely free from this voice.

I also understand that this regular battle can make me stronger, closer to the Lord, and able to walk hand-in-hand with others going through the same battle.

Here are some helpful habits to develop, your go-tos when the lizard voice begins to speak.

Habit one: Declare that it’s happening. Being able to recognize the voice allows us to take action against it.

Habit Two: Scripture. If you’re a Christian, the Bible is your source of daily truth. Memorize key passages that speak directly against the lies. You are loved. You are beautiful. There is grace, so much grace.

Habit Three: Talk about it to a friend. Isolation is the enemy. When we isolate, the voice can become that much louder. We need truth-speakers in our lives who can drown out the lizard voice.

Habit Four: Have specific positive action plans in response to specific situations. Certain things in life are always bound to occur. A positive action plan can be when you feel _________, go out for dessert with your family. When _____________ happens, have a dance party in the living room. Or a movie night, a family walk, a Target trip…whatever brings you joy + gets the focus away from the situation/event, and repeat. It will become an ingrained response and a light in the midst of your negative emotions.

Habit Five: This can go along with 4…focus on someone other than yourself! Do a service project, an elaborate gesture for a child or significant other, a surprise for a friend, etc. Focusing on others allows the blinders to be taken off so we can see what really matters. Life is too short to stay in lizard brain mode. It passes by while we’re stuck under the covers, and we will come to regret it.

So look in the mirror and smile. Declare, “Lizard brain, you do not control me. I am loved. I have others to love. And life is to short to let you rule.”

Start doing some of these things in response to the lizard voice. And do them again. And again. Until they are your habits. They can become your strongest weapon in this battle.

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