The lizard brain seeks constant reassurance. It will wheedle and argue and debate with the rest of your head, pushing for one tiny bit of evidence, some sort of proof that everything will be okay.However, there are times when it can really pay off !
Don't do it.When you indulge the lizard, it gains power. It doesn't walk away ashamed, humiliated at its anxiety. Instead, it merely sidesteps and looks for the next thing to worry about, because, ready for this? It's nice to be reassured.Developing the reassurance habit is easy to do and hard to kick. The problem is this: there are some ventures where no reassurance is possible.
Obviously I am talking about cases where re-assurance is possible and where the probability of saving an "own goal" is high.
Decision making and "the lizard" interact negatively when gut instinct fear of the unknownis inappropriate, and I think there are patterns where this occurs most often.
When fear is misdirected and diverts attention from your priority. If you have big exam or a TED talk to give then "butterflies" are normal and should help you perform. But if they dominate they can exhibit themselves as "things I would prefer to think about" - checking you have performed your lucky routine (how many people have a ritual) is all about putting attention on something more comfortable and less stressful (did you aver laugh at a funeral or wake?).
The need for re-assurance is beneficial when it is directed at a threat. These are often real rather than merely perceived if :
- They are in a domain where you are not expert ( Your company embraces Green-tech publicly but in reality is blowing hot air - you sell telephones - you know NOTHING about green-tech) - Your gut is giving you advice and saying "stop your Bullsh#t " Better that you get informed before getting called on it publicly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOtO6DvH1O8
- They are in an area where problems are know to be rife http://www.facilitiesnet.com/hvac/article/5-Threats-to-Chiller-Efficiency--1893 - So how much do you know about chiller efficiency ? - Warning: if you are a company that runs chiller compressors 24/7/365 "because you have to" and you comment below - I will name and shame if I can !
- They are in an area where problems emerge spontaneously and early identification is key - Good examples would be testicular or breast lumps (Warning following contain nudity in medical context)
- http://www.channel4embarrassingillnesses.com/video/how-to-check-yourself/how-to-check-your-testicles/ (safe for work unless employer is an idiot)
- http://www.channel4embarrassingillnesses.com/video/how-to-check-yourself/how-to-check-your-breasts/ (safe for work unless employer is an idiot)
In my experience energy efficiency problems emerge spontaneously and frequently, usually in domains where the sufferer is not expert, and early identification is key - so
http://kWIQly.com/ - is a great drop in clinic if you want your energy "lumps" looked at!
The conclusions I make are that Seth is absolutely right in most contexts, but in facilities management and energy management particularly and also health care (and politics) he may be dropping the ball ! But in politics it is an established norm :)PS - Are you aware that you can get free heating and cooling degree-day data for anywhere in the world from us ?