Brain model.gif
This model explains how 'fear' literally switches off 'smart

Your 'autopilot' limbic calls up habitual patterns of thinking and action based on what it perceives is happening... 

Perception is built on external sensory inputs as shaped by the expectations of your body's internal (emotional) state. Perceived threats produce instinctive defensive reactions which, typically, are not helpful in the business world. 

Your 'smart' PFC lets you 'visualise' the future (+ other perspectives) and choose a more effective strategy... 

Two issues: (a) it is very easily over-loaded; (b) it is quickly closed down when the limbic threat response is triggered. You need the right conditions for PFC thinking - eg it's impossible when too tired, or in the grip of fear or anger. 

Threats perceived by the limbic are often 'imagined' (ie internally created 'stories') rather than 'reality'... 

The threats you imagine are influenced by your personality, your role in the system, and your relationships with other people in the situation. You can calm your threat response physically by 'breathing', and cognitively by 're-framing' your perception. It helps when you intentionally develop these mitigating actions into habits. 

Regular practices can turn new choices of perception / response into stored patterns, ie new habits... 

Regular journaling, to review and modify your perception of situations, can literally create new neuronal pathways. Mindfulness practices can reduce your emotional reaction to perceived threats. Coaching helps when you can't change perception on your own - with a strong connection to the coach, it's as if you can 'borrow' their limbic.   

"We're simpler than we WANT to believe" MB

For occasional insights based on applying these ideas in real life, please follow this link to the equivalent "chapter" of my blog site:

Business is ALWAYS personal: 3 The brain story