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Become brain-wise with this simplest of models  

Your limbic automatically calls up habitual patterns of thinking and action (as stored in the neo-cortex)

What it calls up is based on its emotional perception of the external world, as influenced by your body's internal state. A defensive state produces instinctive reactions which, typically, reduce your effectiveness in the business world. 

Your limbic is very easily triggered by threats  - whether "real" or "imagined" (internally created "stories") 

The threats you imagine in a specific situation are determined by what we call "personality" and by the systemic context. You can calm down your threat response (eg anger) physically by "breathing", and cognitively by "re-framing". It helps when you intentionally develop these mitigating actions into habitual patterns of response. 

Your PFC lets you 'see' alternative futures, allowing you to intentionally choose to see / do things differently  

Two issues: (a) it is easily over-loaded; (b) it is quickly closed down when negative emotions trigger the limbic threat response. You have to create the right conditions for PFC thinking - eg it's impossible in the grip of fear or anger. 

Sustained effort (practice) can turn chosen new perceptions / responses into stored patterns (ie new habits) 

"Journaling", to review and modify your perception of past situations, can literally create new neuronal pathways. Mindfulness practices can regulate emotions. Coaching helps when your limbic is stuck on seeing "threat" - a strong connection to the coach allows you to "borrow" their limbic "safety". Repetition makes new pathways permanent. 


"We are 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