Your brain hasn't had an upgrade in thousands of years. Like the first computer that was ever made; The Eniac in 1946... imagine your current state of the art Mac Air running off the same hard drive as the Eniac with no new software? It looks great on the outside but it's not processing anything at all and it just keeps jamming every time you try to open a new application.
Introducing - your early human mind.
Totally driven by the need to be accepted and not get killed/outed/rejected the early human brain requires a software reboot (via some helpful new self awareness tools) if we are to begin to work with our inner most thoughts and feelings more compassionately, transform our choices & behaviour and relate to others differently in the modern age.
When we begin to understand the needs of the early human brain we begin to understand ourselves more deeply, have an awareness of what drives us and what drives others AND rise above it. As we are all walking around with some version of the early human brain, it pays to understand what we are all doing up there in the land of 'The Mind'.
Understand The Early Human Brain & It Will Lead You Towards A Deeper Level Of Self Acceptance And Compassion For Others. Click to tweet this quote...
If you go right to the core of every emotional trouble, fear or anxiety you have ever experienced you can bet that feeling unaccepted rejected and ashamed of who you are was at the core of that pain. If you look at why you hold back and what you are fearful of the fear of rejection will be there; operated solely by your early human mind. When we feel rejected or unaccepted we feel threatened and fearful that we are going to be alone. And the overwhelm kicks in. The mind races to all sorts of scenarios building the fear. This is how the early human brain works when it is trying to keep you safe.
Here are some examples of the early human mind at work trying to keep you safe....
Let's say you never speak your mind or you have a fear of confrontation? Why? Is it because you feel that your words and feelings will put others out? That somehow you will be cast out/pushed away/disliked/judged if you speak your truth? At the core of not speaking up is our dire need to be liked and accepted, even if it costs us our own happiness. Better not to make waves right?
Keeping Up With The Jones'
Have you ever done something because you thought it was what was expected of you yet it wasn't what you really wanted and it cost you your happiness or integrity? Do you try to keep up with the status quo (everyone does be honest)? Have you ever made decisions according to what you thought you were supposed to do and it left you feeling regretful? Let's say that you have created a picture perfect version of your life based on what you thought you were supposed to do and you still feel unhappy and empty? Or stayed in a job way too long that you despised or kept a relationship going that no longer served you? Why do we do these things that don't serve us well? Because we are doing what we think will help us be accepted and we are trying to stay 'safe'. Because your early human mind is terrified of doing something 'wrong' in the eyes of others.
The Broken Heart
Cast your mind back to the first time you had your heart broken and remember that pain. Remember the feeling of complete rejection, loneliness, genuine pain, feeling sick, can't sleep and feeling as though.... you were going to die! That's the early human mind going into overdrive. It literally believes that when we are 'cast out' that we are going to die.
The Troubled Secret Keeper
We all know someone who keeps their deepest troubles to themselves until the point that those troubles have been completely blown out of proportion in that person's mind. They handle their pain alone to the point where secrecy becomes deadly. Why won't they share their troubles? Because whether they realise it or not they are wondering...'what will people think?' People might think I'm hopeless/a failure/a loser/weak. Why do we worry so much about what others think?
The Golden Rules Of The Early Human Mind
Let's go back to caveman days. It's you and your clan building your own shelter, hunting your own food. Let's say you mistook that sound in the bushes for a bird when it was really a bear? You would have been dead. Let's say you didn't pull your weight hunting and gathering? You would have been cast out which meant death. Let's say you did something or said something within your clan that peeved them off. You would have been cast and out and probably would not have been able to survive on your own.
Now we've entered the modern day age and we know we can support ourselves alone, buy our own food, buy our own ready built shelter BUT the early human mind is still on the look out for DANGER at all times AND is still always comparing you to 'the GROUP' to ensure you don't get cast out. Or you will die. In general the early human mind is always ensuring you DON'T GET KILLED.
The Early Human Mind Is A Don't Get Killed Machine
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These are the rules the Early Human Mind lives by:
Always Be On The Lookout For DANGER
Always assess every person and situation for danger. Do I run, fight or hide (fight or flight response)? This switch is constantly on and we are constantly assessing and aware of danger. We can sometimes get so entangled and wrapped up in our fears of the worst happening that we are debilitated, like a stunned mullet!
What if I say the wrong thing, dress the wrong way or make a decision that will cast me out of the group? Danger. This for some equates to staying small, fitting in with the status quo even if it means sacrificing your own happiness. Take a job interview for example... do I look good enough, am I sitting with the right posture, is my resume good enough, am I talking the way they want me to talk? And when you end up agreeing to 20 hours more a week than you wanted to and 10k a year less than what you are worth you know your early human mind is ruling.
Survive No Matter What - Control and Avoid
Control and Avoid every situation you can to succeed at survival. The two best friends of The Early Mind are Control and Avoid. Control every situation to succeed or look as though you are succeeding (fight) or completely avoid it, never speak up, never chase your dreams (run and hide).
Control in excess is exhausting and you are literally running your own race with no one else in the race. This is how we have ended up rewarding or looking up to those in the workplace that do a 70 hour week, drive the great car, go to the gym and be parents and socialites all at the same time. It's ridiculous and we are broken and exhausted but society actually rewards it.
Avoidance in excess is debilitating to your soul and your passion. When you play small and go along with things that don't serve you out of fear, you will squash your soul like swatting a fly.
Either way you end up exhausted and can't even remember what race you were running or a diminished watered down version of your self who is fearful of everything.
Fit In With The Group & The Birth Of 'I'm Not Good Enough'
Constantly compare yourself to others to make sure you 'fit in' with the group or else you will be rejected, alone and probably dead. Am I saying the right thing, doing the right thing, contradicting the group and what is expected of me? This leads us to believe that 'we are not good enough'. All the time. And we all have a version of this story running.
When we've ever had experiences where we felt we 'weren't good enough' we tend to hang on to them, replay them and never learn from or move past them. We are left with a fear of never stepping outside the boundaries again because their is a possibility of rejection, pain, loneliness and unacceptance. We can hold on to these 'traumatic video replays' for years. We bring them out when we feel pain to reinforce our idea that 'we are not good enough' and we allow them to dictate our days, weeks and years as if they were true.
My guru and teacher Russ Harris explains this best here:
'We are all just running around trying to survive driven by our need to be accepted and not rejected. Self awareness and acceptance is needed if we want to live on our own terms and not be driven by fear.'
Diminishing The Power Of The Early Human Mind - 3 Steps
Awareness Is The First Step
Once you have the awareness that the early human mind exists then you have the ability to rise above it. So you when you hear it, feel it and see it in action your job is to be aware , note it and acknowledge that your mind is just kicking into survival mode. When you see it in action you might even laugh at how ridiculous it is that your mind is just constantly dragging you around under the false belief that you are 'not good enough'. Laugh it off. Watch it and then let it be what it is. And then get back to the present moment....
Find Clarity In Reality
In the present moment what your mind is telling you and what is the truth of reality are two very different things. When we learn to turn down the radio switch of panic and fear and turn up the present moment we start to see the vast difference between the two. To do this simply take a moment now to listen in to your thoughts...turn up the radio switch. Then turn it down and put all your focus into the moment. See, hear, feel and smell the present moment. Turn up the radio switch on the present.
Transform Your Relationship To I'm Not Good Enough
Whenever you hear any version of this story (variations could be 'I can't_________ say/do/go because _________') I want to you allow the story to be there and name it. For example 'oh that is my I can't quit my job story' or 'I can't be happy because.... story'. When you call the story for what it is, just a story your mind conjured to keep you safe, and get back to living in the moment you will actually find that there are more possibilities and outcomes that your mind had not previously thought of. You will find space and freedom. Check out my blog on stories for help with this below.
You Now Understand Others
If this is how you are operating, just trying to survive, then this is what everyone else is doing too! Awareness of your early human mind will help you develop a certain level of self acceptance but also help you understand others, the way they behave and react, more deeply to. Once you have the awareness you can never un-have it.
'When you know yourself you are empowered. When you accept yourself you are invincible.'
Today I would love for you to begin your journey of rising above the habits of your early human mind, practicing self awareness and moving past 'I'm not good enough' by utilising the above tools to the fullest. No time like the present right?
Share your thoughts and experiences with me below and have a lovely day!
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