Who is Lizzie, you ask? Well, she is my lizard brain – the fight, flight or freeze part of my brain that pops up in times of danger or fear. My colleague, Sandi Amorim at Deva Coaching coined the term Lizzie and I have taken a liking to it.
Lizzie is essential for our survival – in times of danger she will alert us to take action and protect ourselves. Our ancestors relied upon Lizzie to alert them if they needed to run from a predator. But today we don’t run much from predators and Lizzie tends to show up as fear, as resistance, as excuse making when faced with change and new endeavors.
Lizzie is here to stay (and that’s a good thing) and she has your back and will encourage you to check things out before taking a big leap. But sometimes Lizzie becomes overactive and can keep you stuck and paralyzed.
My Lizzie recently became way too active and started running the show and once I realized this I decided to take action by writing her a letter.
Here it is:
Hey, I just want to start by thanking you – you always have my back and you work so hard at keeping me safe. But here’s the thing – you tend to over worry and over analyze and are often scared of trying new things and it is smothering me. When you react to everything, it brings me down and crushes my exuberant spirit.
Lizzie, try to remember NOT EVERYTHING IS A LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY.
You see, I tend to be somewhat adventurous and love trying new things and I fully expect you to speak up when you are alarmed but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, have a little faith and trust when I tell you all is well and that we are safe. Back down when I tell you I’ve got a handle on things.
I want us to work as a team – looking out for each other and that requires trust.
I am really serious and committed to rebuilding my coaching business and I need you to step back and allow me to find my voice, to risk and try new things. Really the absolute worst thing that can happen is my business fails and my ego gets bruised. I will still be safe both physically & emotionally – you do know I am a tough cookie – and I always bounce back from hardship – you’ve seen it over and over again.
Oh and by the way – I won’t fail – I will succeed – I just need to be slow and steady and focused. So please DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, distract me with worries about getting clients before I am ready to open shop (right now it would be like opening a clothes store to the public before having the store stocked with merchandise) or growing my list or getting noticed.
Lizzie, I am laying the foundational work now, getting really clear on who my perfect people are and what I offer them. I am also working on creating an online presence and am playing around and learning the ropes on Twitter and Facebook as well as on my blog. I need you to step back and let me explore and find my voice on these platforms. Who cares what people think, whether they like me or my message. You & I both know I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and I am trusting that if I am persistent with getting my message out there, my perfect people will eventually find me.
The doubts and the fear, they just muck me up and distract me and I cannot afford that right now. I need to stay focused and keep taking baby steps towards rebuilding my coaching business. I am really good (actually great) at helping and teaching others to embrace the messiness of life and follow their dreams even while their life is messy. I am the walking poster child for this, especially since having kids. You know that better than anyone. Your support and belief in me would mean the world.
You have been working so hard for so long – I really feel you deserve a break – take a vacation, chillax, have a few drinks, sleep in, do whatever it is you lizards like to do and check in with me from time to time to make sure I am safe – when I need you, I’ll let you know – I always do. And when I tell you I got things handled, trust me – I want to keep me safe just as much as you do.
I invite you to notice how Lizzie shows up in your life and write her a letter telling her how you would like things to be!