Lively or Lopsided Confidence?

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Confidence is a bit like an engine’s coolant system. It takes additives & chemicals to keep our mental engines at the right temperature for efficient confidence to drive well. A car can use water as coolant for a short time as an alternative, but it needs anti-freeze and corrosion inhibiting properties in a balanced cooling mix to retain efficient care.  Just as an engine cannot run on water alone, especially if you live in a cold climate, so confidence takes serotonin to run against challenging emotional climates. 

Antifreeze, or engine coolant, mixes with the water in vehicles to prevent radiators from freezing or overheating. Made from either ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, antifreeze and coolant change the freezing and boiling points of water, much like serotonin regulates our mental systems.

With insufficient anti-freeze or coolant fluid in the vehicles engine cooling system, we are soon in trouble and the engine shuts down,  Similarly, the brain can overheat so that we shut down mentally.

Our car must be taken to a mechanic if we suspect there is a leak in a hose, connector, or perhaps the water pump, or radiator. We sometimes need support mentally too to help us shift our focus from negativity, shortcomings or complaints that cause our mental system to spring a leak, much like neglected cars lose coolant. Hold onto resentments or anxieties, for instance, and we pour coolant in, only to see it leak out again.

Without serotonin coolant, we operate our mental engines in ways that cause serious harm to our emotional and social wellbeing. In cars the first things damaged is typically the heads and head gaskets. You can also damage the block, seize the engine, or melt a hole in a piston. In brains?

Early on, serotonin offers a rather quick and easy fix, and it can become our coolant leak repair.  If wellbeing has been leaking for a while, we often suffer damaged parts that will have to be individually addressed. Choices we make can vary based on what was damaged and what kind of wellbeing we expect going forward.

Can you see why students or teachers become lopsided when they lose confidence? They block their brain’s ability to learn well. They need support to top up their serotonin for a better ride.

These confidence-building I AM cards create game-changing takeaways in motivational prompts. Students create tasks based on 100 whole brain prompts related to their unique talents and to content you teach.

Just as I designed brain based “I AM” task cards – you too can design and use interactive serotonin tools for students or adults. My 100 cards were designed to prompt individuals and teams to capture beliefs, feelings and dreams that resonate best with that person’s emotional and cognitive preferences.

Usually a car needs new coolant every 30,000 miles or so, and brains may also need to alter what we do to top up serotonin.

 Cooling systems give warning signs, as do brains.

  • Just as the coolant light comes on and the engine temperature warning light on the dashboard shows coolant need, our brains may show anxiety, discontentment or boredom.

  • Just as the temperature gauge shows higher or lower than normal, our moods indicate our wellbeing levels.

  • In the same ways the car’s heater stops working, our chemical and electrical systems stall without serotonin.

  • Just as we take care of a car’s coolant leak, we also prevent serotonin leaks by choices for possibilities, rather than fixation on problems.

  • Just as we get poor fuel mileage in a car, lack of serotonin fuels poor mental mileage

  • In the same way there’s a sweet smell to well balanced coolant, a brain on serotonin offers a sweet aroma to all those around it.

Inspire your way into insights on topics and talents with these fun I AM cards. Gain insights about your awesome brain, as you communicate with others, so that even daily routines don new colors, shapes and textures in response! Enjoy new learning adventures at any age or any developmental stage. Tackle a topic daily, or progress at your own speed. Track your innovative results to improve your situation with tangible takeaways and growth mindset results. Work alone or in teams – to show evidence of your incredible results.


Curiosity and confidence become your daily serotonin adventures, especially between teens and seniors (or others) where these trigger cards awaken new neuron pathways on both the left and the right side of your brain. Tackle topics that interest you with a brain-friendly zest that turns boring routines into brainy discoveries!

In addition to the low coolant light, a car’s a rising temperature gauge  can also mean a radiator leak. This signifies the  vehicle may overheat very soon. Do you see the mental comparison?  We cannot drive far with a radiator leak as it  causes further damage to our engine, which means a more extensive and complex repair. Our confidence is much the same!

Hopefully the following ready-to-roll brain-based materials will benefit your daily wellbeing goals as they advance secondary, university level learners and beyond.

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset