Our Brain’s Journey from Fear to Freedom

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If we are bullied or intimidated by cynics, our brains tend to affirm related dread and everyday stressors become threats as a result. Fear and distress can prevent us from becoming the kind or caring person we admire in others. But are you aware of hidden and unused courage to achieve freedom, using parts of the brain never before used to fend off fears?  

On the other side of frustration from threats lies courage to become the person we hope others see in us. So how do we access courage in the face of fear?

Good news – our brain holds hidden reflection equipment to build visions that develop confidence and take risks to achieve mind-bending results. Yes, regardless of other’s impressions of our work plans or character. Have you ever wondered how some people envision greatness past human hurdles that shut down others under similar situations?

It’s more natural than most people realize, I mean  to reboot creative vision and slip past the spell of a cynic‘s complaints. Have you noticed it? Most would agree that criticism works against human intelligence, and yet fewer people see how vision that draws on smart skills can transform problems into possibilities.  A mental manifesto for vision expands creativity, in spite of any external circumstances you encounter. How does it happen?

Has vision for a kinder future crumbled for you lately? If you’ve found yourself barely surviving criticism in broken systems, you’ve likely opened spigots to toxic brain chemicals common to the critic.  In so doing, you also shut down creativity, which occupies very different areas of our brains. Are you beginning to see how creativity and intimidation both vie for our attention at times, or how the choice between these is always ours to make?

Interesting new research shows how our brain’s amygdala performs a primary role in both capturing and extending each emotional response. Hard as it may be to believe, this small almond shaped group of neurons located deep in the temporal lobes of our brains, releases chemicals for victimization or creativity – depending on choices we make when threats strike.

Whenever we feel under heavy weights of a cortisol crank, for instance, we can simply reopen a flow of chemicals for well-being that help to create solutions for the problem or person that created the toxic back-splash or triggered intimidation in the first place.

Here are a few creative suggestions from research footings to nudge our brains out of ruts that shut down growth.

We step from fear into freedom as we:

1. Communicate good tone regardless of feelings, and we’ll often find  criticism fade and watch stress  convert into growth. Stress may lead us to words or body language that show how we feel, but the cortisol that comes from stress also shrinks our brains new research shows. No wonder the stress that comes from intimidation  also shrinks our ability to use good tone and enjoy the well-being we crave.

2. Laugh lots and the human brain creates new neuron pathways past negativity, cynicism, and pessimism that accompanies intimidation. Do you see how the brain uses laughter to generate courage? It’s also the enemy of whining or blaming others.  Einstein must have discovered this reality, since he claimed to enjoy the unrealistic aspirations of an optimist. Does laughter spark new neurons in the direction of success for you?

3. Question assumptions that hold you back and lost you into intimidation just as bright lights can lock the deer’s gaze until  an oncoming car strikes and kills. It could be you are seeing a jaded side of the issue, rather than looking through an escape question such as “What if?”  open  to move you ahead by unlocking your potential, and creating chemical fuels that motor you into direction of curiosity and answers. All,  in spite of intimidation that holds unaware people back.

4. Build new neuron pathways for possibilities and your brain will energize and inspire creative approaches to solutions, past the problem that puts you down. Robert Kennedy noticed that most people build their best visions more from problems they solve to move forward, and less from opportunities that life hands to them. It’s much like George Bernard Shaw noted: Some people see things as they are and say, “Why? “I dream of things that never were and say, “Why not?” When intimidated, do you build neuron pathways to ask Why? and stay stuck there, or do you reflect on a freer way forward and ask, “Why not?”

5. Toss solutions at problems, and the human brain begins to rewire itself to improve the situation.  Could you imagine focusing on your capabilities to solve problems, the next time you slip into intimidation’s nets? If so, what could you say or do to inspire others around you to move forward, rather that settle for fear and frustration that may have formed a pattern in your brain’s basal ganglia?

While you cannot change another person’s tone, try these tactics to help you move past negativity.  Simply put your new brain chemicals to work in your favor, through a few words in response. Ask, for instance, Could you elaborate a bit more to help me understand? Or if you are helping others get past intimidation, you might ask, Added to your ideas, I wonder if …? It’s usually best to model the opposites of intimidation, rather than confront the workplace bully though.  There are approaches that work in your favor when you try to understand through questions such as, In addition to that concept, have you thought of …?

Complete this survey to see if you’re locked into intimidation or are you free to visualize a new creation for today? If your vision treats others well, the answer is likely obvious. If not, it takes courage that comes when we begin to create a vision for freedom across differences, on the other side of fear from intimidation.

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset