Fear is a priceless education.
One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way is the gentle but potent way to effect change. It is for anyone who wants to lose weight. Or quit smoking. Or write a novel, start an exercise program, get out of debt, or conquer shyness and meet new people.
Change is frightening
This human fact is unavoidable whether the change is seemingly insignificant (visiting a new nightclub) or life-altering (having a baby). This fear of change is rooted in the brain’s physiology, and when fear takes hold, it can prevent creativity, change and success.
When you want to change but experience a block
You can often blame the midbrain for gumming up the works. The midbrain is where you’ll find a structure called the amygdala. The amygdala is absolutely crucial to our survival. It controls the fight-or-flight response, an alarm mechanism that we share with all other mammals.
One way it accomplishes this is to slow down or stop other functions such as rational and creative thinking that could interfere with the physical ability to run or fight.
The real problem with the amygdala
It sets off alarm bells whenever we want to make a departure from our usual, safe routines. The brain is designed so that any new challenge or opportunity or desire triggers some degree of fear.
You want to do something creative: write a story or a song, paint a picture, dream up your perfect career, or come up with a zinger of a solution to an office problem. But you have no idea where to start. Your mind keeps coming up empty.
During times like these, kaizen can help you summon your powers of inspiration. Although you can’t force your brain to cough up creative ideas on demand, you can program it to launch the immaginative process simply by asking yourself a small question.
Here are some of the mos popular small questions my clients use for creativity. Feel free to come up with your own. Whatever question you use, your challenge is to ask it with a gentle and patient spirit. When you use a harsh or urgent tone with yourself, fear will clog the creative process.
*What’s one thing I wish to contribute to the world with my book, poem, song, or painting?
*Whom could I ask for help or inspiration?
*What is special about my creative process/talents/business team?
*What type of work would excite and fulfill me?
Remember: If you repeat the question over the course of several days or weeks–or for however long it takes–the hippocamus (the part of the brain that stores information) will have no choice but to address it. And in its own way, on its timetable, the brain will begin giving you answers.