Who’s really running the show?


It must be you…right?  After all, this is your business, and you’re owner, chief cook and bottle washer!

But are you operating your business from your mature adult self, or some child aspect?   Are you using your higher level “command” functions–your cerebral hemispheres–or is your reptilian brain, your “fight or flight” instinct in charge?

Speaking with a client the other day who has a year old business, her money fears were coming up big-time, including a fear that she would repeat a past business failure, run out of money, and end up as a homeless person.   As we talked, it was clear that the financial fears were bordering on panic…and she agreed with me that being in a place of panic and overwhelm is not the energy that will easily attract customers and money.    

In business–and in any part of our lives–any kind of fear or potentially threatening situation can “trigger” us into a reactive, reptilian brain response.   Once we are triggered, we are in fear, and our nervous system, even our organs begin to shut down…and so we are not able to think clearly or be in a creative, problem solving mode.   This is NOT an empowered place for good decision making and taking constructive action.   We need our reptilian brain and survival instincts–they are not bad or wrong–but they are mostly for helping us escape from physical danger, or to help us avoid people that can be a threat to us.   This part of our intelligence is NOT wired for executive decision making and considering various alternatives.

The sole function of our  reptilian brain –the oldest and least-evolved part of our brain–is to ensure that we stay alive.     The classic reptilian brain responses are  “fight” or aggresive response, the “flight” or avoidance response, the “immobilized” or passive response.    

Why is it  important to understand these responses and to realize that the stresses and fears in our daily lives and in our business can trigger them?    Being triggered will completely block you from  seeing what is going on, and dealing with it constructively.   Being triggered  means you are in reaction and cannot find creative solutions or take action.  

With practice, you can learn the signs of being triggered and know your own typical “style” of reactiveness, so  that when  you find yourself in  your trigger pattern, you can  address the reaction right  away instead of losing hours, days, weeks or even months being stuck in it.  

How can you tell if you are triggered?   The   “fight” response can lead to feeling  anxious and restless, irritable, can’t sleep, feeling  defensive and on edge, a kind of “road rage” feeling even if you are not driving.   If you are having a strong reaction to a technology glitch or you get really uprset by  let’s say, a client unsubscribing from yoru email list or canceling an appointment.  

Signs of the “flight” response are usually some form of checking out..trouble focusing,  feeling sleepy or foggy headed, wanting to run away to a tropical island, or you start thinking about jump starting your old corporate career.   If you suddenly stop returning phone calls and just want to withdraw.     Other ways you might be unconsciously trying to  “flee” : numbing out or  sedating your nervous system with carbs, sweets, salty or fried foods, or get lost surfing the web for hours, supposedly in the name of research.

The third set of signals to watch out for are the immobilization response, where you essentialy get frozen, and feel unable to act, like the weaker dog “playing dead” to the more powerful one, so he won’t be attacked.   This is where you refuse to look at your bills for weeks or months, you sit in front of the computer staring blankly at it, and you don’t execute any of your plans.  

So, get to know your reptilian brain responses, and the kind of things that tend to trigger you, so that you manage your business and your life from a more empowered, emotionally balanced place, where you listen to, but aren’t ruled by your survival instincts.       If the reptilian brain issues often put you into anxiety and overwhelm, if you have a lot of earlier trauma in your life, then you may also consider  doing some coaching and repatterning work with me to clear these tendencies at a deep level.  

Won’t it feel great to have your most evolved intelligence and creative problem solver in charge of your business?

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