Imperfectionist Books Quotes Reflections Seth Godin Wisdom

Fight Your Lizard Brain

What is the Lizard Brain?

“The lizard brain is hungry, scared, angry, and horny.

The lizard brain only wants to eat and be safe.

The lizard brain will fight (to the death) if it has to, but would rather run away. It likes a vendetta and has no trouble getting angry.

The lizard brain cares what everyone else thinks, because status in the tribe is essential to its survival.

A squirrel runs around looking for nuts, hiding from foxes, listening for predators, and watching for other squirrels. The squirrel does this because that’s all it can do. All the squirrel has is a lizard brain.

The only correct answer to ‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’ is ‘Because it’s lizard brain told it to.’ Wild animals are wild because the only brain they posses is a lizard brain.

The lizard brain is not merely a concept. It’s real, and it’s living on the top of your spine, fighting for your survival. But, of course, survival and success are not the same thing.

The lizard brain is the reason you’re afraid, the reason you don’t do all the art you can, the reason you don’t ship when you can. The lizard brain is the source of the resistance.”

Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are you Indispensable?


How do you fight your lizard brain? Watch the YouTube video below and follow these guidelines:

1. Allow yourself to have bad ideas.

2. Don’t make a Plan B just in case.

3. Train yourself to do the exact opposite of the lizard brain

4. Embrace failure as a learning experience

5. Make no excuses.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Charlie March 23, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Love it. I agree about not having a plan ‘B.’ A wise podcaster once said ‘if you have a fallback plan, you’ll probably fall back.

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