I’ve Decided It’s Time

A Mayan shaman, Jose, was over at my house a few weekends back and gave me some of the best advice of my life.

As I bemoaned not attracting the opportunities I want and detailed the internal blocks I hypothesized were causing this lack, Jose looked at me and compassionately said — “I think you just need to decide it’s time.”

I think you need to decide it’s time. Such a simple, yet powerful teaching.

Will you join me in deciding it’s time? And specifically, will you join me in deciding it’s time to stop self-sabotaging?

I’m not a trained neuroscientist, but I found myself fervently shaking my head at a recent Harvard Business Review article entitled “Our Brains Were Not Built for This Much Uncertainty”. Why was I so affected? Because as an observer of my brain’s exponential neuroplasticity over the past few decades, I vehemently disagree with the authors’ thesis.

When I emerged from brain surgery over twenty years ago, the neurosurgeons were stunned that I had lost the ability to speak. They operated nowhere near my brain’s speech center and thus didn’t expect any of the effects I was experiencing.

The medical staff started reading journals day and night to understand why I lost the ability to speak. And while I’m very grateful for their efforts, my brain regained its ability to speak on its own a few weeks later in spite of their research.

It turns out that the “why” I lost the ability to speak didn’t matter to my brain. The reasoning didn’t need to be figured out to solve the problem. My brain accomplished the “what” just brilliantly on its own.

My brain was built to navigate the uncertainty thrown into my life just as yours is built to navigate the uncertainty of whatever you are facing. If we look to medical staff who faced COVID-19 in the early months of 2020 or the scientists who took us to the moon for the first time, they would probably tell you the same thing. They advanced our evolution without a lot of tools, resources, or reading materials.

Undoubtedly tools could have accelerated them, but the lack of tools didn’t completely inhibit them or diminish the fact that their brains were powerful enough to navigate uncertainty.

The next time you find yourself saying “There is something wrong with my head” or “My brain wasn’t built to handle this,” how about a reframe?

How about we collectively decide it’s time not to self-sabotage thinking we weren’t built to handle something (or, in my case, searching for non-existent reasoning to blame)?

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Emily Goodson is a writer, speaker, and startup advisor. Learn more about Emily on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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