Lizard Brain

The following video discusses the concept of the “lizard brain” and how it is attributed with the lack of confidence right before shipping ideas, products, emails, et cetera out to the public. We usually have something holding us back from shipping out the work we create. Why do we hesitate?



The concepts discussed above are connected with our animalistic side of our mind referred to here as a lizard brain. The more scientific term for this part of the brain is the limbic system. This portion of the brain is referred to our reptilian friends because the limbic system is about all a lizard has for brain function.

It is in charge of fight, flight, feeding, fear, freezing-up, and fornication. This portion of the brain is responsible for primitive survival instincts. The behaviors associated with the limbic system are deeply rooted with instinct and help keep mankind alive.




The bad part about the lizard brain is that it interferes with conscious, controlled, and rational thought. It makes us emotional and illogical. It causes us to be impulsive, reactive, and visceral.

As a designer and developer of learning objects, I can relate to the concept of stalling right before a product release. Every time I get close to shipping an idea out, I pause and wonder, “is it good enough?” Maybe I should go through the course one more time. This is a natural reaction that we need to overcome and push through. It’s something to be aware of in order to circumvent this natural reaction to pause and maybe slightly panic.

  • It’s a post-it note on the montior as a reminder.
  • It’s a video you watch on YouTube to recall this message.
  • It’s a reminder to a colleague to work past her natural feeling to freeze prior to release.
  • It’s watching a Star Trek movie and marveling at the logical mind of Spock.

How do you push past the lizard brain?

About @hoosier_teacher

Instructional Designer, I help make sense of workplace, work, and worker interactions in order to create comprehendible and practical training programs.