What You and Dwight Schrute Have in Common

By: Kristin Martineau | March 29, 2018

If you don’t know who Dwight Schrute is, you better stop reading this right now and get to Netflix to watch The Office.

Or at least watch this clip. You’re welcome!

“I now have the strength of a grown man, and a little baby.” 😂😂

So how does that make you and Dwight alike?

Allow me to explain.

There are two main parts of your brain. Your “grown man” brain and your “little baby” brain.
Both are important and necessary. We need the strengths of both.

The “little baby” part of your brain is the lower brain. This part of the brain has been present in much of our evolutionary history. Among other things, it’s responsible for bodily functions and survival. Your lower brain’s job is to keep you alive. It doesn’t like change. It doesn’t like things that are scary. It’s always looking for danger. When we were cavemen, this served us very well. Stay in the cave (conserve energy), eat and have sex when you can (seek pleasure), don’t break your leg (avoid pain), and you’ll live longer.

In our modern world, most of us aren’t in much danger on a daily basis. Pleasure is plentiful and easily available. We don’t have to expend much energy to get food. Your lower brain would still love it if you stayed home and watched the Office all day and ate snacks. That feels safe, but it isn’t healthy or fulfilling. I like to think of the lower brain as a toddler. She’s so innocent and just trying to do what she thinks is important. Of course she wants to eat all the candy. Of course she wants to stay up late. Of course she’s going to throw a tantrum if she doesn’t get her way.

As a grown up though, your job is to redirect her. To help her do things she doesn’t want to do. To help her learn constraint. This is the job of “grown man” brain. Your higher brain is responsible for your personality, your thoughts and actions, social behavior and complex decision making. This is the part of your brain that knows it isn’t good for you to eat an entire sleeve of thin mints even though they are very tasty. This is the part of your brain that reminds you that punching your annoying co-worker probably isn’t going to work out in your favor.

The problem is that most of us let our toddler brain be in control a lot of the time and we aren’t even aware that we are doing it. We BELIEVE what she is telling us, and the urgency at which she tells it. (You are STARVING! If you don’t eat those donuts in the office break room you will most likely die!! Don’t get out of bed yet! You need more rest! You need to worry about your kids all the time! If you don’t, something will go drastically wrong!) Have you ever experienced the utter destruction a toddler can accomplish when left alone for a few minutes? This is why Moms find it so hard to shower daily, people. And why toddler brain shouldn’t be allowed to run free.

Whenever my toddler brain wants to be in charge, I like to remind myself that I love her, and that she’s just doing her best to keep me alive and I’m thankful for that. I can even sympathize with her desire to sleep in on Saturday morning instead of going to the gym. But toddler brain, bless her heart, is confused. She can’t understand why waking up early to expend energy is a good idea and she’s trying to convince me to stay home. I can notice what she is doing, allow her to do it, and go to the gym anyway.

Learning to observe your own mind takes practice. I’m getting better at it, but sometimes I’m amazed at how quickly my coach can see things I don’t notice from inside my own brain. If you want to make changes in your life, but you feel like you are fighting against yourself, click here to schedule a free mini session and I can help you.

P.S. Toddler brain is probably telling you that you shouldn’t book a mini session because it’s scary and new. She’s confused, bless her heart. I’m really nice and you won’t regret it. These tools have seriously been life changing for me and I know they can be for you too.

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