In Praise of the P-Brain By Peter Pearson, Ph.D.

Congratulations, you just enrolled a new prospect into your downline!

You are both excited.

Then ominous music soon starts playing in the background.

The newbie is about to experience an internal civil war.

Understanding this civil war can help both of you be more successful.

Here’s how the opposing sides line up.

On one side of the civil war are your prospect’s hopes and dreams. Everybody has their own, very personal definition of success.

Just look at all these possibilities and benefits of a network marketing career.

Excellent lifestyle

> Develop a good work-life balance.

> Create a strong marital team and family.

> Kill the commute and work from home.

> Enjoy a career and the life you want for you and your family.

> Discover the way to financial freedom.

Satisfying Career

> Promote products you believe in, products that are aligned with your values.

> Low cost of entry.

> Exceptional support.

> Get technology and marketing tools to keep growing your business.

> In-house marketing experts support continued growth.

> Control your time and schedule.

> Provides the tools and education to prepare you for business ownership.

> Further develop your passion and vision.

> Strategic and often personalized coaching to support your transition to greater success.

> Depend on powerful marketing tools to achieve growth at your own pace.

> Create a website so interested potential individuals can get to know you before you even reach them.

> Grow your reach with experienced teachers to continue the trajectory of success.

> Get support for your own individual growth objectives.

> Develop connections with like-minded entrepreneurs.

> Value the rewards that come from consistent focused efforts.

> Control your future and not be at the mercy of corporate downsizing.

> Find your next step in your forward path.

> Helping others realize their dreams.

> Resources and a supportive network.

> Apply tried and true systems each step of the way.

> Supportive peer groups.

> In-person and virtual training.

> You are not just building a business you are changing lives.

> The ripple effect – make a difference in someone’s life who can make a difference in someone else’s life.

However, as soon as most newbies take a few determined steps into that future, they are greeted by fear, doubt, and insecurity.

The first shot of the civil war has been fired.

On one side are the forces of inspiration and aspiration.

On the other side are the forces of safety and resistance to change.

Everybody who stretches into new areas that exceed their skills, knowledge, and confidence will experience different forms of resistance and doubts.

This resistance comes from a different part of the brain than the part that generates the desire to achieve, grow, improve, and connect.

The resistance comes from the self-protective brain.

It seeks to avoid emotional and physical pain, rejection, failure, risk, squandered efforts, and losses of all kinds. It is tenacious, never gets tired, and is not interested in opportunities. But it is

very invested in “Safety First.”

The primary functions of this part of the brain are:

> Prediction

> Protection

> Preservation

I call this the P-Brain.

It is always trying to predict how safe or risky a future endeavor is. If it sees a little too much risk it will send all kinds of messages to get the inspirational brain to back away.

And some of the messages are not kind:

“You are not qualified. You are not smart enough, talented enough, deserving enough, ambitious enough, ready enough, courageous enough, supported enough, organized enough, time enough…” Well, you get the picture.

It will point out an endless stream of deficiencies and flaws. Knock down one and two more will emerge.

The P-Brain is not malicious. It is just doing the best job it can to avoid risks of all kinds. That is its job: Protect the ego at all costs and preserve the status quo even if it is uncomfortable.

The P-Brain believes in Pogo’s philosophy: “The certainty of misery is preferred to the misery of uncertainty.”

Often when a newbie expresses doubts, well-meaning sponsors try to minimize or talk them out of their doubts with reassurance and a vote of confidence.

However, it is like telling a child there is no monster under the bed. “Here look under the bed with me. See no monster. Now go back to sleep.”

But the newbie sees monsters in their future, and it takes more than a pep talk to dissuade them and continue the journey into greater success.

What the P-brain seeks is validation, acknowledgment, respect, and a feeling of belonging.

That is why listening to the P-Brain and being curious about its intentions (they are almost always positive) and trying to form an alliance with it works so much better.

Yes, you can even negotiate with it. And it can become your ally. But that is a separate skill for a later issue.

And one person’s reach into a brighter future can trigger the spouse’s, P Brain. The ominous music gets louder.
Dealing with that dynamic is also a later issue.

For today, don’t treat your P-Brain as something that needs to be controlled or eliminated.

You will have a friend in your future if you treat the P-Brain respectfully and with patience.

The gentile inquiry will be the first pathway. Have a dialogue with your P Brain as if you were two separate entities getting to know each other with respect.

Ask about the positive intentions. They do create a time-limited experiment with the P Brain.

For example: “Can you cut me some slack for two weeks while I dive into the next steps? No criticism, no blame, no bad-mouthing me for two weeks as an experiment. Just give me room to experiment- and learn.”

Every day or so, literally thank the P Brain for the support. Remember it likes to be acknowledged.

No, you are not crazy if you talk to yourself like this. It

enlarges your perspective to appreciate the P-Brain’s intention to protect you.

And instead of thinking it is an adversary, recognize that it can become a guardian collaborating toward a better version of your future. The best of luck to you and your future.


Peter Pearson, Ph.D. A relationship coach for Entrepreneurial Marriages.

Pete has been training and coaching couples to become a strong team since 1984 when he co-founded The Couples Institute with his psychologist wife, Dr. Ellyn Bader. Their popular book, Tell Me No Lies, is about being honest with compassion and growing stronger as a couple. Pete has been featured on over 50 radio and television programs including The Today Show, Good Morning America, and CBS Early Morning News, and quoted in major publications including The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and Business Insider.

He is a frequently invited speaker at professional conferences and has trained therapists in 66 countries to help couples strengthen their union.

Peter Pearson
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