A conflict of interests by Peter Pearson

Peter PearsonFears are friends (not food. Sorry Nemo.) A noted psychologist believes that our fears are there to keep us safe from pain, so stop fighting and begin appreciating and understanding and creating peaceful co-existence.  Dr Pearson, how about some background on ‘a conflict of interests’? Alright, John, here is the scenario — suppose there are a thousand network marketers in an auditorium and they’re just starting their career. They’ve gone through the initial training, so they understand the products and the company and now they’re ready to go out into the world and grow their business. Except that the thousand people in the auditorium all have one thing in common:

They have high anxiety about the two biggest fears of growing their business. Those fears are the fear of rejection and the fear of failing.

 NULL Now, there’s a typical trainer on the stage and he starts giving them the usual suspects about how to go out there and be successful. Some of the things he would tell this audience are the common phrases like: “Some will, some won’t, so what? Next”. He might tell them it’s a numbers game. He could tell them not to be concerned about the people that don’t catch the vision, that don’t see the big picture. He would jack them up with rah-rah affirmations and motivations like, “I feel great!” and he’d give them tips and tools and techniques in order to ‘get’ people to an appointment, to ‘get’ people to a presentation. So, this trainer, who has you write down your goals, suggests you visualize your success by putting pictures up on your refrigerator, and then urges you to evaluate the beliefs you have, substitute new beliefs, avoid negative people and he might even advise you to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ or ‘quit making excuses’ and ‘quit judging yourself’. Now, John, consider this group of a thousand newbies that have just been trained and inspired with these ways of approaching their fears. A month later what percent of those have actually put those teachings into play and are well on there way to being successful? Well, one third would have taken no action at all. The next two-thirds will have taken action and bumbled it, bungled it, been shot down, and been rejected to the point of discouragement. Maybe five percent of them would be still around, to some extent, trying to build a business. We do know from industry statistics that only about five percent of new distributors are going to be here next year. Exactly! And that statistic both intrigues and somewhat appalls me. Why do such a high percentage of people who get this training repeatedly, move away from the industry? What I think is part of the problem, John, is that the people in the audience who get this kind of training, will go away and try it and when it doesn’t work they will think it’s them. They think something is wrong with themselves that they are not able to employ the training they just received. That sets up a whole new round of negative judgments about themselves, which of course, they were instructed not to do.

The problem is not the person who has trouble utilizing these trainings; the problem is that the trainings, while accurate, are only partially accurate.

You see, that information is good information and does work, yet on it’s own it only works for a small percent of the people. And that percent is only those who are not struggling with deeper layers of fear and anxiety around rejection — or what I call the conflict of interests. Please say more about that! What is it that they are struggling with? Well, it’s how the brain is designed; the way the brain is designed is that we will always be at conflict with ourselves. There is one part of our brain, call it the thinking, logical, reasoning, rational part of our brain, this is the part that can design telephone systems or create wonderful information libraries for network marketers, things like that, and then we have a different part of our brain. That part of our brain is a combination of an emotional, protective part of our brain. When you say, ‘part of our brain’, are you saying physically, biologically these are different parts? When I say ‘thinking part of our brain’ I’m talking about the part that is right behind our foreheads and at the top of your skull, that’s the location. There is literally another part of your brain, deeper inside, called the limbic system, that is designed to deal with emotions and fear.

It is elegantly designed to store and record all kinds of dangerous, threatening and painful experiences. We need that part of our brain for survival.

So, what that part of our brain does is store every time you have felt a hurt. For instance, you get stung by a bee once and the next time you hear the buzz of a bee, your body goes on alert. You have been rejected, scorned or humiliated, that is also stored in that part of the brain. When anything that looks like a potential threat, or a potential rejection, or the encounter of a fearful situation arises, that protective part of our brain will start sending out uncomfortable feelings as a signal. That’s how the brain alerts us to a potential threat. It’s why people get the queasy, funny feeling when they start to pick up the phone to make a difficult phone call, or to return a difficult phone call, or to approach a prospect. Or the call isn’t a difficult one, but there is an anticipation based on an experience is the past that turned out poorly? Bingo! That’s the generalization. That part of our brain is always on the alert for some similar kind of potential negative response. And that part of our brain is hugely reactive. It’s designed to keep you from being clumsy in the future; it’s designed to keep you paying attention in the future. So, I’m cautious when I pick up a hammer, ’cause of smacking my thumb in the past, is the same thing that happens when as a network marketer I’m picking up the phone to call that ‘most successful business person I’ve ever met’ and I’m fearing ridicule from them? Absolutely, because in some part of our brain we are reminded that we should defer to ‘authority’ figures, to people who know more than we do, it generalizes. It’s a little bit like when you go to your parents as a child and you have a painting or picture that you’ve just drawn, one that you’re really proud of, and you present it to them and in their preoccupation they respond in a way that’s a bit indifferent, “Oh, that’s nice dear.” You’re crushed. That happens enough times and pretty soon you stop going to your parents with pride about what you have done… and as an adult you may stop approaching people who are more successful over something that you are excited about. The brain just generalizes that way, John. So what do we do, Peter? The thing is, the two brains, the thinking brain and the protective brain, have a problem. The protective brain doesn’t respond very well to instruction from the thinking brain. It’s almost like they are two different operating systems, like a PC and a Mac. They don’t communicate very well; you have to have some really good bridges between the two systems, so that they can communicate. If they could communicate well, then all we would have to do is talk ourselves through things. We could say, “Now wait a minute. When I make this call, it’s not personal, it’s a numbers game. There are plenty of people who will be interested in my product or service so, no big deal, I’ll just make the calls.” That would be instructing the protective brain to back off, shut down and give you a lot of wiggle room to do what you want to do.

But it doesn’t work that way. If it did, people who are afraid of flying could simply sit back and remind themselves that flying is 37 times safer than driving, and they’d relax.

But it d
oesn’t work that way. People who are afraid of public speaking could say, “Oh, well the audience really wants me to be successful, I know the topic well, so there’s no big deal, I’m just going to share information.” and they would no longer be afraid of public speaking. But it doesn’t work that way. When you just tell somebody to feel the fear and do it anyway, what you’re instructing them to do is to ignore all the traumatic problems they’ve experienced around this issue and go out and do it. Then when people can’t do it, they feel that they have failed and that just compounds the problem. So you need a bridge between the two brains. There’s actually a bridging between the two brains that can be demonstrated.


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Peter Pearson
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