The Predator and the Prey By Jim Britt

The Predator and the Prey

Maybe you have dreams and goals, but somehow things are simply not moving in the direction you had planned?

Or worse, maybe you’ve stopped believing that the life you’ve always wanted is even attainable?

Let me ask you. Do you see similarities between you and your parents? The reality is that DNA passes down through generations… you, your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on. You could actually track it right back to when your ancestors lived in a cave. And in order to survive, prehistoric man needed to be able to see an event and interpret it as a danger or safe…immediately! They had two dominant thoughts, “kill something to eat” and “keep from being killed and eaten.” And to some degree, we still have this mechanism of recognition in place today. We just don’t view it the same way.

Something happens… and your brain stretches and searches all through your past networks… or dendrites, which are the memory channels woven throughout your DNA looking to match some sort of pattern so you can make an instant decision… is this safe or dangerous? The meaning you give something is based upon a constant comparison of your past experiences and DNA programming projected into the future with the anticipation or possibility of it happening again. Something happens and you immediately tell yourself a story about what it means. Remember, it’s a made-up story in your mind. It’s not real… yet.

So when you step into the future, you don’t really step into an empty future, but rather into a future that is filled with interpretations about what happened in the past, and what could happen in the future if you proceed.

For example, a salesperson prepares her presentation. She is excited for that important appointment to make a sale, but instead of a sale she gets a very rude “no.” Now the next presentation, she won’t step into a blank future, but rather, first, she steps into a previous negative past experience. Put enough of these “no’s” together and now the salesperson does everything in her power to avoid prospecting so she doesn’t have to experience another ‘no.’ Again, the rejection had no meaning until she gave it one. She got a “no” and she made it mean something about her when in reality it wasn’t about her at all.

Imagine three circles. A circle on the left. In that circle, something happens to you… broken marriage, lose money in a business venture. You decide what goes in there.

Now there’s the circle on the right. This is where you gave what happened to you meaning. Examples of …bad experience with last business. Business didn’t work last time and may not work now. The marriage ended in divorce. I don’t want that again. You gave whatever happened to you a meaning.

Now, the circle on the bottom. You live your life as if your story is true. We live in a black and white world.

However, most live their lives in the gray as if their story is true when in reality, it’s a made-up story created from past experiences. This is an example of inauthentic living. You are living as if your story is true and reacting accordingly. Everyone has a story, but the reality is that your story is in large part an illusion… it’s a made-up belief. All beliefs are false until you decide they are true, but that doesn’t make them true. But if you decide it is true, then it will be true for you.

Core beliefs work like sunglasses. Sunglasses change incoming light before it hits our eyes. The world does not change to a shaded image just because you put on sunglasses. Only your perception changes looking through the glasses. Wear sunglasses long enough and you will eventually forget you have them on.

That’s how beliefs work as well. Believe something long enough and eventually you experience it as true.

It then becomes a core belief. Core beliefs change how you see the world before you are even aware of seeing anything. And core beliefs also determine how the world sees you. That’s right. The world sees you the way you see you.

On the other hand, this mechanism is critical for your survival because it separates things that might get you killed and eaten from everything else. In a sense, your core beliefs protect you. But not always, because you automatically filter everything that happens to you according to core beliefs, which may or may not be true. In other words, your core beliefs may not be taking you in the direction you want to go.

Prey animals cannot afford to not follow their core beliefs. Humans are no exception. The top priority our brains have is to keep us from getting killed and eaten…maybe not literally in today’s world. But, you may fear getting killed and eaten by an audience when you step on a stage, or by a prospect when making a presentation.

These things represent predators waiting to invade your refuge and attack you if you leave yourself open, or you start to take a risk. Our brains are wired to fear monsters, noises, and dangerous situations because that is what our ancestors had to do to survive.

Humans of all ages establish and stick to routines no matter what, so they can survive. We take comfort in our routines. This makes perfect sense.

For example, if a predator attacks at dusk, then its prey should be out and about during the day and asleep and out of reach at night. If a predator attacks at noon, then the prey would most likely be nocturnal. Sticking to this routine helps the prey stay alive. Our prey habits are all about avoiding predators, discomfort, or dangerous situations.

Humans are prey animals whose top priority is not getting killed and eaten, avoiding pain, or not getting hurt.

We, therefore, form habits to help us survive and then stick to those habits no matter how inconvenient, uncomfortable, unrealistic, or awful they are. We learned over countless generations that straying from our routine puts us at risk. Our brain does everything in its power to keep that from happening. This is why people refuse to change until the pain of not changing is worse than the pain of changing.

We desire to change, but when faced with the pain of change we weigh out both sides—the pain of staying where we are and the pain associated with changing. Whatever causes us less pain is what wins out. But the question is, do you win, or do you continue living a life of more of the same?

Core beliefs form our entire reality from birth to death unless we take action to change them. The good news is that you can change your beliefs. We do it all the time. Remember, a belief is a made-up story. Want to change it, make up something new!

It’s like earning a six-figure income for example. Once you hit it, it becomes a core belief, so you settle for nothing less. The catch is that changing your beliefs will force you to confront programming that your brain interprets as being essential for your very survival. This is why crash diets, New Year’s resolutions, joining a gym, opening a savings account, cutting up the credit cards, and other drastic changes rarely last more than a few days to a few weeks. At some point, the desire for change surrenders to the brain’s built-in attempts to keep you from getting killed and eaten.

How do you change a core belief? Make up something new, let go of all that doesn’t support it, and stick to it until it becomes a core belief.

Remember, every life level requires a different you. Think about that…EVERY LIFE LEVEL REQUIRES A DIFFERENT YOU.

Just look at your own life. What are some examples of drastic changes you have attempted in your own life?

Change requires that you change your perceptions.

Imagine a gopher that hides from hungry birds during the day. Most gophers will not leave their burrows during the day unless some emergency happens. For example, flooding the burrow gives the gopher the choice of certain death by drowning or possible death by escaping. In this example, the risk of following the normal routine becomes greater than the risk of doing something different.

Humans work the same way, except that our fears are based on past experiences combined with future anticipations. These fears are not real. They are imagined. They are a made-up story based on past experiences and programming that are designed to keep us safe. Just like the gopher, we weigh out the pain of staying where we are, not taking a risk, staying where we are comfortable, versus doing something in a different way.

Our routines form what’s known as our comfort zone. We refer to doing things we don’t normally do as “leaving the comfort zone.” How did you feel the last time you left your comfort zone? Maybe someone asked you to deliver a short speech to a group of your peers. You may have felt scared, nervous, insecure, and ready to bolt at a moment’s notice. This is a perfect example of our prey instincts telling us to get back in our comfort zone as quickly as possible.

I remember my first experience speaking. I literally thought I would be killed and eaten! I was to speak for 20 minutes to a group of about 20 people. I prepared for a month. I must have written 20 pages of notes. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. What might happen if I didn’t do it right, or forgot what I was supposed to say, or I might say it wrong, make a mistake…the list was endless.

I was staying in a hotel the night before I was to speak. I couldn’t sleep, for fear of being killed and eaten! I tried to think of ways I could get out of speaking. Nothing seemed to make any sense. Then I came up with the answer. I will have an accident on the way to the speaking engagement. Not a huge one. Just something small, but big enough that I could show my bent fender so it looked legit. I figured the accident would be less painful than speaking.

Just as I went for the door to leave for my accident, someone knocked. I thought it was probably housekeeping, so I opened the door. It wasn’t housekeeping. It was my associate that had booked the speaking engagement for me. He said, “I came to pick you up.” My first thought was “you are going to be in an accident.”

I said, “I’ll drive.”

He said, “No I’ll drive.”

I said, “No I want to drive.”

He said, “I’m parked in front of the door. I’m driving.”

I thought, “Do I grab the wheel of his car and have an accident?” I decided not to do that, but to follow through with the speech.

We arrived. I felt like I wanted to throw up. I was terrified. I took a few deep breaths and started my talk. I spoke for 20 minutes and I have no idea what I said. When I finished, I immediately went outside and stood beside the car and did a lot of deep breathing to regain my composure.

“Never again” was what I was thinking. After a few moments, I thought, “I have one of two choices. Never do it again, or do it often until I got better at it.” After a lot of mental back and forth, I chose the latter.

I was in charge of about 300 salespeople that did presentations for small to medium-sized groups to sell seminar tickets for a Jim Rohn seminar.

I put the word out that I was available to do up to three presentations a day to groups of fifty or more…which I did for the next five years. And after about 15 presentations a week, almost 3500 total, I finally lost my fear of being killed and eaten by an audience. I created a new belief, a program that was stronger than the old one.

The stronger the urge to get back to your comfort zone increases, the farther you stray. This happens because our brains are wired to learn and follow habits designed to keep us safe and alive. We do this by learning how our predators behave and then creating patterns to avoid them, even if our predators only exist in our imagination. Like the “no” that the salesperson gets over and over until now they are afraid to even prospect. The “no” becomes the predator.

Like the person that has been hurt multiple times in a relationship. And now the thought of getting involved in another relationship becomes very scary.

The comfort zone is nothing more or less than behavioral boundaries set by your core beliefs that were either formed when you were too young to understand what was happening or over a long period of time through repeated experiences.

Core beliefs form your entire reality from birth to death unless you take action to change them. The good news is that you can change your beliefs. We do it all the time. Just think of something you used to believe that you no longer believe. Do you still believe what you believed in high school? Once you got out into the real world, you most likely looked back and laughed at some of the stupid things you did and what you believed to be true and realized it wasn’t true at all.

It’s like earning a six-figure income for example. Once you hit it, if that’s the case, now you believe you can, so you settle for nothing less. That’s called creating a new belief. The catch is that changing your beliefs will force you to confront programming that your brain interprets as being essential for your very survival.

Again, this is why crash diets, New Year’s resolutions, joining a gym, opening a savings account, cutting up the credit cards, and other drastic changes rarely last more than a few days to a few weeks. At some point, the desire for change surrenders to the brain’s built-in attempts to keep you from getting killed and eaten, unless you decide and commit to experiencing the pain of change and you stick with it until you change.

Just look at your own life. What are some examples of drastic changes you have attempted in your own life? How have they worked out for you?

How can you change when you run up against instincts designed to keep you safe and alive? A prey animal needs to react to predators without question. And if you want to change, you have to become self-observant to determine what you should act upon and what is old programming that no longer serves your greater good.

Indecision causes hesitation. And if you hesitate, you could get killed and eaten! Hesitation gives predators an extra split second to move in for the kill.

It starts with a decision to change whatever it is you want to change. So when one of those old programs arise, stop! Stop like you approach a red light at a busy intersection with a sign that reads “right turn on red after stop.” Stop and ask yourself. “If I proceed, will this take me in the direction I want to go? Is this fear real or in my imagination, based on old programming?”

Take a good look at any animal whose parents raise the young. The young stick around to learn the survival skills they need to stay alive. Prey animals learn when they can come out, where to go, how to avoid predators, and when to retreat back home. Their survival depends on absorbing this information and mastering the skills without question. We were taught similar things. “That’s hot, don’t touch that, you’ll go blind.” “Careful, you’ll fall.”

Of course, certain things we have learned have become essential to our survival. But unlike prey animals, we humans are programming our young from birth till they leave home, good or bad, right or wrong.

We are programmed about money based on how rich or poor our parents were and how they handled money. We were programmed about relationships, good or bad, based upon our parents’ relationship. We were programmed regarding our eating habits, how we think, attitudes, and so on…good or bad.

Again all beliefs are false until we decide they are true. The dictionary defines belief as, “to hold an opinion.” We are programmed and convinced that our beliefs are true, whether they are true or not. In other words, we see and experience our beliefs as true. Two plus two equals four because we believe it does. If you believe that two plus two equals five, then no amount of argument will convince you otherwise, unless you choose to change that belief.

Beliefs equal truth because they are the mental sunglasses that filer your senses before you perceive the sensation. Your reticular activating system selects which sensory input is important based on your beliefs. Change a belief, and your view of the world changes, as well as the view others, have of you.

Your beliefs color every bit of the input you receive. Only when you believe something do you become aware of the sensation of the input.

If our personal reality is based on core beliefs, then the universe that each of us experiences is not the cause but rather the effect of whatever is left over after our core beliefs do their work.

The statement, “I’ll believe it when I see it” is backward. We actually see things because we believe them.

This has some amazing implications when you start to look at life in this way. Think about it. We see things because we believe it. Back to what I said earlier. When you change a belief, your view of the world changes.

So what is the answer to changing? The answer, or rather the challenge, is to take the negative past out of the present. The real goal should be to have your present empty of the negative past, and not to give your past meaning unless you say so.

Self-observation is the key.

Is what I’m giving energy right now taking me where I want to go? Is this fear or conflict supportive or non-supportive? Bottom line—is it true, or is it something you have been programmed to believe is true?

To change a belief, you have to challenge it.

Is it true?

What experience do you have that makes it true?

How do you know it to be true?

Who taught you to believe this?

What if they didn’t know?

What if it’s not true?

Who would you be without this belief?

What action should I take next?

When you achieve this level of control, you will experience what is known as true emotional freedom.

You’ll have the freedom to choose fascination over frustration, success over failure, calm over upset.

When you take responsibility and observe reality… in other words, what’s really happening, you can then choose to create whatever reality you want.

Start today, by identifying a story you have been telling yourself that has been holding you back in life.

I can’t get ahead financially. That’s a story, not reality. It is not true unless you say it is.

I can’t seem to keep a relationship together…

It’s hard to lose weight…

Pick a story, just one to start. Look for the truth, then take action based upon that truth. The question is, does your interpretation of this story serve you or hold you back? Notice what you say to yourself about what has happened, and then exercise the freedom to choose a different interpretation.

I don’t want you to believe me. I want you to try it and experience the result for yourself. You’ll experience a positive result the very first time you try it. Hey, and watch out for those predators!

  • Jim Britt

    Jim Britt is the creator of the groundbreaking best-selling program “The Power of Letting Go” designed to help people let go of the blocks that stop their success in all areas of life. For more info on The Power of Letting Go or Do This-Get Rich For Network Marketers http://JimBritt.com

    Jim is an internationally recognized leader in the field of peak performance and personal empowerment training. He is author of 13 best-selling books including, Cracking The Rich Code, Cracking The Life Code, Rings of Truth, The Power Of Letting Go, Freedom, Unleashing Your Authentic Power, Do This. Get Rich-For Entrepreneurs, The Flaw in The Law of Attraction and The Law Of Realization, to name a few.

    He has presented seminars throughout the world sharing his success principles and life enhancing realizations with thousands of audiences, totaling over 1,000,000 people from all walks of life.

    Jim has served as a success counselor to over 300 corporations worldwide. He was recently named as one of the world’s top 20 success coaches. He also mentored/coached Anthony Robbins for his first five years in business.

    Early in Jim’s speaking career he was co-founder and president of Dr. Denis Waitley’s Psychology of Winning, business partner with late great Jim Rohn and president of Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s, Psycho Cybernetics, International.

    Jim is more than aware of the challenges we all face in making adaptive changes for a sustainable, happy and successful future.
    http://JimBritt.com
    Jim Britt

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