Skip to main content

Fear steals our desire. Have you ever wanted to bust out singing to your sweetheart, but knew you’d be embarrassed?

What happened when you felt the voice welling up inside you about to spill out where your sweetheart could hear it? Did a voice inside your head start to holler: Are you crazy? Someone will hear you!

Seth Godin calls this doubting, fearful voice the lizard brain because it’s the oldest part of our brain. It kept our ancestors safe by shouting warnings when a hungry saber-toothed tiger was nearby.

Your lizard voice has only one volume: siren-loud, and it reacts as loudly to singing to your sweetheart as it does to the tiger. Get outta here!

If you let your inner lizard control you, you will become alienated from your deepest desires. Without desire, your relationship will suffocate.

Instead, learn to identify your fears about intimacy and tame them.

Then your love and relationship will grow.

Try this:

  • Take dictation. At first you won’t be able to hear your lizard voice. It’s just a feeling of paralysis or fleeing. But think back to a time when you were gripped by fear and ask yourself what you were thinking. At first, you’ll only catch snippets of words like Don’t go! or Get out!
  • But if you keep listening carefully, you’ll be able to articulate every word your lizard utters. Here’s what my lizard recently said to me: You suck as a writer. You can’t even get your own husband to read what you write.
  • How did this fear impact my relationship? Fear kept feeding me the lie that my husband, Dave, wasn’t interested in me and thought I was stupid because he wouldn’t read what I wrote. When I believed that, I remained distant and withdrawn, thinking I was protecting myself.

What is your lizard saying to you?

And how are those lizard-words impacting your relationship?

I want to know. Please reply below and tell me what your lizard says and how it impacts your relationship.

*If this exercise about fear helped you, please forward it to a friend.

(cover photo by Jim Cox)

Want to stop arguing and start connecting with your spouse? This FREE e-course will offer you habits to improve your marriage communication so you can smile more and fight less. Sign up to improve marriage communication.

Sign Up to Improve Marriage Communication