Seth Godin – The Problem with Reassurance

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The taxi’s waiting, it’s honking its horn, time to go to the airport.

Yes, the passport is in my pocket. I checked five minutes ago.

Of course, the cost of checking again, just one more time, is tiny. Hardly worth discussing with myself. And compared to the cost of being wrong, of missing the flight… go ahead, check again.

And like giving in to a toddler every time he whines for ice cream, this is the problem.

The lizard brain seeks constant reassurance. It will wheedle and argue and debate with the rest of your head, pushing for one tiny bit of evidence, some sort of proof that everything will be okay.

Don’t do it.

When you indulge the lizard, it gains power. It doesn’t walk away ashamed, humiliated at its anxiety. Instead, it merely sidesteps and looks for the next thing to worry about, because, ready for this? It’s nice to be reassured.

Developing the reassurance habit is easy to do and hard to kick. The problem is this: there are some ventures where no reassurance is possible. There is important work for you to do where no proof is available.

If you’ve trained the lizard brain that reassurance is forthcoming, it will scream even louder when those projects that don’t come with proof are at hand.

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