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Building an Empire Starts With Your Mindset



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What does it mean to “make up your own mind”? For most of us, this means that you have to make a decision or a choice between several options based on the information you currently have access to. It seems like a simple enough task, but it can often prove to be incredibly challenging. This is because the human brain moves back and forth between various states of consciousness and tends to prioritize some things more than others.

The task of making up your own mind becomes complicated when we realise that our brain is not always in complete harmony with itself. There are certain parts of our brains which get activated at different points of our day and throughout different parts of our life. It is in these moments that it  becomes difficult to make up your own mind about even the littlest thing.

We typically think of our brain as one, united organism, but the truth of the matter is that we are constantly under the influence from various forces within the brain. While this may be a huge oversimplification for people in the field of neuroscience or brain science, I like the description of three brain types outlined by Dan Priestly in his book Entrepreneur Revolution.

1. Lizard Brain

What is the lizard brain? The lizard brain is the part of the brain that is responsible for protection and self-interest. It is looking to store up as much energy as possible while working as little as possible to avoid risk or punishment of any kind. When our minds are being too strongly influenced by the lizard brain, we are more likely to look for ways to avoid conflict and hide from our responsibilities.

We look for self validation for our own actions while shying away from negative feedback. Just as cold-blooded lizards gain energy by lying in the sun, so too do people under the influence of the lizard brain require regular attention and positive reinforcement to do their jobs. And in just the same way, those influenced by the lizard brain are much less likely to do well in “cooler” environments where feedback is negative.

“Your mind is your greatest power. Use it well.” – Aneta Cruz

To counter the threat posed by the lizard brain, focus your energy on strengthening your sense of security and protection around work. We slip into the lizard brain mindset when we are unsure about our future or we are encountering a period of change. When we fear for our job or our livelihood, we are much more likely to slip into the defensive, lizard brain like state. Safety and security are the name of the game when you want to keep the lizard brain away.

2. Monkey Brain

So what about the monkey brain? The monkey brain is interested in chasing positive feelings and living in the moment. It wants to spend time with friends and experiences positive things without being challenged. The monkey brain seeks out these positive experiences by looking for the easy work or the job that will bring them passive income while they can sit on the beach eating coconuts and bananas.

Those influenced heavily by the monkey brain spend much of their days looking for ways to escape the rat race to spend time with their friends, but they don’t put in the effort necessary to achieve real success because they lack lofty goals. To train the monkey brain, you must start to look beyond your day to day routine to build habits which allow you to plan for longer term goals.

Training the monkey brain can be a challenge, because the monkey mindset is playful and is always looking for a good time. Unfortunately, in order to train the monkey brain you need to be your own parent. I’ll say that again, you must be your own parent if you want to get out of the monkey mindset. Many of us leave the house at or before the age of 18 to go to university.

After that, we rarely have direct contact with a parent or guardian figure. When we slip into the monkey brain state before that, our parents are often there to guide us in the right direction. Learn to be your own parent and you will be much better able to deal with the monkey in your head.

“Brain power improves by brain use, just as our bodily strength grows with exercise.” – A.N. Wilson

3. Empire Builder Brain

The empire builder brain is what many of us aspire to nurture and cultivate in our day-to-day lives. The empire builder brain looks outward and is interested in helping others as much as in helping itself. The mindset brought on by this part of the brain is one of growth and discovery, and it is integral to those who want to succeed in their personal, professional or spiritual lives. In the empire builder mindset, difficulties are not barriers to be slowed down by. Rather, they are challenges to overcome.

People that cultivate this train believe in lifelong learning and taking action on a daily basis. They also have a long term goal for their future that they keep coming back to day over day. And no, this goal doesn’t have to remain the same month after month, or year after year. Rather, that habit of thinking about your future goals must be formed, and those goals must be reviewed regularly and holistically.

Why brain type are you? Comment below!

McVal is the founder of We Write For Growth, a platform for businesses to connect with talented writers and researchers and growth hackers. He is also the author of How to Make $2,000 a Month Online and Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant. 



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The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.



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Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

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How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.



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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.



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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma



Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.


Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:


1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.


2. Persistent Pain

Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.

4. A strong need for control

It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
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