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There Are Connections in Our Brains… That are Cross-Wired, and Holding Us Back

in Genetic Needs, Prime Potential

The Nature of Cross-Wiring

If you have taken Prime Potential, one of the things you will know about is “cross-wiring.” I have discovered that we can have things cross-wired in our brain in ways that makes it impossible to move forward, or be as successful as we want to be.

Building on the last blog, imagine if your system felt the need for “Love and Belonging” conflicted with your need for “Power.” Both of these needs are genetic and must be met, so what would happen if your system felt there was a conflict? The most common result of this cross-wiring is a difficulty in stepping into your own authentic power. There are some people who will default to Power, not Belonging… but most people give up legitimate, personal power in favour of Belonging.

So what would defaulting to Belonging look like? Well it would be revealed in how a person behaves, and there is a wide range of possibilities. For example:

  • Being afraid of conflict
  • Placating/pleasing others to keep the peace
  • Being afraid to speak up and be noticed
  • Finding it difficult to ask for what you want or deserve
  • Having trouble making decisions
  • Not wanting to lead or be center stage
  • Being critical of people who do take center stage

How Does Cross-Wiring Even Happen?

So how does our system get cross-wired? Most of the time cross-wiring gets established when we are very young. We have experiences that lead us to connect “A” with “B.” For example, when I was young I loved to talk, and was often asked to stop talking so much. When my parents got really cross with me, for talking too much, I connected the dots and felt expressing myself could result in a loss of Love and Belonging with my parents. Now my system has a conflict. My natural desire for expression is cross-wired with loss of acceptance or belonging. The result of this conflict was I started to feel shy, and for many years I considered myself to be a “shy” person. I remember telling my Mum that I was shy, and she burst out laughing, asking me when I thought that had happened. That wasn’t her perception of me, and I was very insulted at her response!

People can also have the need for Freedom cross-wired with Belonging (internally they feel they will lose Freedom if they are close to another person), and many people have Fun cross-wired with Power (they feel guilty when they are having fun because they think they should be working.) Of course, there are times when we should be working when we want to play, but for people who have these two needs cross-wired, even when they deserve to take a break and have some fun, they can’t seem to relax. Power is the over-ride.

So far, I have been talking about the Psychological Needs being cross-wired, but there is an even more significant form of cross-wiring—people being afraid of getting what they want. Yes I did say that. People are actually afraid of getting what they want, because their system believes if they get what they want something bad will happen. Now, I know this sounds crazy, but believe me, many people have this wired into their system. When I explore with people what their system is afraid will happen if they get what they want, they are amazed at the different ways that fear is found hiding in the shadows.

Does any of this resonate for you?

Uncrossing these connections is critical, otherwise we will keep banging our heads against a brick wall. Our system will not uncross a connection all by itself, because these connections were made when we were little, and are connected to safety and survival. For a child feeling you belong and are loved is a survival-level need, and so anything that could threaten this will be stored and remembered for the future. Learning how to help people uncross these connections took a long time, and lots of trial and error. One of the great joys for me is that today we do know how to do this, and we can help adults, teens and even fairly young children uncross these connections that are clearly not serving them.

So what do you think? Do you think you have cross-wired connections somewhere? I’d love to hear either your comments or about your experience. Leave a comment, and join in the conversation!

5 comments… add one
  • Yvette Forcier

    I’m totally cross-wired. I can see that my need to stand up for myself was taken and reacted upon negatively (painful spankings) at an early age AND now recognize that everytime I would try asserting my rights as an adult I would start questioning myself, giving in to others ideas “You must be right!” etc. My need for Power was crushed and given the, “I’m right you’re wrong” label which I wore quite well growing up. The message my system got was, “You better watch what you say and how you say it because you will be reprimanded! You are wrong!”.
    I couldn’t be more cross-wired. Help.

  • Penny Wade

    Hi Lynn

    Penny Wade here. I met you once when you lived in West Vancouver. I came over with Lucie just a few days after Marvin had passed away.

    I read your blog with great interest.
    I have ALL the defaults to belonging. Yikes !
    I also have an almost lifelong journey with sabataging myself when I lose weight and start to look and feed great.

    I’d be interested to hear anything more you have say about these matters.

    Warm regards,
    Penny
    PS: You look lovely in yellow 🙂

  • Hi Penny,
    Thanks for your note and I am delighted you are enjoying my blog. In regards to you and your pattern of defaulting to belonging it is a really common thing for people to “give themselves away” and then need to replenish themselves, which they do with food. As a first step I would encourage you to explore what is cross-wired in your system, making losing weight “dangerous” to you. I know this is a dramatic way to put it but when there is a long-standing pattern it means the nervous system views your goal as somehow threatening. If you want to do this please be in touch. Bye for now,

  • SJ

    Hello Ms. Lynn… I understand the what you said about the system having conflict between two genetic necessities… My question is, if both needs must be met, does choosing one over the other cause damage or does the less important progress in a more healthier manner than before? If you could email me I’d appreciate it!

  • Jyoti Bruun

    I have been living with many cross wires u till now.I have defaulted to power, wasn’t allowed to talk back as a child, punished. Decided to emulate the one with the family power.
    also freedom and belonging
    would love to hear more
    thanks, jyoti

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