Know Your Limits
Fight or Flight? – Chapter Two
When our gut instinct is tapping our heart on the shoulder, it’s to alert us to a potential threat. We all know this. It’s a good thing, soooo valuable to us and what’s best for us. We should absolutely trust in it and often do without really taking into account what’s informing it.
The key word here is ‘potential’ – what our mind perceives as a threat is not necessarily one and a response highly influenced by uncertainty (what it doesn’t know), our subconscious past and the unconscious biases we have as a result of said past.
It’s fear of the known or unknown.
So whilst our instincts are more often than not correct in cranking our alert level up to 11. It pays to know self and be present in the moment so that our conscious mind, the real us, the logical us, can assess the reality of what’s in front of us right now. Analyse the data and determine for ourselves (not with visceral, emotional subconsciousness) what is actually going on and how best to handle it. What choices to make.
That’s not easy when fight or flight is engaged, because we only go through that when shit hits the fan and we’re operating at the edge of our limits and why it feels so fucking uncomfortable. If we’re not careful the emotions surrounding the event itself can easily overwhelm us, we can end up going over every possible scenario and action in our minds over and over again, a fight for self-preservation ensues – ‘what should I do?’.
Our survival instinct is purely self-serving, but ‘fight, flight or freeze’ is heavily influenced by those around us too, how we feel about them. Because often in these situations our heart is on the line as well as our mental wellbeing (our ‘sense of self’). We have something to lose whichever choice we make. If we choose to fight it will include some sacrificing of ourselves, but if we choose to flight we will also be sacrificing something or someone else.
When we choose to fight we are often thrown into unplanned and unprepared for periods of pain and growth because we’re choosing something different to our norm, something more than our current selves can handle. Going against our better judgment, our survival instinct, perhaps for the better. It’s selfless in many ways. We’re pushing the limits of who we are at this moment in our lives. With the greatest intention, the outcome of which isn’t completely within our control.
We know how tough fighting may be yet when we do, we somehow know it’s the right thing to do regardless.