From Locking Down to Looking Up

From an NLP perspective, “Survival mode” equals the “Grey Zone”, otherwise surprisingly known as the “Comfort Zone”.  I am sure it sounds weird to consider that ‘survival’ equals ‘comfort’, but not if you understand this from the perspective of the unconscious mind, whose primary role is to keep us safe. 

Physically speaking, this activity is related to what is known as the Reptilian Brain – the oldest part of the brain which controls basic body functions like breathing and heart rate.  It is also responsible for our physical needs such as safety, triggering the Flight, Fight or Freeze response whenever there is a perceived threat (for example, in the case of COVID-19!). 

Fast forward a few months into the pandemic and our unconscious mind is still making sense of all the changes and trying to get comfortable with the ‘new normal’.  Many have been experiencing bouts of anxiety and depression as they grapple with losses of various kinds, from physical death of family or friends, to unemployment or business closure, and adjusting to the new social protocols.  Essentially, many people are in survival mode where negative emotions have shut down their creative juices and their ability to problem solve and see potential opportunities.  So, how can you jump back into the driver’s seat of your life and take control of the steering wheel in a race that seems to have no rules and where the goal posts just keep on shifting?

Here are three techniques to help you override the powerful unconscious patterns of thought and behavior that are keeping you locked in fear and help you achieve the mind-set of thriving:

  1. Pay attention to what you are paying attention to! – This is the first way we can begin to regain a sense of control over ourselves.  We do have full control over this despite what we may think!  Filter your newsfeed and only watch news once per day!  Monitor your self-talk and do a 7-day MENTAL DETOX!  Where your attention goes, your energy flows! 
  2. Reframe failure as learning – Many of the negative feelings we experience are due to the MEANING we give to situations where we have achieved less than the desired results.  Our ability to reframe those experiences as learnings allows our unconscious minds to accept them as just that, and to shift our attention naturally to the benefits we have gained.  This helps us to move away from feelings of guilt and shame to growth and development, helping us feel more motivated to continue to pursue our path, despite the challenges. 
  3. Start your day STRONG! – Take care of you first!  Develop a daily morning routine.  Whatever you are comfortable with: prayers, meditation, affirmations, journaling, walking, yoga.  Set yourself the task of accomplishing three goals for the day.  The brain likes choices, but not too many or it will become confused!  Use the BE, DO, HAVE Formula – Focus on who you are BEING first, then take the RIGHT Action which will then translate into your SUCCESS!

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