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Wired for Fight or Flight

It’s not that simple , but it strikes me to be a fundamental different mindset as one approaches life. It is not one or the other , but recognizing there is a bias toward one with most , that is part nature and part nurture.

One bias over another is not necessarily good or bad either. My point is to recognize the ingredients of it , why, to what extent and to strike the balance which works for you.

For example , as I talk to active military, veterans, police officers , healthcare professionals ; they are trained in recognizing trouble in the making or a more serious threat and addressing it.

We are grateful they do their jobs well.

To enter those professions , there is often a deep-seated belief, calling or drive ; And perhaps a legacy of family in those fields.

In the military , police force and other potential threatening situations it is often referred to as , “run toward the fire” or “run toward the gun fire” or analogous to intense situations, “run to the problem”.

Perhaps you’ve taken any one of the personality tests for work or observed family , friends and social dynamics. Do you thrive on conflict , avoid conflict , seek peace and tranquility, ruffle feathers or make a hard call ?

Like a lot of things , it depends on what’s at stake; safety, life or death, business survival, friendships, quick decisive action. Most of us are not faced with these types of decisions regularly and in fact it may be rare.

Most are not highly trained to bypass our normal survival/flight instinct and fight at all costs , as are those professions faced with life or death situations.

My point is to be aware, prepare for high risk situations ,mentally, physically or how to recognize a threat and put your mindset in a different gear.

Petty , prideful daily things are tempting to get excited about with family, friends , coworkers, but often not helpful or worthwhile.

Threats to safety, health, loved ones , basic rights, character; these are usually a catalyst to fight, dig in and run to the trouble. It’s situational: day-to-day , we may let things slide , but sometimes the line is crossed and we push back or take more direct or forceful action.

We all have experience with those who avoid conflict or live amongst it , thriving or surviving.

I have been an evolving combination and it really has been mostly situational. I have been pleased with some of my actions and behaviors and disappointed with some of mine as well . Probably seeking more core vs situational and not being afraid to let people know what you stand for .

With adversity , challenge and competition , one usually emerges stronger, if you survive it.

Matthew Kelly just finished a book called “ Life is Messy”. A spiritual book and emerging from a broken self , and developing into , a better and more beautiful you , as you work through life‘s messes ;

and all of our lives have messes.

Decide where you want to be in the continuum of fight or flight and what’s important enough to you to shift gears and how to find your peaceful, healthy , dynamic daily balance.


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