Habit reaction patterns define how we relate in the world. They do so without our attention to them. They pull us into ways of behaving like a rut pulls us around a circle. The groove, furrow, or automatic routine of it takes us out into the behavior Habit like any reaction in an automatic, non-present-moment-thinking-way (unconscious).
This is not intuition. This is the opposite of mindfulness behavior, which requires a present moment centeredness where information is experienced and processed in a thorough centered and multi-dimensional fashion.
Survivor scenarios are habit reaction patterns. They are ways of being in the world where a trigger acts like the groove that pulls a person into a set of interpretations and actions (reactions) to survive.
This mechanism built into our style of being in the world is highly efficient in a dangerous environment; having the ability to automatically react in a split second fashion could save your life. However, when these are applied to everyday choices in relationships and interactions that are perceived by way of the trigger as dangerous but are indeed not life-threatening, they form a set of behaviors that actually serve to negatively affect the individual engaging in them.
Survivor scenarios actually take on a number of forms depending on the function that set up the original scenario, the how mechanism to survive or what style developed to survive. Protector, survivor, victim, persecutor are all forms of survivor scenarios. They share the need for the other to define the self. In order for an individual to define herself as a survivor she must continually create (by way of interpretation and attribution of specific intent) situations she must survive. Thereby actually keeping herself caught in the web of the scenario. This is true for each form of the scenarios.
In order to get out of the rut, groove, automatic routine, or habit reaction one has to invoke two things, a sense of present moment empowerment and mindfulness. This is an attitude of a Thriver.
Thriving is doing more than surviving. Surviving is good, as the alternative is not surviving, which is bad. Thriving is even better – it is developing and focusing your life, actions, interactions, creations, and living toward your best potential and capabilities.
Where surviving is a function of creating the best situation possible out of a negative set of circumstances, thriving is a function of creating what you want. Creating what you want out of all the possibilities in the universe, not just your current circumstances.
Being a survivor may be the best thing you ever did, and so it may be difficult for you to let it go. You may feel like it is the thing that sets you apart from your peers. The problem is it sets up an attachment to that style of being in the world, such that situations to which you are drawn will be primarily difficult and challenging, allowing you to continually, automatically, invoke the survivor mechanism to make lemonade out of lemons.
Being a thriver increases your actual responsibility to create what you want. In order to do so you have to be willing to risk defining what you want and then creating the avenue to make that happen. It sets you into an active rather than reactive mode. Saying I want to make this happen in my life, rather than I can make this situation work to the best form.
Certainly having the skill to make a bad situation work until you can create a better one is laudable and to be maintained as a positive skill; however, it is not proactive unless connected with an attitude of focusing your efforts on creating a life that is thriving and reaching your best potential.
Here’s how to decipher if you are in a habit reaction pattern or survivor scenario.
Check in with your senses and intuition. If you feel that the experience is familiar or a pattern then you may be participating in a habit reaction scenario. If you feel that you have trouble trusting that things can/will go well for you, then you may have a history of having to survive that is coloring your current day choices/actions.
If you have an immediate feeling of anger, like someone has crossed a boundary and your feeling is charged in that the level of emotion (intensity) doesn’t match the situation or boundary crossing, this is a sign that you have been triggered.
In this instance, proceed in your actions (re-action) with caution and by caution I am suggesting to invoke mindfulness and centered, present moment attention to the situation, to literally work against the pull of the groove into the habit reaction pattern.
This is how you can engage the thriver attitude.
Focus is the key. If you are in danger, utilizing your survivor skills to get out of the situation is paramount. If you are not in danger but rather caught in a survivor scenario then focusing your attention on what you want rather than what you fear is the best response.
Using mindfulness to re-view the circumstances in relation to your emotion will help you identify whether this is danger or not. In example, if a stranger is doing something that feels dangerous allow your survivor reactions to move at lightning pace. If however, the situation is with a loving partner, or friend – you need to view your emotion within the context of the relationship in present-time and with clarity and genuineness.
Here’s how you can develop a thriver attitude.
It requires a focus on what you want.
It requires a re-view of yourself through a centered, mindful attention to yourself, your skills and limitations, what brings you joy and centers you in your best self.
This focus allows the possibility of creating what you want from all the possible choices available to you. This is a difficult concept to grock for a person who has defined herself as a survivor.
This paradigm shift allows for a relaxation of the struggle to survive or fight and a gentle movement into the mindful, balanced living of life.
May you Thrive!
See you tomorrow.