Stepping out of Survival

Stepping out of Survival

We are hardwired to survive in the harshest of environments…..which means that each of us have super vigilant survival systems. When these systems don’t switch off like they are supposed to our higher functions as humans become blocked. Most of us are stuck in survival states that we are not even aware of which are steering us away from our higher potential….this article investigates the extensive impact of being stuck in survival and how we can step out of it.

Our keen survival systems have kept our ancestors alive, allowing each of us to be here today. They have been conserved throughout the generations because they work to keep us alive when situations in the world aren’t favourable or just downright dangerous. In our modern civilised world these highly vigilant survival systems may seem excessive and unnecessary, often creating more problems than they seem to solve, however they are retained in the good times so that they can be used in times that are threatening to our survival.

A survival state is a state in which our brain and the body’s biology behave as if our life is under threat. A survival state can be appropriate or inappropriate. An appropriate survival state is when we are actually in a life threatening scenario and the body then behaves accordingly. An inappropriate survival state is when we are not actually under any direct threat, yet the brain and body behave as if we are in danger.

Consequences of Survival

The survival state is meant to be short-lived. It is designed to activate immediately under the threat of danger and then deactivate once the threat has passed. When our senses register a dangerous scenario, the mind and body change. The brain starts to become cortically less dominant, our capacity to reason diminishes and our tendencies to react become more prevalent as the lower brain starts to dominate. Within the body, the metabolism of all our cells goes into fast burn, creating quick energy availability. The blood flow in our body moves away from our organs and goes to our muscles. The fascia under our skin tightens up and becomes a kind of armouring system protecting the body.

So while our survival systems keep us alive during dangerous events, if they don’t desist when the threat has subsided then there is going to be a massive impact on our quality of our life, impacting on both our state of mind and our health. The unfortunate truth is that all chronic disease has been incubated from our long-term unresolved survival stress. By resolving the cause of our survival triggers our body and mind can begin to right itself. While the survival stress is active the body’s self corrective mechanisms can not engage.

The Trigger Mechanism

The trigger for our survival responses lays deep within our brain in nuclei called the amygdala. The amygdala among other things is our early warning system; it receives information from our senses much more rapidly than our conscious mind and then continually cross-matches this sensory data against pre-recorded survival data. If there is a match between what is showing up in our senses against what is pre-recorded in our amygdala as a survival threat, then a survival response will be activated. Most of the pre-recorded danger responses held in the amygdala are imprinted between 0 to 5 years of age.

This response is termed a subcortical response, which means that the response is occurring below our conscious awareness. Consequently, it is very difficult to change the reaction trigger using conscious control alone, because the trigger lies behind the veil of our conscious awareness.

By working with kinesiology we are able to work via the body and access the brain directly. It is a bottom-up approach rather than top-down. This approach allows us to bring a new understanding directly from the subconscious, increasing the awareness and understanding around the cause of the trigger. From here we are able to follow the body’s innate intelligence enabling us to find out what support is required from the perspective of the subconscious and unconscious, rather than being exclusively locked into the conscious intelligence. This capacity for kinesiology to shed new light on the cause and enable the solution is facilitated by what we call in kinesiology the innate awareness.

Kinesiology as a creative toolInspiration versus Desperation

When we are in a survival response we are essentially an effect rather than a cause. What this means is that when we are in a survival state, our mind’s only options to deal with challenge are to either attack it or avoid it. This limited range of response means that the outcomes from the response will be poor, reducing the frontier of possibility.

Once we step out of the survival mind what was being seen as an immediate threat can now be seen as an opportunity. We can now live our lives as a cause rather than an effect, allowing us to take positive control and be creative.

In my 15 years of clinical experience as a kinesiologist, I have witnessed many clients step out of entrenched survival issues. I am acutely aware of how some clients go on from here to create great things in their lives, while others just coast after the immediate threat has resolved.

Stress is Contextual

Our survival triggers only arise when the scenarios from the past that were programmed into the amygdala are re-enacted in the present. Some of these pre-programmed scenarios are avoidable and some are unavoidable in that the circumstances which activate them may or may not be avoidable in our lives. Most of the clients that seek help are facing unavoidable scenarios, meaning the trigger or the threat of the trigger is constantly present at this time in their life.


Joy receives a promotion where part of her role involves public speaking. She loves the new role because it offers her so much in terms of actively living her potential. However, she is absolutely terrified of public speaking. Up until now Joy has successfully avoided speaking in front of crowds. By taking this dream job, public speaking becomes unavoidable. An individual living from desperation would probably turn down the job so as not to challenge the fear, while someone living from inspiration would find a way to overcome the fear of public speaking so that the opportunity to live her potential can be actualised.

There are many fears and survival triggers lurking in the subcortical regions of our brain. Some keep us safe from real dangers, while there are also innumerable triggers that act as barriers to living out our highest potential. Some of the barriers emerge from the subconscious into our conscious awareness at different stages of our life. The majority remain unnoticed but are actually having a massive unmeasurable impact.

As a result, most of us are being steered by innumerable subconscious barriers. Many of them are completely accepted socially; as well, we attribute many of them to our personality and character such that we aren’t even aware of them.

Tracking the Highest Potential

To really shift our stuff and track our highest potential we need specialised support. Rather than drifting into a kinesiology session now and then, we need to hone in on what we really want and one by one dismantle the hidden survival triggers that get in the way of our creative capacity and our highest potential. This is why I developed the Kinesiology Coaching course for students and the Advanced Life Development Program for clients.

This course and program is designed to do three things:

1. Support us to know what it is we really want.

2. To energise and activate our goals and intentions so that they become powerful attractors in our lives.

3. Dismantle the obstacles and triggers that obstruct the path to manifestation.

Removing the immediate cause of our discomfort is only a small part of the story. If we want to be inspired, effective and creative then we all require specialised help.

Contact us to find out more about the kinesiology coaching course and the Advanced Life Development program.


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