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Reasons To Stop Being In The Survival Mode


Why quit the survival mode?

Hey, I know there is so much going through your mind right now concerning the title of this post. You probable checked in to see for yourself what this dude has to talk about the survival mindset and why you need to let go of it. I'd encourage you to sit back and read patiently because your curiosity is about to be satisfied.

First, what do I mean by survival mindset? Is there anything as a "survival mindset" prior to now? Or have you heard of it before?
Yes, I googled the phrase "survival mindset" and here are some things I found on the internet already.

I found an article here that describes the survival mindset as a positive mindset for survival in difficult times. Quite an interesting thought about the concept.

Also, I came across another link that talked about "nine traits of the survival mindset that will keep you calm in regular life and life-threatening situations". This article was really inspiring and I thought I should do a little reflection on some of the points. The author even wrote notes on the nine traits, highlighted some problems with these traits of the survival mindset and their remedies. Here are the traits the author described:
  1. Tenacity
  2. Adaptability
  3. Work ethic
  4. Creativity
  5. Positivity
  6. Acceptance
  7. Humour
  8. Bravery
  9. Motivation
We live in a world of turbulence. These survival mindset principles traits are great traits that would help you survive the turbulence. However, I found something noteworthy I thought I should share with you on the survival mindset.


What I Think Of The Survival Mindset

The survival mindset is an adaptive mindset that helps you cope through difficult times. These difficult times could be in the form of periods of financial, emotional, economic or social instabilities.
Growing up in a place like Nigeria (sorry, I had to mention here), I have personally witnessed so many problems and ills and extreme disadvantages. Some of these disadvantages include:
  • Lack of opportunities
  • Socio-political instabilities
  • Poverty
  • Bad governance
  • Marginalization by international communities
The list goes on and on, but I needed to stop somewhere. These negative circumstances have an overall negative impact on the citizens of the country. Much like it happens anywhere else where similar things are experienced, crime rates, youth restiveness, etc become the bane of the day. 
Negative circumstances and ills of society make things difficult for everyone, makes life harder than it already is. But then, there is a popular Nigerian slogan that keeps everyone moving on, "man must survive".
Man must survive is a layman phrase that means you must do all you can do to survive. "All you can" in this phrase does not refer to everything including illegitimate and fraudulent acts. However, many people still find themselves involved in such acts. This is one reason why you need to let go of the survival mindset. You would soon find out why I keep saying this.

Difficult times hit us differently and most of the times, it takes a while to adapt to the changing events and occurrences. But as humans, we are configured by default to adapt, to any situation we find ourselves, to any circumstance and anywhere we find ourselves. It is like default to switch to the survival mode.

The Survival Mode

The survival mode is a short term response to unfavourable conditions that you face on a daily basis. It is one that is characterised by a lack of long-term or medium-term plan for your life. It's about getting through the next 24 hours. You simply just want to live through the day and see what tomorrow brings.
This survival mode may be very helpful at first, but as time progresses, something more needs to be done. It is easy to get stuck in the survival mode, especially when conditions have shown no signs of positive changes. So, how do you know you are stuck in the survival mode?

Before, I highlight a few signs that may suggest that you are probably stuck in the survival mode, let me first talk about why I think you must let go of the survival mode.

Why You Need To Quit Being In The Survival Mode

  1. Lack of future ambition
  2. Hopelessness about your dreams
  3. Predilection to do fraudulent things
  4. Survival mode makes you selfish
  5. Survival mode makes you ungrateful

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Lack of Future Ambition

Survival mode takes away everything that makes you look to the future. It pushes you to focus simply on living the moment, surviving the hardness and never looking forward to any meaningful developments other than merely living.
The problem with survival mode is that, even after you have started seeing improving conditions of living, it's easy to get stuck in that mindset and never regaining the spirit of thriving. The thrival mode have usually being described as the opposite and better mode than the survival mode.

Everyone has ambitions for the future, plans that they would work to achieve. However, when that sense of purpose is conquered, decisions become purely based on just the desire to live and nothing more, no future hopes and plans, no nothing else.

Hopelessnes About Your Dreams

Growing up, we all have great dreams. We dream to become one of the greatest in our ecosystem, do to great things and achieve mighty feats. However, what hard times succeeds in doing is stripping us off our dreams and leaving you empty with no hopes about them. It's painful to realize that most people are not crazy about their dreams anymore. That is not what they've always wished for, but being forced into the survival mode by life's conditions reoriented their ideologies about life and their dreams as well.

Predilection To Do Fraudulent Things

What do I mean by fraudulent things? Fruadulent things are those things that could put a bad tinge to your name when associated with you. It is simply the consequence of giving up on posterity or the future. In the survival mode, you are only interested in the present, and you care less about the future or the outcomes of your decisions. On this note, you would see how to quit the survival mode in the later session.

Survival Mode Makes You Selfish

Survival mode amplifies your stress and anxiety so much that you can get so wrapped up in your immediate problems that you forget the needs of others, including family, family and your community. In the survival mode, you are self-centered. It is interesting to say that focusing on yourself for self-improvement is great, but survival mode makes it be only about yourself and no one else. 
As opposed to the survival mode, the thrival mode believes in the hope for the future, believes in the importance of helping others attain heights because they believe that those relationships are helpful for the future. 
When you adopt the thrival mode, you do understand that at least some of the time you needlessly spend stressing on about your own problems could be better spent serving someone else even less fortunate. You’d be surprised how well you can heal your own wounds by helping someone else heal theirs. In fact, your biggest scars usually cover your biggest gifts. It’s your unique experience with the pain that will make you indispensable in helping others overcome it down the line. 

Survival Mode Makes You Ungrateful

How the hell can you see the good things in your life when you have being engrossed by the problems of the day? Survival mode makes you focus on your problems in a bid to come out of them. However, this problem-focused mindset does not come on its own. This mindset clouds your mind with dissatisfaction about everything currently in your life.
Gratefulness is a form of self-motivation. It encourages you do want to improve conditions and gives you a problem-solving, solution-oriented mindset that would keep you thriving and not merely surviving. 


How To Quit The Survival Mode

The first thing you must be aware of is if you are in survival mode, and if you have been in this condition for far too long. Survival mode, like you must have seen in this post, is an adaptive mechanism to keep living, but getting stuck in this mode can have grave consequences on your future and wellbeing. Hence, it is important to find ways to quit the survival mode.

How do you make your decisions when you are offered a good paying job? Do you just jump in without thinking about your own plans too? There are countless people out there who have turned down good paying jobs because they believed in the future of their own startups. Nothing wrong in choosing either of the above, but the logic behind the decision is what matters more.
Hard times, hm? Ever considered giving up on your dreams? Maybe you have given up on your dreams already, a clear sign you have being in the surviving mode for far too long.

One clear distinction between the surviving mode and the thrival mode is the mindset with which you do your current job. The surviving mode mindset would simply rule out every possibility of doing anything else later. They would say, "I'm okay with this job, its paying well. I don't mind working here for the rest of my life". Now compare this with what the thriving mindset would say: "I love it here, but I know that my stay here is temporary. I am here to contribute my quota to developing this agency and better myself. Then I would do greater things afterwards".

Needless to say further, are you in the surviving mode or in the thrival mode? Now let's see how to exit the surviving mode.
  1. Think about long term effects of decisions
  2. Aways think and plan for your dreams
  3. Deliberately keep your joy
  4. Learn to be grateful
  5. Make someone happy
  6. Think more about solutions
  7. Dissociate yourself a bit from the problems

Think About Long Term Effects of Your Decisions

Why do I want to do this? What will be the outcome? What do I stand to gain or lose? These are life-saving questions that you should always ask yourself whenever you have a new decision to consider.
To avoid being caught in the messy middle of the survival mode, learn to always thing carefully about new decisions before you make them.

Aways Think And Plan For Your Dreams

So you think you are gonna to just sleep, dream and wake up to meet your dreams right in front of you?Lies! You are going to have to do something about your dreams. You are going to plan for them, nurture them and work towards actualizing them. No one goes through this world without encountering some tough times, discouragement, hate and the likes. When survival mode kicks in, it drops you to a level where you just focus simply on overcoming the immediate difficulties, discouragement, hate, etc, without working towards a brighter future.

Deliberately Keep Your Joy

The joy you keep is the inner fire that brightens your heart, strengthen your bones and keeps you going. But keeping your joy is a deliberate action. If you choose to base your joy on the things that happen around you, chances are you are going to be sad most of the time. But if you choose to be happy, to keep your joy, then your strength will be maximal.
Nothing can buy joy, not even money. Joy is a mindset that makes you happy irrespective of the prevailing circumstances.

Learn To Be Grateful

You saw previously that the survival mode can make you ungrateful, remember that? Gratitude is a virtue. Sometimes, you need to count your wins already. I know there may be many problems around the corner and even newer ones may be trying to surface, but being grateful is an extra motivation. Count your small wins and be grateful for them, reward yourself by being happy. What more can I possibly ask for?

Make Someone Happy

It feels great to be a source of happiness to someone. If you have never experienced the feeling, you should try it out some time. Just do something, or say something to make someone happy. It not only makes them happy but it also makes you happy too. You'd be surprised at how strong and relieved you would feel when someone tells you 'you've made my day'.
The survival mode fixes you on the self-destruct protocol, self-centered ideology. But the thriving mindset comes to set you free. Happiness is a requirement to activate the thriving mindset. Give someone else what you want for yourself, and you will get it back a hundred fold. That's the rule to happiness.

Think More About Solutions

It's hard to think about solutions when problems are everywhere around. How do you even think of being a solution to the world, when the world doesn't seem to be a solution to you? You look everywhere around and you find that no one is there to look your way, to offer some help. But you know what? That's the exact same reason why they are where they are at the moment. If you want to step beyond the 'normal' position, you must learn to rise to the call of being a solution to the world around you. The world ready has enough problems, and the last thing it needs now is more problems. Be a solution, think about being a problem solver and you will see how strong you's feel.

Dissociate Yourself a Bit From The Problems

More like what I wrote previously on thinking about solutions. In order to see the a better picture of reality and your true potentials, you should try to dissociate yourself from your problems. Problems cloud your judgment and perception of opportunities.
So, as you are reading this now, take a minute to think about the problems you have allowed to weigh you down. Are they worth it? Should you allow them take your life away from you piece by piece?
Then, take another minute to think about what you want for yourself, think about your great dreams, ambitions and big goals, do you still think you should give up on them?

It's easy to go with the flow and be sucked in by your problems, but it takes the crazy thrival mode, the growth mindset to liberate you enough to liberate the world.
One of the biggest motivational message I have ever written is this one here and you need to be anti-normal enough to change the world.
Consider the normal: live in your comfort zone, allow problems weigh you down to depths, just live with/without relevance and then die.
Then, the ultra-normal, or the super-normal, or the extra-ordinary: push to your becoming your best, live beyond problems, be solution-minded, be a blessing to your world, then let your legacy live on after you are gone.

Quite a clear-cut difference, right? True, the difference is clear. But on which side of the divide do you want to stay. The survival mindset gives you traits that enables you to live and succeed. The survival mode gives you instinctive ability to succeed for a very short time with no plans beyond then. While the thrival mode or the growth mindset like some people puts it, sets you off for greater achievements and greater glory both for the immediate times and the long run. My words for you, stay positive!
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Prosper Yole

I am a lifestyle blogger, I write useful articles on successful life tips and hacks. Posts bearing Prosper Yole as author are either written by the blog author himself or by our various other contributors. Thank you for reading through. I look forward to having you more often. Please subscribe to my feeds below...