Author: John Kim, LMFT
How to shift from survival state to creation state.
The difference between humans and animals: We can activate our fight or flight just by our thoughts alone. We don’t have to be in actual danger. Our subconscious can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not. So our thoughts set us off into a fight or flight state, even if it’s subtle. This pushes us down into lower frequencies that eventaully greys us out. Pause for a moment and think about what you think about all day. Yes, logistics like what you need to get done and what you want for dinner. Thoughts that are not emotionally charged. But also a shit ton of thoughts that produce worry and dread and stress. Correct? And those thoughts are on replay. They have been for years. The content may have changed but the feelings are the same.
What we feel is always more powerful than what we think. Our feelings, the elephant. Our logic, the little rider on top. The elephant is going to go where it’s going to go.
Most of our thoughts come from fear and all the things that could go wrong (our cognitive distortions). This becomes a vicious loop that submerges us into a survival state of being. Years of this and we are no longer living. Instead we are in a state of panic. Like I mentioned above, this pushes us down into a lower frequency and we start to constrict instead of expand. We chase instead of attract. Then behavior follows this. We disengage. Check out. Give up. Cope with out vices. We begin to feel it in our body. See it in our posture. Our energy changes. And over time, we can become sick. Literally.
Most people live this way.
Every day is a constant battle of survival.
With ourselves and what happened.
Or what will happen.
I’ve lived most of my life this way.
It kept me stuck and unhappy.
“If you’re not creating a new life by creating new thoughts that produce feelings and new behavior, you are living in the past.
Our thoughts can make us sick. Then can our thoughts make us well? Of course they can.”
– Dr. Joe Dispenza
Now let’s talk about getting out of your suck.
Simply put, pulling yourself out of survival mode and getting into creator mode so you’re not always in a fight or flight state. So you’re no longer living in the past. So you start swiming through life instead of dog paddling. For many, drowning.
Creator mode causes you to live at a higher frequency = creating = attracting.
Imagine that every time you have thoughts you are laying tracks. And these tracks turn into your path. Read that sentence again because that’s what happens. Your thoughts create your path. If you are always thinking thoughts that generate worry, stress, fear, and panic, it will keep you in a survival state. This state prevents behavior required to create new experiences. So you stay stuck, both in your head as well as in life. Instead of moving forward, you move sideways or in circles. And you watch everyone else moving forward and feel less than, which you internalize, creating false and limiting beliefs about yourself. You become a spectator of your life. Watching from the bleachers. Instead of living your life.
I know what you’re thinking. But I’ve tried so many times to change my thoughts and the way I think. It doesn’t work.
You may have done it for a day or two. Or maybe a week. Or you took a meditation course or a self betterment seminar. But that’s not enough. Again, we’re talking about years and years of wiring and conditioning. A weekend isn’t going to change shit. If you want to change your daily thoughts and state, you have to turn it into a lifestyle practice. There’s no other way.
I understand it’s difficult. I get it. I struggle with it as well. But I’m no longer how I used to be. Or more accurately, think what I used to think. Or how I used to think. Yes, I have better days than others but overall I’ve tipped. I’m don’t live in survival mode. I’m in creator mode. And it’s changed my life.
How to go from survival mode to creator mode
Like love and hate, survial state and creator state can not exist at the same time. You can flip back and forth but you can’t be in both states simultaneously. If you get into a creator state, most likely it won’t be for long. You will naturally default back to survial state. Pretty quickly. The negative thoughts and the emotions that come with them will flood back as fast as they left.
The key is to hold on to being in creator mode as long as you can. The ideas is to stretch it. Not once. Daily. That’s the practice. Like any practice, the more you do it the better you will get. Until one day, you realize you’re more in creator mode than survival mode.
That’s when things tip.
Here are a few tips that may help.
1. Change the way you look at this process.
You’re not just changing your thoughts. You’ve already heard that, many, many times from various people, self-help books, blogs, and videos. It’s just become noise to you now. It’s like telling someone who is out of shape to go to the gym. They know. It’s the motivation and execution piece they struggle with. You have to look at this as a lifestyle choice. A lifestyle change. Like you’re going vegan or paleo. Not a temporary fix. And know your “why”. Let me help you with your answer. Because you’ve been living in survival state for years and it’s no longer serving you. Because you’re sick of feeling like shit and discouraged. Because you want better for yourself. Because you don’t just want to be alive. You want to live.
2. Thread it into your life.
Like your morning coffee. Your yoga practice. Like lunch, sleep, and going to the bathroom. This is a daily thing you do.
As you go about your day, you consciously practice awareness of your thoughts. Then make an effort to change them. Think new ones. Different. Positive. Ones filled with hope and certainty. While you’re working. Driving. Eating. Having sex. Whenever you become aware you’re having thoughts that shoot you into a dark tunnel and into a panic state. This will be your new habit and it will be high on top of your daily list.
3. Create distance.
Most people create distance from their thoughts with meditation. But if that is a struggle for you, instead of white knuckling meditations, do what works. I create distance through fitness. I create distance through mindfulnesswhere I anchor myself and use my senses to stay in the moment. I create distance through riding my motorcycle. I create distance through washing dishes. Anything that gives me that pause and allows me to detach from the stickiness of my thoughts.
I refuse to go down with them.
Stay in creation mode long enough and you will start to see the world differently. You will find yourself building things. Taking risks. Hoping fear walls. Believing in yourself. Accepting your story. You will start to feel hopeful. Unstuck. Better. Happy. Whole.
It’s the state we’re meant to live in.
We are not meant to only survive.
We’re meant to create.
Author: John Kim, LMFT