The survival instinct is primal, lodged in what is called the “limbic” section of our brain. This is also known as our “serpent” brain because it is the most central part of our brain, at the brain stem, and it looks just like a serpent’s brain. Of course, we have two more sections of our brain, which is what makes us human beings. The serpent brain is the “me-first” part of our brain that exists to ensure our survival in every way. To avoid danger and possible annihilation we will go to great lengths and even perform seemingly superhuman feats of mind, body and intuition. Fear is usually what triggers these abilities.
Fear prevents us from getting into trouble. If we were fearless, we would not last long. The world can be a dangerous place and fear exists to help us stay safe. The problem comes when our fears stop being our servants and become our masters. This usually happens when we are tired, depressed or have lost our self-confidence for some reason.
When we are feeling weak and believe we are unable to cope with what life confronts us with, our serpent brains kick in, whether we realize it or not. Our brain starts sending out danger signals, which start our body secreting adrenaline and a host of other chemicals to prepare us to fight or flee. However, we usually do not realize this is happening, so we just become agitated, irritable and eventually our stamina becomes depleted from being in danger mode for too long.
When you are afraid, be aware of it. Admit it to yourself. Do not immediately move on to asking yourself why you are afraid. Just experience your fear and let it talk to you. If you let it, your fear will tell you why it has come into being at that particular moment, but you must listen. Your fear will also teach you invaluable lessons about yourself and your beliefs about your life.
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