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Does the Caveman still control you?

Yesterday, I noticed an entertaining cartoon in the newspaper. It showed a man who was determined to score two masks. He placed them over his ears to avoid the panic stories. That made me laugh. A wonderful way of thinking. A simple solution to deal with outside problems: just plug your ears! How much easier can it get?

Masks over your ears are, of course, playing hide and seek. But what is the solution to fears caused by external events? How do you remain effective and successful under pressure and in difficult situations?

The truth is that it is very difficult to isolate yourself from panic situations. Our brain is wide open to spot everything that might harm us. This goes back to prehistoric times. At the sight of a predator, a split-second decision had to be made to decide how to act: fight, flight or freeze. Our lives depended on it! Did you know that the caveman’s survival strategies are still inside of you? That is why in our modern age we overreact to everything we perceive as a threat. An incredible fact, knowing our natural enemies are now safely kept in our zoos 😊.

This time it’s about the Coronavirus, but your fear may just as well be caused by a deadline, plummeting stock prices or too few likes on LinkedIn… Your physical reaction is the same. You get a tunnel vision and are only focused on ‘survival’. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up and entire sections of your intelligence are turned off. And as soon as that happens, your capacity to solve problems, your health and the results you render are severely diminished. 

Don’t you want to let things get to that point? Do you want a breakthrough in your effectiveness? Would you like to use your full potential? There are several roads that lead to Rome. Whichever route you choose, it always starts on the inside. The world as you perceive it simply reflects your own attitude to life. Danger from outside is your own projection. So, if you have your head full of restless thoughts, you only see bears in your way, doubts set in and the result is not forthcoming. The other way around, of course, this also applies. When you are in a relaxed state, you mainly see opportunities. The question is: do you act from a place of fear or based on trust?

Your answer has far-reaching consequences for your success and (work) pleasure. Fear makes you small. Trust gives you space to enjoy your freedom. Which of the two do you allow to guide you? Check it out for yourself. Go inside and watch how you are limiting yourself. Learn to separate the facts from your emotions, and you are already taking an important first step. The quieter you become, the more limiting thoughts you come across. In this way, those scarce masks still serve a purpose!


Cheers, Dorine

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