Warning: Don’t Let Your Human Instinct Stop You From Achieving Success

16 Comments Posted in Personal Development

Image courtesy of lorri37

Every living creature on the planet has their own survival instinct. This instinct is able to help us to protect our life so that we can prevent our species from extinction. An animal will be fleeing with unfamiliar scent, sight or noise. A plant will grow towards light and avoid darkness so that it can receive the sunlight that it needs in order to survive.

As human, we also have this basic survival instinct in us to help us survive in the world. This instinct comes in handy when we are living in the jungle with predators hunting us for food. Our survival instinct will instruct us to avoid the unknowns, get our adrenaline rushing and escape from immediate dangers.

But the situation had changed. In the world we are living right now, we are no longer threatened by predators such as tigers or lions. However our basic survival instinct is still in us. In our modern and complicated world, this instinct turns out to be a double edge sword and we will hurt ourselves if we are not careful with it.

Our Most Basic Instinct

Our survival instinct guides us away from danger. This means that anything that poses a danger to our life, we will avoid it at all cost. If we are still living in the jungle era, this will be a handy skill to have. We wouldn’t want to be caught sleeping in a cave filled with tigers.

Even though our natural predators are removed from our environment, our strong survival instinct is still in us. It is still trying to protect us and want us to keep on surviving. The dangers and risks have changed but our survival instinct has not. It is still trying to keep us away from things that are unknown or things that are out of our comfort zone.

Things that we do not know and things outside our comfort zone tend to bring a feeling of fear in us. This fear is activated by our survival instinct as it wants us to avoid things that we are not certain about or things that can possibly “hurt” us. Our instinct has mistaken these unknowns as something that pose a danger to our life and want us to stay away from it as far as possible.

How Our Survival Instinct Limits Us

Our survival instinct that is used to keep us safe from harm can be back firing and limit our potential growth.

Some examples would be…

  • Fear of approaching the girl of your dream due to fear of failure.
  • Avoid starting a business because of the fear of failure.
  • Fear of learning a new skill because it may prove not to be a worthy investment. (Uncertainty)

As you can see, these are the situations that do not pose any danger to our life. However these situations are pushing us out into the unknowns and there is a possibility that it will fail and “hurt” us in some ways.

How Win Over Your Confused Survival Instinct

Imagine how much growth you would attain if you are able to take action to accomplish anything without your instinct kicking in and telling you to stop? You will go out there and start your own business, approach the girl or guy of your dream or speak to a huge audience without any fear. I bet anyone who is not obstructed by uncertainty is able to move forward so fast and achieve huge success in his or her life.

To achieve this, you will need to have your survival instinct standing on your side instead of against you. You will need to convince your instinct that not doing something (starting your own business or approaching the guy or girl of your dream) can cause you much more harm and pain in the long run. When your survival instinct knows this, instead of stopping you, it will be edging you to go for what you want.

Here are the steps to follow to get your survival instinct on your side.

  • Grab a piece of paper.
  • Write out what you want.
  • Write down why you are not achieving it yet.
  • Write down what is it that you will lose out or be inflicted with emotional pain if you did not achieve the thing that you decided that you want in your life time.
  • Visualize the pain of not achieving. Think of the worst that can happen. Think in pictures and add in painful emotions.
  • Make a decision to go for what you want and start setting goals and creating action plan and strategies to achieve what you want.

When you start to write out and visualize how you will suffer if you do not achieve, your survival instinct now comes to your aid. Because you will be feeling the pain if you do not achieve what you want and your survival instinct guides you away from pain and towards pleasure. This means bringing you towards the direction of your goal.

Parting Words

Our survival instinct can hold us back from achieving what we want but if we are able to get it to stand on our side, we can tap on the unlimited potential of it to help us get anything that we want. This instinct is so strong because it is what that has helped the human species to survive up till now. So is your instinct standing against you or standing on your side?

If it is standing against you, get it to stand beside you now use it to achieve your goals in life.

To your success,

Vincent


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16 Responses to “Warning: Don’t Let Your Human Instinct Stop You From Achieving Success”

  1. Walter says:

    Your concept of putting our instincts on our side instead of being against us is a powerful advice. Oftentimes, when we want to achieve something, fear prevents us from doing. But your advice that failing to achieve our dream can bring us pain is a powerful motivator.

    Thanks for this wisdom. 🙂

  2. kevin says:

    Good post. Something I always wonder is are these fear responses hard wired or learned.

    I’m guessing some of both.

  3. Alex says:

    I must say, the process described in this post is something I intend to implement in my daily life. Living with ADHD, I’ve ranged the gambit from too impulsive to far too subdued.

    But, the ability to rationally see the byproducts of both success and failure will make the entire process more manageable.

    Great post!

  4. Conquering fear of failure, and fear of the unknown is a pre-requisite for being a successful entrepreneur. Recognising our instincts for what they are is important in the process of identifying and conquering our fears.

    • Vincent says:

      If you can’t get over our fear of failure, we will not be an entrepreneur in the first place. Great point noted. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Vincent

  5. Interesting post and analogies Vincent. While instincts may hold us back from the unknown, sometimes we need to give in to that part of our instincts. If we are recklessly jumping at everything that we want, you can get into trouble. For example, I have attempted to get my own business going a couple times, but each time all I achieved was more debt. I was quite positive going in each time, but things simply did not work out. If I had been more practical I would have avoided a lot of debt and may have been in a better position to take a shot at it now.

    • Vincent says:

      Hi,

      I would give you a pat on your back for trying to start your own business. Most people fear to do it but you did it anyway. However on the part that you went into debt, maybe creating a well detailed plan can help you to prevent that? Don’t let past failures hold you back and you may not know maybe the next venture will be a successful one for you.

      Cheers,
      Vincent

  6. Credit Girl says:

    I really like this post. A lot of the times we fear following our instincts because it may get us into trouble but in my own personal experience, all the times that I’ve followed my instincts I’ve been pretty dead on. Following your instincts for survival is kind of like following your heart in the work realm or in general just life!

  7. Hello Vincent,

    Within the framework of psychoanalytic theory, the survival instinct you mentioned involves the lowest level of needs within the human psyche which concerns safety and physiological necessities such as breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, and excretion. It also involves the approach/accept or fight/flight response that is automatically triggered when one is faced with danger (like what we observe in animals). I have the impression that the latter is the type of instinct you are referring to and that is cool. What I do like to add is that the imprinting of this type of survival instinct happens during the toddling stage. Which means, it is deeply embedded and cannot be easily superceded by the simple pairing of a conditioned stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus most especially if it is self-administered making use of the type of technique you prefer, i.e. visualization.

    What I do recommend is that to be able to take control of this lower aspect of one’s self thereby enabling one to set clear objectives and find ways to effectively meet them, one must concentrate on developing semantic dexterity (to enhance the intellect) and body consciousness (to be in control of uncensored survival imprints). And the best way to accomplish that is through continuous learning and self-observation. =)

    Peace and respect,
    Ryhen
    .-= Ryhen | Mind Power´s last blog ..History Repeats Itself =-.

  8. Gordie - Lifestyle Design For You says:

    Hi Vincent,
    It’s amazing how we need fear for survival yet it can become a huge factor in holding us back for success.
    .-= Gordie – Lifestyle Design For You´s last blog ..How to Free Up Your Lifestyle Design. =-.