Video: Fight or Flight Response from “Transition as the New Normal” with Douglas E. Welch

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Now when you first start to realize that transition is the normal — transition is constant — the first reaction, as I mentioned, is usually blind fear. And I say this because I’ve been there. When you are forced to make a change, for whatever reason, the first emotion we tend to feel is fear and do you know where that comes from? That comes from our days living in caves when the sabertooth cat was outside the cave door. We had to be fearful because if we didn’t we would simply cease to exist and be eaten. Well, as you might imagine, that’s simply not the case today. Yes, there are still people in the world who struggle on a day-to-day basis for survival, but I can probably guarantee that anyone in this room is not in the realm. we have established a base level of stability on our lives that then shouldn’t become some stasis point where we stay. it should actually give us a platform to reach out and be a little more open — a little more risk-taking — a little more open to change, because we have this stable base to stand on. We’re not worried about the sabertooth cat outside the door. Unfortunately, our brains still respond that way. When change is forced upon us, we go into fight or flight. We either say “I’m going to fight you or I’m going to run!” Doesn’t serve us well, whether it is in an interview situation where we’re faced with that, whether it’s on the street or in our live with our families, whatever. That is something that humans have had to learn how to curb a little bit over, over time, as civilization has grown, because it doesn’t serve us as well as it once did. Life is much more nuanced now. We need to have other reactions than fight or flight. 

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