Examining fear and the origin of that primal threat detector in the brain is essential for understanding our barriers to achievement. If the most basic innate instinct is for survival, then in order to move past that instinct , one must become more self aware and discerning. It is helpful to recognize that unless the threat is truly life threatening, it is only a perceived fear or threat. Our brains and bodies are conditioned not to tell the difference between real and perceived. Therefore a perceived threat will constantly stimulate our brain and body to react to an over heightened state of stress. This long term effect of this fear and scarcity mindset has many negative repercussions.

Consider this. You work daily at your job while raising a family and juggling the high pressure responsibilities of managing daily tasks within a limited time schedule. You have to deal with traffic, work deadlines, children and partner demands, household maintenance and grocery shopping. All while being confined to a limited budget. An estimated 70% of the North American population lives paycheck to paycheck. That’s a lot of potential for daily perceived stress. Your mindset is one where your one thought is “just let me get through this day” Sound familiar? Congratulations. You are normal. But you are also are living in a survival mode.

Survival mode starts with a hyper stressed survival mode mindset. It is the internal response to external stimuli. It is based in fear because it utilizes the primitive amygdalin brain to operate. Its first purpose is for self preservation. But there are fears that go beyond fight or flight for survival. They carry on to our behavior in other ways. Fear based thinking leads to a scarcity mindset. One fears that they don’t have enough. Enough what? Enough everything needed to get out of survival mode. It may be not enough time, money, energy, help, confidence, willpower, resilience, love, health, optimism and on and on..

The most common behavior in survival mode is to take the path of least resistance -to avoid. This way one can evade the threat of fear, risks, negative outcomes and rejections. It is also the most common way to get stuck in this fixed way of thinking because its serves its primary purpose.- to self protect.

And the avoidance cycle goes on and on and on because the threat is always seemingly impending.

Conscious choosing is the path towards a shift in mindset. In order to break free from this conditioned fear/stress pattern , humans have the capacity to enlist there higher developed brains. The conscious , self aware, prefrontal neo cortex is capable of unlimited growth throughout our lives. The plasticity of this brain can learn and train new pathways every day. The key to engaging and activating this this part of the brain is practice. With practice and enlistment, one has the possibility to see opportunities for growth, gratitude ,curiosity and optimism and spirituality.

However, one cannot expect to shift from scarcity thinking to an abundance mindset overnight. That is the same as bench pressing 200lbs when you haven’t worked out before. A shift in mindset towards growth, thriving and abundance is another figurative muscle that needs to be trained gradually and with daily repetition.

So what is the best place to start?

With something small and light and not so self threatening.

Lets start with energy.
We all wish we had more energy. We often avoid tasks we fear demand too much mental energy to comprehend or physical energy to execute. Suppose for a moment that you had more energy. More mental energy to deal with frustration .. More mental energy to focus on work. More energy to learn something new. More energy to exercise . More energy to spend quality time with family. What would you do with it?
In order to harness more energy , let us explore in detail where our mental and physiological energy comes from and ways to drive our levels continually higher. This is the fuel for the thriving mindset that pushes ourselves to action. Stay tuned

What perceived scarcity fears are you most aware of that you would love to change? Please share