Last night during some local celebrations we
attended, there was a fireworks display. I
remember loving fireworks as a child and finding
them so exciting, I even remember the feeling of
my stomach fluttering with excitement as we sat
waiting for the show to start and the joy of
leaning my head back and smiling from the sheer
fun of it all.
Last night, I held my little boy tightly on my
knee and told him we would see lovely colours in
the sky. I sat it was a big noise but that it was
pretty, like magic lights.
And then the fireworks started.
His little body went stiff and he started to cry.
I explained that it was just noise but to look at
the lovely colors, the bright lights.
He said no, no, stop it…I don’t want it…stop
And then he started to squirm and get more and
more upset until he was quite hysterical.
So, how do you turn them off, how do you stop a
He started to struggle as I held him firmly and
tried to talk to him to calm him down. There was
terror in his eyes but what really amazed me was
that he was trying to run away. A three year old
child, in unfamiliar surroundings full of people
that he didn’t know, still had the survival
instinct to run away from danger. He didn’t try
to hide behind me or to cover his eyes, he was
trying to run.
It made me think about how deep our survival
instincts live within us and wonder how this
instinct shows up in our day to day life. How
often are we prepared to run from danger, or do we
simply cover our eyes or hide?
Do survival instincts kick in only in the face of
What about the situations that we face that may
not be dangerous, but certainly are not good for
us? The relationships that hurt us, the roles in
life that we play that limit us, the negative
thought patterns that constrain us and stop us
reaching our potential.
I wonder is there a way for us to nurture and
develop our survival instincts so that they can
protect us from these kinds of dangers.
So next time you have the thought that you’re just
not good enough, thin enough, fat enough or smart
enough… whoosh, your survival instinct will
stop you in your tracks and tell you that you
really are wonderful and definitely more than
Or next time your kids, partner, stranger or your
manager answer back to you, speak to you in a
sassy, rude way and tell you that your views don’t
matter…..boom, your survival instinct will have
you speak up and make your views and your strength
clear to them.
Next time your parent, child, partner or friend
don’t respect your values and make you feel small,
powerless and voiceless….crash, your survival
instinct will help you stand tall and speak out so
that you make your greatness shine.
So, shine on those survival instincts. My little
boy needed to run to get away from something that
scared him. I held him close, tried to calm him
and when this didn’t work, I grabbed him in my
arms and ran with him as far away as we could get
until he calmed down. He made me listen to his
survival instincts and get him away from there.
Who are the people that you need to hear you so
they can help you grow to your greatest height,
stretch to your furthest limits. Are you
letting your survival instincts help you be the
greatest version of you. If not, well, today is
the best day to start!