We go into a fight or flight mode too often and don’t know what to do. What are the steps I’ve taken over the last year to start eliminating the question or distraction of having to figure out what I do next? As opposed to my mind, body, and champions mindset just taking over.
What is fight or flight? Here is a real quick definition online. What happens during a fight or flight response? In response to acute stress, the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated by the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system then stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering catecholamines’ release, which includes adrenal and non-adrenal glands.
Here’s the story behind why I’m talking about this. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been in Costa Rica for family and business. Out of Costa Rica came being knocked out of a raft into a level four rapid. We’re probably not having the conversation if I wasn’t wearing a helmet at this point. When they asked me to go for wheeling a few days before I left, I said, I think I’ll sit this one out. I’ve Costa Rica thrown a lot at me. I’m coming out on the other end, but I’m not going to stress or take the chance of hopping out of oil.
Our captain that day went through all the measurements we needed to understand to be safe, work as a team, and have fun. I call it our roadmap to success. What did he go over? He first made sure all of our gear was on and why we were wearing our gear. Then he goes over how to properly row, how to sit properly, and where to sit. When he gives a command, where we need to go, whether we get in their hunker down, on the edge of the boat, the raft, or on the inside. Where we’re leaning, who we were supposed to follow here in first, second, or third position, right or left when he would give the commands. One of the most important things which came true, that was the only person that day and a two raft, and we had six plus a captain in each raft; what happens if you fall out of the raft, unintentionally. that was me. He sits there, and he goes through the measurements. He sits there and says, “Listen, if you go in, the first thing that you want to think about, and you don’t want to panic.” He says then you want to get flat like a burrito and roll and have your arms down. If your feet are in front of you, and they’re kind of in a locked position. If you get pushed into another boulder, it will help push off you, so you don’t just ram into it. You want to see if you can get your surroundings going. Have your arms, and then if you’re able to look up and keep yourself in a flat burrito position, see if you are around the raft to grab onto the rock back to the rope on the boat.
He starts giving instructions to the team on the insert that would be inside the raft and how they need to position themselves, and how you need to make sure that you’re not fighting against them. The worst thing that could happen is you bring someone else in the water with you. Again, fight or flight like you’re freaking out. The people inside the boat are taught that if this person’s flailing about, they will be a danger to everyone else on the boat. You leave them. I get that. The survival of the many is more than the survival of the one.
I’m in the boat, and we’re going is we’re at a level four spot. I feel my leverage, and where my two feet were jammed, we weren’t going to hold on, and suddenly how the boat kind of veet and then popped up. Suddenly, it was like slow-mo, and everyone said, “did you want to go in?” I’m like, “No, I didn’t want to go in.” I just start slowly going back. I had nothing to grab on to, and I was out.
Now at this point, we have picture proof of this, and a photographer taking just happened to be taking pictures at this section. The first picture you see is my foot in the air. The next one, you see me a little bit more me, but all the faces in the boat. They got me back in the raft. They followed the exact instruction as I had done, and everything took over because we listened to our captain. We listened to our leader. That was the big difference that day. I didn’t flip out during it. It was afterward when I started playing it through my mind that worried me.
Here are the steps that I believe helped me. I surround myself with the right people. Just today, as I’m recording this, I had a conversation with a business partner. They mentioned the changes that I had made over the last three years and the impact that it’s made. I’m just looking at the body of work over the last three to five months. I say to them that was all that I’ve done over the last three-plus years was all leaning up to me at that point that I could take on what I do today. What does that mean? As I said before, I surround myself with the right people, and I got rid of the wrong people. I started leading by example and stopped asking for permission.
I got world-renowned coaches that work with me and my companies. If you’ve been listening, I’m not joking when I say world-renowned. These people are the cornermen and work with Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Elton John, Bano, and so many more. I changed when I ate and how much water I took in, and the amount of physical activity I did each day. I learned how to have direct conversations without bringing a charge to them. I won, I lost, and I exited the company as one of 12 owners, with over 500 employees and doing over 2 billion a year.
When it came to fight or flight, it wasn’t a question. I didn’t have to think about it. The champion’s mindset that we’ve talked about before from Dr. Jeff Spencer just happened. I didn’t have to think about it. It’s like, I don’t have to think that I want to eat when I wake up. I don’t have to think I should brush my teeth. It just happens.
I want you to stop right now. Hit pause, do something. I want you to sit there and write out what are you doing today that you weren’t doing five months ago that is making you and those around you better? If the answer is nothing, this podcast and the Success Finder might not be for you. Now, if the answer is nothing, but today, I’m going to make that change. Reach out to me, and I’ll get you that accountability person, that right group, the coach, or the mastermind. You don’t have to be a coach to reach out to me on the Success Finder. The resources to get you to where you want to go from your current location are available.
“Surround yourself with the right people and get rid of the wrong people.” – Brandon Straza
“Lead by example and stop asking for permission.” – Brandon Straza
“You don’t have to be a coach to reach out to me on the success finder, but the resources that are there, to get you to where you want to go from your current location are available.” – Brandon Straza
You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can move beyond your limits.