Exploring Our Basic Reactions; Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Fawn

Exploring Our Basic Reactions; Fight , Flight, Freeze, and Fawn

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In our world today, it’s quite common to feel overwhelmed by the demands and pressures of life. When we encounter stress, our responses often stem from ingrained survival instincts known as the Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Fawn reactions. These automatic responses originating from our history can influence how we deal with situations without us even realizing it.

Breaking Down the Four Survival Mechanisms;

Fight: We could react with aggression by confronting the threat in an attempt to take charge.

Flight: Alternatively, our immediate reaction might be to escape, as a surge of adrenaline might compel us to flee the situation.

Freeze; There are times when we may feel paralyzed when faced with a threat— to a deer caught in headlights. This immobilization can act as a defense mechanism.

Fawn;. In an attempt to avoid conflict and keep the peace, we may choose to please others or avoid the problem altogether, even when we know it’s not the best thing to do.

How Can Coaching Shed Light on and Help You Change These Reactions?

The key to handling these reactions is cultivating awareness—a skill that coaching can greatly assist with.

As someone who specializes in coaching leaders on emotional intelligence my role involves guiding individuals in understanding and adjusting their reactions to stress. Let me share how coaching can make a difference;

Recognizing Triggers: Through coaching, individuals learn to identify situations that trigger their responses. This self-awareness marks the step towards making changes.

Developing Emotional Regulation Skills; Together, we explore techniques such as mindfulness, deep breathing and cognitive reframing to help manage reactions to emotions.

Enhancing Self-Understanding: Coaching delves deeper into patterns, enabling individuals to comprehend not only their reactions but also the underlying reasons behind them. This awareness can lead to considerate actions.

Strengthening Relationships: By mastering communication and responses, individuals can engage with others effectively, nurturing relationships built on comprehension and mutual respect.

And so…

Although our Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Fawn instincts are responses, they don’t have to govern our behaviours. Coaching provides a way not only to become aware and comprehend these reactions but to leverage them positively for personal growth, improved relationships, and overall well-being.

Interested in learning more? Reach out for a free discovery call! You never know; you may learn something new about yourself and what it could feel like to take your development journey into your own hands!

What do you think? Share your stories. Let’s talk about how we can help each other improve emotional well-being and advance professionally.

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Beatrice Redi

Coach, mentor and leadership development