I’ve talked before about collaboration and how key it is in today’s business world. However…
the first step is turning off your fight-mode!
Just like many others these days, I’ve been binging on great TV shows and movies. I’ve been learning a lot. I have made a point to watch as diverse content as I possibly can access. Content from different countries, in different languages, settings, and genres. From simple comedies to d
eep historical dramas. As I was watching, I noticed… Our default setting is on fight-mode.
Fignt-mode isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
If it wasn’t for our instinct to fight, many of us wouldn’t be here. Why? Well, we are the sons and daughters of those who gave
their lives fighting for the things they believed in. Whether that meant fighting a wild beast that was trying to prey on a village, or a tyrannic king, or a revolutionary army… We are programmed to fight from our basic animal instinct of survival and mating, to the most sophisticated schemes of social organization. We fight the competition for an audience, project, or market-share. But we also fight the competition with other women and men for social attention, a partner, and even food. Much of this, without noticing that our language, and our approach is: to”fight”.
Fight-mode is also our driving force.
On the offside of things, not-fighting makes us settle for the status quo. Many of us have been guilty of over-indulging on what others want, think, or need to avoid conflict. It seems like having so many centuries of wars, conflicts, and revolutions have also made many of us hungry for peace. But at what cost? So… Not stepping up and defending what we want and believe could also be a downside. But there is quite a difference between defending and “fighting for” what we believe.
Turning off your fight-mode.
So what does this look like then? Would it leave us vulnerable to let go of our fight-mode? Does it make us weak? Would it turn us into sheep just following the trends or a given leader? No! What I’m saying here, is that it’s time for us to stop finding enemies everywhere. That’s what fight-mode entails. It means that you need to annihilate, control, or disappear others from your path in order to stay in it.
As I mentioned some lines above, we are historically programmed to fight. Especially men. Even when men traditionally had to be ready to take a weapon and attack or defend themselves and their property, we are now asking them to put down weapons. After centuries of men hunting and killing, we are asking them to share their feelings. Generation after generation of numbing men of the painful memories of the battle, and turning them into epic stories and poems, we are pushing for peace.
And it is also valid for women. Centuries of being attacked, oppressed, and dominated by men turned on our fight-mode to default. Fighting was key for survival, but we also started fighting each other. Why? Because we had to provide for our kids, when resources were scarce. We also had to find a suitable husband that could care for us and our family, or preserve our family’s property. You had to prove yourself to be better, prettier, more worthy of attention and devotion than the others.
Collaboration may not seem natural, but it’s always been there.
Even though our fight-mode is on, turning off your fight-mode can actually come in a more natural way than many would think. Just as we have kept our fight-mode on, there is also a intrinsic lesson engraved in history. We may have been fighting each other for centuries, but we have learned that we need a team. Even our biggest heroes have had to rely on their armies, allies, or families and successors to really triumph. Even though we’ve been suspicious of the “other”, our tribes have been our strength.
The stretch that we must do in our current mindset is to delete the concept of the “other”, and see our community and tribe as the whole of humanity, and furthermore, as the whole of creation. Can you do it?
Try it for just a second. Find all the commonalities that connect you to the person you may dislike, distrust, or maybe know the least about. Think about someone in any random country that you’ve never heard of before. Now, try to learn a little bit about their culture, country, tradition, economy. Notice the things they share with you. If you can’t find anything, go back to the basics. They wake up, breathe, eat, work, sleep, etc. Take it a step further, and notice how you’re similar to a plant, an animal, our planet, etc.
What difference does it make?
Why would you want to work on turning off your fight-mode? Because it’s so draining! It derails your energy, your attention, and all of resources into what others are doing, as opposed to what you want to achieve. It’s not longer a time to conquer and expand your territory or your wealth. Now is the time to learn, increase your value and contributions, build alliances, and expand your vision and your scope of action. The language you use to talk about your success, says a lot. It is no longer about dominion, but about a coordinated, complicit, collaborative survival. This implies thinking about others, but not about how they affect or hurt you. Turning off your fight-mode, allows you so see how you can complement, add, and integrate into other people’s vision of growth and success.
Now is the time for working on your mindset, and being mindful of where your actions, habits, and trauma come from. There is a lot we have piled up throughout centuries of status quo. But we can all see the changes in our worldview. It’s not magic, history does repeat, but human beings are not the same anymore. The more prepared you are for these changes, the better your chances of finding and building more purposeful success.