Momentum Podcast: 156
Escaping Flight Or Fight
by Alex Charfen
Last week, I had massive, overwhelming anxiety. Here's why, I was sick. I was actually sick from before the 1st of July, until about Saturday or Sunday, so over seven days.
Entrepreneurs are evolutionary hunters. We are propelled forward and driven to seek momentum. Evolutionary hunters are driven forward and compelled to seek momentum.
We are physiologically sensitive momentum base beings that are highly reactive to constraint. When we feel constrained our bodies can go into fight or flight mode.
This can cause us to operate at a fraction of our capabilities. If you don't feel like you are there, congratulations. Unfortunately too many entrepreneurs exist in some level of fight or flight.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is The Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creatives of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo. We are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate. There could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters. Clearly, the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.
Escaping fight or flight.
In order to dive into this topic, first, I want you to understand what I believe about you if you're listening to my podcast and especially what I believe about you if you buy into the concept, the theory, the reality of the evolutionary hunter. For those of you who haven't heard it before and if you want a quick recap, that's the theory, the fact that there's a small percentage of the population that you and I are in that is driven to get up every day and improve the world, be in momentum, create a new future, go out into the future, see what's there, create something better, then come back to the present and make it real. Would you agree that you're one of those people? Maybe it wasn't always like that. Maybe it was for you. But here's what I know about people like us, once the switch goes on, we can't turn it off. We don't know why anyone would want to. You heard me say that before. Because we are driven to go, to create, to achieve, to make things happen, to make things in a new way, to make the world a better place.
Now here's the challenge, that natural drive we have is evolutionary hunters to get every day and go on the hunt can actually work against us. Because as evolutionary hunters, we are more sensitive than most. We are more connected than most. We are more physiologically aware than most. What happens is when we get into a place where we are driving ourselves on a daily basis, when we get into a place where we're feeling constraint, when we get into a place where we're feeling overwhelmed, we can get into that place where it's fight or flight every day.
I had a friend of mine contact me over the weekend about this. He's in a place where he's gotten major investment in his company from people that he knows, from people that he cares about. He has put a lot of people on the hook for what he's doing. He's wife recently had a baby. He is completely and fundamentally overwhelmed with everything that's going on. His business is going well, but it's not going as well as he wants it to. There's just too much going on, and it got to the point where he's having panic attacks.
I pause here for a second because this is a universal condition with entrepreneurs. If you haven't had a panic attack yet, congratulations, you will. Because every entrepreneur I've ever worked with at any level soon or later has come to me and has admitted to a panic attack or has told me they've had a panic attack or has asked for help with this. Here's what it feels like. It's that feeling that grips you when you're doing something that you shouldn't be worried about or shouldn't even have a weird feeling about. It can happen to me when I'm walking out to the car. I all of a sudden this feeling of like struggle and pressure and noise and constraint and things just aren't going well. Out of nowhere I can go from feeling okay to feeling completely overwhelmed. When you have a ton going on in your life like my friend does, it can feel like that the entire day. You can be in and out of this overwhelming struggle to feel okay, to feel like you're not panicking, and then going right back into that feeling of being disconnected and accelerated and heart palpitations.
Entrepreneurial panic is very real, and when we get ourselves into fight or flight, this reaction, this reactivity that can save us, fundamentally works against us. What happens is when we're in fight or flight for too long, we start to wear out the adrenals. When we're in fight or flight for too long, our body sees it as the new stasis. When we're in fight of flight for too long, when we're agitated, restless, accelerated for too long, that just becomes where we are, and it can start breaking us down. We can start to feel physiologically exhausted. That feeling of being in fight or flight for too long, of being accelerated for too long starts to feel like we're carrying around weights, like you're running through molasses, like you just can't get the momentum you want. That feeling of being in fight or flight cognitively, it can make it so we don't make good decisions. Our thinking gets cluttered. We get brain fog. We can't see the next step. We get overwhelmed by things that normally wouldn't overwhelm us.
Here's the big one, you stay in fight or flight for too long and it will chemically effect you. You will actually feel the chemical symptoms of fight or flight. The acceleration, disconnection, the feeling of depression, the feeling of frustrating, the feeling of just not being all there, the brain fog, the irritation, the reactivity that we have to the people around us all can be symptoms of being caught in fight or flight.
's the problem, this is an evolutionary survival instinct. Survival. I want you to hear that. Fight or flight is an instinct that creates our survival evolutionarily. This instinct, to become reactive, to become hyper-aware, to become engaged, to have the adrenaline going, all saved us when the wooly mammoths started chasing us. The problem is that today there is no wooly mammoth. Most of the time what we are running from, frustrated from, accelerated from is not a real life or death threat. Now, let me make it clear, sometimes it is. Then fight or flight works exactly as it's supposed to. But the problem is our body perceives the stressors that we're under. It perceives the pressure and noise that we react to in an evolutionary way. So when we react in a very big way to something, our body automatically thinks we are in life or death danger and it triggers the fight or flight syndrome.
This acceleration, this disconnection, this adrenal packed, thyroid packed feeling of being pushed forward and being hyper-reactive and hyper-aware actually works for us when something's actually threatening us. But when it isn't, it just keeps us on edge and feeling ramped up and feeling revved up and maybe even over revved. We feel like we're redlining ourselves on a daily basis. Everything that was getting overwhelming before, the conditions, the situation, the things in our life that originally put us into fight or flight just feel more dramatic.
So how do you get out? Well, I did this podcast for a reason. Because this weekend, I walked my friend out of fight or flight by giving him some simple resources we have to quickly, physiologically and cognitively get you out of this syndrome because once your body is in fight or flight, it's very hard to calm it using your mind alone. I'm going to say that again because there's a lot of practitioners and professionals and people to there who will tell you, "Oh, you just need to meditate." I disagree. Respectfully. But if you're accelerated and ramped up and you're getting heart palpitations and your mind's going crazy and you're not mind, body connected, and you sit down to meditate, it's going to be the most frustrating thing in the world you've ever done. Because until we can get you slowed down a little bit, until we can pull you down off the ceiling, until we can make it so that you can actually breath without feeling uncomfortable, the suggestion of meditation doesn't make sense.
So the first suggestion I have for you to get out of fight or flight and not go back into it is to drink water. I know that this may seem weird or counterintuitive but when you look at every species on the planet, every species, when they enter fight or flight, they stop drinking water. When they're agitated, accelerated, upset, frustrated, they stop drinking water. If you think you're any different, you're wrong. Human beings, 75% to 85% of us are dehydrated. We're not drinking enough water. We're already experiencing the physiological challenge of not taking on enough resources. So when we start drinking water, we push our body physiologically out of fight or flight. If you look at the last 200 years ... Yeah, really the last 150 years of research on water, what you'll find is a whole bunch of talking about how much water you need with your prescriptions. But if you look at water throughout history, in the last 6,000 years, you'll get all of recorded history and how many different experiments and discoveries and awareness's there were around water, water was a way to connect mind and body, to cure disease, to make us feel better, to make us to get rid of depression, to reconnect us to ... It was using pheromones, it was using in so many different ways that now we just ignore because if something's wrong, we take a pill.
But the first thing that we do to get out of fight or flight and the easiest way to get out of fight or flight is to go grab a huge glass of water and drink it because here's what happens, when you're in fight or flight, your body will not trigger you to drink water. It's a survival instinct. We don't take on resources when we're in a life or death situation. Because it could slow you down. So what we do is we go get a big glass of water, drink it, and show our body we are not in a fight or flight situation. We show our body it is not in a life or death situation by drinking water.
So first things first, if you're in fight or flight and you want to escape it, if you've felt reactive, if you felt like you're overreacting, you're not getting what you want to get done, you're not putting yourself out there like you want to, you're holding yourself back in any way, it could all be fight or flight. So step one is start drinking water and drink more than you think you need to. Go to GetThirstyNow.com. Take my 10 day natural thirst challenge. GetThirstyNow.com. I can't tell you how many people have said that that free 10 day challenge has completely and totally changed not just how they drink water but their entire life. When you're fully hydrated and fully connected and taking care of your body, you would be shocked at how much more you feel, how much more you see, how much more aware you are, and how much better you can see the future. For people like you and I, that's the most critical talent we have. We literally are the people who go into the future, create it, make it happen, think about it being like it should be, come back to the present, and then make it real.
So first, water.
As you start drinking and you hydrate, you'll see that the fight or flight starts to subside, that you actually start to get back into your body, that you start to feel a little bit better. Then the next step, once you've hydrated, once you've gone to GetThirstyNow.com, and gone through the 10 day natural thirst challenge. In fact, if you're feeling reactive or accelerated or any of that right now, stop what you're doing and go drink 16 ounces or more of water. I like to get up towards 25 or 30, but go hyper-hydrate. Drink like you mean it. Human beings are the only species in the planet that have taught ourselves to sip. Have you ever seen a dog sip water? Have you ever seen any animal sip water? We're the only ones who do it. So go drink and escape fight or flight. Push yourself out of this syndrome that keeps us so trapped, so reactive, so in place.
Now the next suggestion that I gave to my friend and I want to share for you exactly what I gave him because it's already working. It's already helping him. He's already felt his feet come back to the ground out of the full panic that he was in. He's already starting to feel the momentum that you will feel too. The next suggestion is when you get up in the morning, stop going. Don't just run. Don't just keep pushing yourself. Don't just go to the next step, the next thing, the next place you're going to be, don't just keep running because what happens is when we get up and start reacting to the world, when we get up and start driving ourselves through the world, we do not take the time to activate our body and get ready for the day. So I want you to slow down in the mornings and do one thing. Before you take on the day, before you go do anything else, before you go take over the world like you want to, go through a morning routine.
I brought it up in this podcast multiple times, but I talked to podcast listeners all the time who don't have a morning routine, and they always say, "Oh, yeah. I'll get around to it," or, "I have one, but it's not written down," or, "I've really been thinking about it," or, "I kind of use one." Well, none of those are acceptable answers because until your first hour of your day is your best hour of the day, you are risking getting back into fight or flight. When you get up in the morning and you physiologically tell your body there's a panic, it will respond and believe you. So if you're jumping to of bed and checking email and going through stuff and there's no routine, no way to physiologically, cognitively, and chemically activate your body. If you're not taking care of breathing, hydration, nutrition, and movement before you get started with your day, you are going to be in a fight or flight mode and you are getting less of yourself than you could.
So if you're ready for a new morning routine and you want to start actually putting your progress and your abilities where they count and getting as much as you can out of yourself, I've got another download for you. Go to Morning.Charfen.com, and download my morning routine. It's been scientifically created and tested for over 20 years to get you physiologically, cognitively, and chemically activated and ready to go. What that will do is it will also push you out of the fight or flight mode. It will get you grounded and aware and ready to take on the day. If you don't have time to build a morning routine, that's okay. I've put thousands of hours into mine. It's a single sheet of paper. It's almost embarrassing. I've spent that much time on a single sheet output. However, the hundreds of entrepreneurs that have used exactly my routine and come back to me and told me that it is life changing, have made it worth it.
I'm a slow learning, but when I finally get there, the output is pretty good. So go to Morning.Charfen.com and check it out.
Then the last thing that I think every entrepreneur should do and it's part of the morning routine, but I want to share it outright with you is that all of us should be getting up in the morning and going out for a walk before we do anything else. If you believe this statement, "Entrepreneurs are physiologically sensitive, momentum based beings that are highly reactive to constraint," then you owe it to yourself to get up and take the primal walk every morning that will activate your system. It'll activate your neurology. It will get you mind, body connected. It will flush the lymphatic system. It will circulate the fluids in your body. It will get your circulation going. It will help you feel more alive, more awake, and more ready to take on the day. It only takes 20 minutes. If you go to PrimalFoot.com, you will discover how going on a primal walk every morning for just 20 minutes will completely change your life.
You know, it's funny, I share that I work with Alex and Leila Hormozi all the time on this podcast. In fact, I was with them this weekend. They're relocating to Austin. We can't wait to have them here. I'm so pumped. When I first met Alex and Leila, I had this conversation with Leila. I said, "Leila, there's something really important I want to talk to you about. I think it's going to be big for you growing this business, Gym Launch," which by the way I think they're over $20 million run right now. They're just it's incredible. They are reshaping the entire gym industry. I remember telling Leila, "So, Leila, what I want you to do is get up in the morning and go for a walk." Now, if you met Alex and Leila, you would see why this might be kind of funny because the two of them look like they walk off the stage at a fitness competition. If there was anybody who should be running Gym Launch, the business is going to reset the world of gyms and fitness, it's the two of them. They so look the part. But when you look like a human anatomy sculpture, normally somebody tells you to go walking, that's a little less intense than what you're used to.
But I was resolute. I explained to Leila how important the walks were and how physiologically it calms the body. It will create awareness. It will help her see how to grow this business, understand how to operate the company, and she did it because she trusts me. Within three days, I got a message from her that said, "Hey, Alex. These morning walks are a real game changer. I feel calmer. I feel more connected. You're right. I can get more done." So go to PrimalFoot.com, and check it out because if you're not doing this now, you should be. There's a free report there that'll give you all the information on why this morning walk is a complete and total game changer.
So if you're an entrepreneur who's felt a little overwhelmed lately, if you're an entrepreneur who's been in the place where you feel like there's been too much going on, you're a little too reactive, you're not really in the level of control that you want to be. If you're an entrepreneur who you know you're not doing everything you want to do, you're not doing what you should do, you're missing things, it could all be because you're in fight or flight. I want you to escape it. So these three things work: water, routine, and getting out for a walk to physiologically reset your body. Anyone that I've given them to has had a life changing experience, and if you're sitting there right now thinking, "How can something this simple make such a big different," it's interesting how often it's the little things that change everything for us. So go to those three URLs. GetThirstyNow.com, Morning.Charfen.com, and PrimalFoot.com. Download the reports. Use all three of them and I want you to let me know did it actually help you. Did you feel the reactivity draining out of your body? If you go grab a glass of water right now and you drink it like you mean it, you actually hyper-hydrate, you will see just how crucial and just how game changing this discipline can be.
So I want thank you for spending this time with me, and if you're one of those people who has been in a situation where you know you've been too reactive, if you've been in a place where you know you're not doing everything you want, if you've been in a place where you're just not getting the results you want, it could be the evolutionary fight or flight instinct that has kept us around for millennia, but it might be working against you, here's your chance to change it now.
Thanks for being with me today.