10 Signs That You Are In Survival Mode

We all experience highs and lows in our life. Moments where we are soaring and feel on top of the world. And moments where we come crashing down and life just feels too hard.

So what does it mean to be in SURVIVAL MODE? Very simply, it’s when you are just doing enough to keep going. When you are barely coping – if that. When you are just EXISTING in life.

Leaking bucketImagine you have a bucket with a number of holes in it. Your job is to fill that bucket to the brim with water. You keep on pouring the water in but it never fills up as the water just leaks out through the various holes. So you never make any progress. It’s a futile task – exhausting, frustrating and draining.

For some of us, this represents our current way of life. In fact, it has BECOME a way of life. You may have reached a point where you accept that it’s just the way things are until your business picks up, or you find a better paying job, or your child starts school, or your partner gets that promotion … But the reality is that the only virtual certainty you have is that if you don’t change anything, things will get progressively worse … until you burn out.

It’s a dangerous way of living for any extended period of time. Because not only will it eventually wear you out physically and emotionally, but it will ensure that you will never be at the top of your game. Not even close. Because all your energy is diverted to fighting fires that constantly flare up. There is little, if any, energy left to engage in positive, fulfilling and soul-enriching activities leading to learning, growth and forward momentum. The key to a happy life. To be able to THRIVE.

And the ripple effect? When you’re not at your best, you give less than your best to those you love around you. And more often than not, let’s be honest – it ends up being your worst!


So how do you know you are in SURVIVAL MODE? What are the signs to watch for?

Here are 10 key signs that you are in SURVIVAL MODE …

  1. Little things set you off and you over-react

You walk into the bathroom and notice that someone hasn’t flushed the toilet. You start yelling at your son/daughter/(partner (!!)) and punish them by taking away TV or Ipad privileges for the rest of the week!

Or you turn up at work and one of your colleagues comments on how tired you look and suggest you may like to try this new anti-ageing cream they’ve heard about on the market. You go to the ladies room and break down and cry.

You are hyper-sensitive to anything that doesn’t seem to go your way and your reactions are out of proportion to the event. You are either constantly irritable and snappy, tense and anxious, or angry and frustrated.

  1. You are always tired and have low energy levels.

It takes a real effort to summon up the energy to do anything when all you want to do is crawl into bed and stay there.

  1. You are getting sick more often or have head-aches and physical pain

SickIt seems that you are catching every cold, flu and other bug out there under the sun! And it takes so much longer for you to recover.

Your head-aches are recurring on a regular basis. Your neck, shoulders and back ache. You have digestive problems. It feels like your body is breaking down!

  1. You wake up in the morning feeling stressed and with a tight feeling in your stomach and chest …

… which sets the mood and tone for the rest of your day as it continues on a downward spiral. It’s like a domino effect as one bad thing seems to set off another … You redefine the meaning of the phrase ‘Bad things happen in three’s!’

  1. You find it hard to sleep

Nothing seems to work – counting sheep, relaxing music … And when you do finally fall asleep, you have these disturbing and bizarre dreams. And you wake up feeling more tired than the day before … which sets the mood and tone for the rest of your day … See Point 4!

  1. You experience panic attacks or constant anxiety

Your chest tightens up, you start to shallow breathe, you lose all perspective and start to cry. Nothing anyone might say is comforting to you.

You think of the worst case scenario and expend your energy on the ‘what if’s.

  1. You have a lack of passion or interest in anything

You can’t remember the last time you were enthusiastic or even felt a real interest in something. You just go through the motions without any feeling of satisfaction or fulfilment. Passion is a foreign word in your dictionary.

  1. You have zero ‘me time’

There’s never enough time in the day. It seems like you are constantly firefighting. You can’t remember the last time you had any precious time on your own! You want to be there for everyone but it’s never enough.

  1. Your memory and focus/concentration levels are poor

Memory … what memory?! And don’t even get me started on focus and concentration …! You know that there is no such thing as multi-tasking and how ineffective it is but you do it anyway!!!

  1. Everything is a REACTION

You feel at the mercy of everything and everyone. You feel like a table tennis ball being bounced back and forth over the net. There is no time or energy for being proactive. You feel out of control.


If any of the above is YOU right now, don’t despair. As the first step is RECOGNISING that you are in survival mode. Which is just what we’ve done.

And the next step is to acknowledge and accept that the situation won’t fix itself. That you will need to TAKE ACTION that is DIFFERENT to what you are doing now to get you out of this.

And here’s the good news. It’s not as difficult as you might think … if you know the right tools, strategies and techniques to use.

And if you know that you’ll struggle to do this on your own, you might want to think about getting someone external to your situation to show you what these tools, techniques and strategies are … and to keep you accountable, on track and moving forwards until you can do this on your own.

So if you haven’t already, make sure you download the 4 Reasons You Can’t Break The Cycle Of Negativity And Self-Doubt


Or if you’re ready to take that first courageous leap, I’d love to hear from you now.


Drawing upon my extensive coaching and life experience, I’m here to help you finally take off the mask, get unstuck … get to grips with the real you and become unstoppable. Be YOU. Do YOU. For YOU. Read More…

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