Fight or flight is a normal human response to situations we perceive as threatening. It served us well for a hundred thousand years (plus). It’s part of how we survived as a species.

The fight response is about making ourselves as big and powerful as possible and getting ready to do battle with the sabre-tooth cat.

The flight response is about running as fast as we can from the same cat.

In today’s modern world, however, THERE IS NO CAT.

Our perception of what is a threatening situation is different from our evolutionary past; however, the physiological response is still the same. [1] These days work pressure, relationship difficulties and running late for a meeting or appointment can trigger a fight or flight response. Yet these events are not life-threatening.

This begs the question, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”

I acknowledge there are still situations today that are life-threatening. This blog is not about those situations. For more on working with trauma in coaching see my thoughts here.