The base of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is made up of what he considers our human basic needs; the physiology needs like water, food, warmth and rest and our security needs. Without these basic needs being met, there will be a sense of disorder in our lives. We may have our physiology needs met – but if innately we do not feel safe, we can never be truly free to express ourselves, be vulnerable, be loved or as Maslow puts it, attain self-actualisation.
So, I pose a simple question for you that may or may not have simple ramifications. Are you safe?
When we meet people who have fears, phobias, anxiety, worry, depression, self-doubt, or a need for control we often find a deep-rooted lack of safety. Even when the person is physically safe in their present moment, the unconscious mind is working overtime to protect, secure and keep the person safe.
This safety mechanism occurs in many ways. The most common are excess physical weight, anxiety, fears and hypervigilance when no vigilance is needed.
Parents who are overprotective are often missing internal safety themselves. Unfortunately, our children are continually learning from us, so not while we may be keeping our children safe we are teaching them to be overprotective of themselves and others. Ultimately, we cultivate the cycle to be stronger and repeated over time.
If safety is a basic need, where does it come from and where does it go?
Let’s look at our ancestors, all the way back to caveman days to just a few generations ago. My guess is that they were on-guard much of their lives. Looking out for wild animals, neighbouring villages, hostile allies, keeping their families, goods and properties safe. An ongoing need to be aware of immediate dangers would be enough to trigger our innate fight or flight response, constantly turning on our amygdala – engaging our adrenaline, cortisol levels to be ‘on guard’.
Now, for most of us, we don’t have immediate danger within our present situation. However, we have the capacity and function to fight or flight at any moment. Our brain is wired to seek safety first, ask questions last.
If you have been in situations in the past where you physical or emotional safety was under threat – even if for a moment or a perceived moment, this could be enough to trigger and create a program of constantly seeking safety. Luckily, when you learn NLP you will be gaining a variety of tools to reset your levels of safety and security, allowing your unconscious mind to relax and let you be safe without having to be on-guard all the time.
Can you imagine what it would be like to simply feel safe, knowing that there is no imminent danger? Most likely, your choices will expand, your security will increase, confidence will boost and you will be able to step into a sense of freedom and ease that you’ve only dreamed about. By clearing unconscious patterns and boosting resources with NLP, you will be able to have this life. Finally, and forever. Safe.