Start Developing The Mindset Of A Survivor. Psychology of Survival

How To Start Developing The Mindset Of A Survivor.

The Psychology of Survival

Psychology of Survival and it’s Nemesis

There is something that makes some people stand out as survivors. Whether it is the person who comes out smelling of roses every time something goes wrong at work or school, or the young girl who is the only person from a group who survived a plane crash in a rain forest who found help and survived. This relates to the “Psychology of Survival.”

psychology of a survivor

What Goes on in the mind of a survivor. The psychology of a survivor

I am not going to go into any great depth in this short article, when all books have been written on the subject and still not fully tackled the issue. What I have tried to do here is show some of the traits that survivors have shown. They are general traits that people have shown but they are traits in someone’s personality or thinking that can make a difference. This is not just in a survival situation, it could be at work, school or a bush craft course. By taking a honest reflection on Who we are and how we perform we can then work towards changing our approach and thought patterns in a given situation. I have tried to put an opposite to the traits and called it the Nemesis. It is the bad guy sitting on your shoulder whispering the wrong thing into your ear.

To change and develop a set of traits is not easy it is hard, it is tough looking at yourself and finding areas to improve. But it can be done with grit and determination. You will become more empowered to be a survivor in more areas of your life.

Positive Attitude.

I hate this as a term and it is mentioned ad nauseam in every survival book, Scout manual, survival video, and wilderness class. It is often seen as a cliché, “Be positive and your thoughts will become a reality.” That is nonsense but our mental outlook is of utmost importance. A Positive Mental Attitude is essential if you are going to survive.

I would put my neck on the line and say, it is a critical survival priority When you are in any difficult situation of any kind, being positive can have a huge impact on your outcomes and how you go about achieving them in the face of adversity. However, it is also one of the hardest skills to master.

The best way is to try and be aware of how you are feeling and the questions being asked inside your head. When you are struggling and that little voice says, “Why are you bothering, you are wasting your time.” Say you are going to achieve and finish what you started. Then when you finish tell yourself what an achievement, and you did it. It isn’t easy but by focusing on improving this area of your life you will increase you quality of life overall and improve your mood.

Positive Attitudes Nemesis: Pessimism

A pessimist will always focus on the bad side of a situation and often feel overwhelmed, for them the glass is always half empty. You will have met people like this, they drain you of enthusiasm. Be aware of what you say to yourself and others, try to stay as positive as you can. Remember “You Can Do It.”

Mental Toughness

This isn’t about who can do the most push ups or run the fastest mile, this is about how you deal with it when the going gets tough. Again, what goes on in your head. We’re talking about the strength of your will and the toughness of your mind. Being mentally tough, is learning to tolerate the intolerable, getting past the point where most give up and going the extra mile. I have seen many people start tasks being macho stating they are strong and mean. Then when faced with a difficult task, they give up. You have it in you to achieve your goals remember the only time you fail is if you stop and give up.

Mental Toughness Nemesis : Declining Mental Capacity

I am sure it is no surprise to hear that, it is uncommon for someone in a disaster or emergency to retain 100 percent of his normal mental capacity. They may be fatigued, injured, dehydrated, tired, and emotional stressed, do to their circumstances.

This will cause most people to become a become weaker mentally. Stay focused, set small achievable goals, try and see the funny side of things and be realistic about what you can achieve, in any give time period. Do whatever you can to avoid “shutting down” or giving in.


What motivates a person to stay alive when everything has gone wrong? This can vary from person to person many survival stories speak of the survivors religious beliefs providing motivation and hope. Other survivors have told of their family, friends, and loved ones being a motivation to them. Ask your self what would motivate you to stay alive in a survival emergency? It’s doesn’t matter what it is, we are all different. I was once attacked at work I knew if I went to the floor I knew I would never get back up. I had thoughts of my children and I was certain I was seeing them again. Later I was told I was being beaten with bricks and the doctors didn’t know how I stayed stood up. What ever motivates you can literally be the difference between life and death.

Motivations Nemesis : Hopelessness

Hopelessness is the poison of motivation. If you feel hopeless you are in a bad place. Remember what is important to you, keep those memories at hand when you are ready to give up or you start feeling helpless

Work Ethic

One’s work ethic is a major factor in the psychology of survival. I see it all the time and I am sure you have for some people they won’t work hard or try their best. Luckily for these lazy people, their work ethic can be built up over time, just like any other skill.

Through experience they will hopefully learn that it is always worth trying your best when you get a chance. You might not get a second chance.

To be a survivor you need to have a strong work ethic and be able to stick with the “job” until it is done.

Work Ethics Nemesis: Laziness

People often believe being lazy and always seeking the easiest path will give you an easy life. A mentor of mine once (no repeatedly) said 90% of the work is done by 10% of the people. Be in the first group…there is less competition.


Being able to adapt and survival have always gone hand in hand. Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest. It wasn’t about how strong the plants or animals were it was about how they adapted to the changes in the environment. It could have been the theory of the adaptable. The ones that could not adapt to a changing environment died out. To be a survivor you must be able to adapt to changing events, situations, and environments. It is a skill well worth working on, take time to learn to recognize the things that are worth continuing and the things that need to be abandoned.

Adaptability Nemesis : Stubbornness

There are times when we need to dig you heels in and be stubborn. But more often than not, stubbornness will cause you problems, it is often a refusal to adapt. Most people who are stubborn know it they, it is then a question of can they use it only in circumstances where it is beneficial.

Don’t be afraid to change.

If something is not working, change it up.

Don’t be stubborn it could kill you or someone else.

These are all psychological points. relating to the psychology of survival. However they can be helpful in many situations whether at work or at home during leisure time. It is best to take a good look at yourself now than wait until you are in a dangerous or life or death situation.

Remember. “Do what you have always done and you will get what you have always got.”



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