This is the second in a short series that I’m doing on the SCARF Model “Status”, which is developed by David Rock. And it’s all about understanding Primary Threats and how we can get a big Stress Response from different triggers.

By labelling the triggers, we’re able to manage our emotions much more effectively because we’re using our Prefrontal Cortex, our thinking brain, rather than allowing our Limbic Brain to charge up and give us an “Emotional Hijack,” where we’re out of control and we’re just reacting rather than responding to the situation. So the first one I’d like to talk about is “Status.”

Status is being hugely affected today by the massive changes that are happening around the Coronavirus and the Global Pandemic and it’s all about understanding “Where are you in the pecking order?”  Because our brain, whenever we’re interacting with another human being, is always updating very complex mental maps of Where am I in the pecking order? Is this person higher status or lower status?  Have I gained status by this interaction? Or, am I dropping status by this interaction?

And that’s all becoming quite complex at the moment because some teams are suddenly no longer so important, and other teams are very important. That can have a huge impact. Or actually, if we’re now not earning money or our partner is still earning money. That can also change massively the way how we feel about ourselves and our status. So there’s a lot of volatility going on around us, and we need to be aware how we’re getting a trigger from that. And that’s a Threat Response which is giving us a fight-or-flight response.

So what do you need to do about this? Well what you can do instead of comparing yourself with others  . . . compare yourself  . . . with yourself, which is all about being able to say: “How can I be better today than I was Yesterday?” “What can I do differently today that has me be better, more productive, more effective, a better communicator, a better husband or wife?” Or whatever it is that you could be better today than you were yesterday. And also by making notes you can also check and say “Ok how well did I do? And how can I be better tomorrow? What do I need to do? What lessons can I learn to be better tomorrow than I was today?”

So, if you can continuously compare yourself with yourself, there’s no winning or losing with other people. There’s no comparison with other people which only leads to suffering. Compare yourself with yourself, and above all when it comes to Status, stay curious!


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With best regards,

David Klaasen 

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©David Klaasen – 2014