You know that you are a survivor when you have lost everything and then were successful in rebuilding your life or it could be your finances or relationships and so on. If it is the third or fourth time that you are rebuilding the same thing then you may be in survival mode.
I call it survivor mode when someone pours all of their energies into protecting what they have because they believe it will be lost again and watch everything intensely for the slighest hint of it reoccuring. When they get that first hint they then act as if it has already happened and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Potential race drivers learn in driving school that if they are sliding towards the wall and put all of their focus on the wall they will hit it. I know that when I see and focus on a pothole in the road ahead of me I am sure to hit it everytime.
So how do you stop from staring at the pothole?
By focusing on where you want to go. Focus is like having tunnel vision or wearing blinkers so that you just don't see the problem because all of your attention is on what you want. Yes, it's easier said than done. It will take practice just like the race driver or when you were learning how to ride a bicycle. Each time you will get a bit better until it becomes a habit.