Are Your Thriving or Merely Surviving?
I hate to admit it, but for a VERY long time I lived in survival mode doing everything I can just to keep my head above the waters and some days it just didn’t work.
Because of how I was raised, what I unconsciously believed, and being an A-personality type of person (meaning I am very ambitious and driven by my sense of purpose, mission and my accomplishments and success), I never really let others know what was actually going on with me (what you resist, persist – boy was that ever true). I’m happy to say I have accomplished an awful lot in my life and I’m very proud of that; however, being busy and accomplishing a lot doesn’t necessarily mean you’re living. It wasn’t until I was stopped in my tracks did I realize that something was wrong and it really had nothing to do with what I was “doing” but more so who I was “being.”
Let me give you a little background.
Formerly, I worked as a psychotherapist and organizational psychologist for 25 years. I had a thriving private practiced while working full-time as an Assistant Professor at two universities. I truly loved what I did in helping people remember who they were, teaching them that they were and are enough, and empowering them to know they could live a rich and prosperous life. For me, I believed I would be doing this type of work for the rest of my life…until I started to feel unsettled…as if something was missing.
Up until that point, I strongly considered myself as one of the fortunate ones in psychotherapy because I was paid well and had a fair amount of freedom in my job and practice, which was and is uncommon. My job enable me to buy my first brand new home, two brand new cars during that timeframe, travel to some exotic places, and fulfill some of my dreams and desires…life seemed good.
And yet, I was constantly feeling, desiring a need for more. I started craving something bigger, grander, something beyond my physical self that I couldn’t place my hand on or exactly explain what it was, I just knew I needed and wanted it desperately. That’s when everything started to change.
First, it seemed as if overnight my workplace turned upside down. There were so many disagreements taking place between office staff. More and more arguments where merging, so much so that staff where filing grievances against each other. Unluckily and because I was the newbie of the group, I was mostly on the outside of every disagreement looking in with disbelief. In my mind, I kept thinking, “…wait a minute. Aren’t we trained psychologists? Aren’t we the ones who are supposed to know how to bring about healing and help others fix their problems and you’re telling me we can’t even fix our own? This is ridiculous.”
Well, I guess because I was bold enough to share my thoughts aloud, I became the “go-between” for our staff and our administration. Eventually it became too much and I started to get sick on a regular basis, which was rare for me, so much so, that at one point I was rushed to emergency because they thought I was having a heart-attack. That was a huge wake up call or at least it should have been, but because I’m strong and stubborn…it didn’t click right away…I just kept doing what was excepted of me and what had become very familiar…work even harder.
It wasn’t until 2010 while at a wellness conference in Florida did I begin to get a sense that it was time for me to leave go after my deeper dreams, but in my mind I kept saying, “How could I?” I had responsibilities, obligations, and expectations to fulfill. I couldn’t just leave…no just keep quiet and keep doing what you’re doing. This decision only made things get worse.
You see, I have ALWAYS known that I was called to more, to making a big difference in the world. I receive tons of confirmations about it since I was a child. Story after story, experience after experience confirmed I was called to more, BUT my environment and world demonstrated that it wasn’t “safe” to really show up, I hid, and hid well.
My hiding was unique in that I hid in plain sight. I hid behind my constant accomplishments at work with numerous promotions and in school with the accomplishment of all my degrees. I also hid in church and other community services. So on the outside I looked “amazing,” but on the inside, I was sick, depressed, angry, hurt, wounded, suicidal, addicted to alcohol, and slowly/unconsciously dying. And yet again, I kept doing what I was good at doing…more doing.
Then in 2011, I was laid off from my job and my colleague and I decided to close our private practice because it seemed overnight to shift from thriving to dead…not a single client to be found anywhere (I was lucky then because I never had to look for clients I got referrals all the time).
Originally, I thought I would just go back into the world of psychotherapy because it was what I knew, was good at, and rarely had problems finding a job throughout my entire career so it just made common sense to believe that this would be my next step. However, after applying for 367 jobs I qualified for, and only receiving an invitation for one interview, I finally got a clue that going back to a 9 to 5 job just wasn’t in the stars for me. This is when I had to make a decision to go full after being an entrepreneur or just settle for less. Something inside me wouldn’t let me settle for less, so entrepreneurship became my new adventure.
Clue #1 in moving from surviving to thriving means eventually you will have to make a visceral decision (reach a definite conclusion) that you will no longer settle for stagnation, mediocrity, or less.
As you can imagine, once my income and savings disappeared, I fell hard into survival mode and did so unconsciously.
In this mode, everything comes to a “stop” and then starts a vicious cycle of repeats. Why? Because one is no longer focusing on moving forward, but on the bare essentials of just surviving. When you’re in survival mode, your entire focus is on getting your bills met so you have a home to live in. You focus on trying to keep your electricity on for another 28 days. You work hard to avoid homelessness because somewhere inside you, you think or even believe that if that happens, you’re done. In survival mode, you focus on getting food on the table, keeping your phone on just in case a potential client calls. In survival mode, your focus is on just making it to the next day, even if barely. Survival is deadly in more ways than one and until you recognize the fundamental difference between surviving and thriving, the likelihood of your moving beyond it can be very difficult.
So, here are just a few bits of information that I have learned and changed to help me move into thriving and now taking it to the next level. I am more committed now than ever before to help you move from merely surviving to thriving in your personal life and business.
Let's get started.
Fundamentally, surviving literally means, “to live and exist” where are thriving means, “to grow and develop or to prosper and flourish.”
Within both of these definitions is a state-of-mind that influences what you perceive, think, believe, and feel on a regular basis and until you make a decision where you attention will focus, you will more than likely shift from one to the other not really staying grounded anywhere which only perpetuates the problem, especially if you are in survival mode.
Signs You’re In Survival Mode:
In Your Personal life
You are stressed
You have poor sleep or challenges with health
You have low energy and vibration
You are emotional
You are overly cautious
You are inconsistent
You are more reactive than proactive
You are experiencing drama in your relationships
You consciously and/or unconsciously blame others or situations
You have a hard time making a decision(s)
You have poor follow through
You are in debt
You have challenges with making and keeping money
You are in the mindset of “robbing Paul to pay Peter”
Taking risks (especially financial ones) scare you
You are inconsistent in your intentions
In Your Business
You have low business IQ – not having enough information on operating/leading a business
You do not have a business strategic plan
You do not have a visibility or implementation strategic plan
You do not have a financial plan and have poor money management skills
You have a poor wealth consciousness
You are easily distracted
You have a small email list (there’s magic in a list 2000+)
You are doing everything alone (you do not have a team or support)
You have poor vision and/or leadership skills
You have not learned how to leverage your message or opportunities
You have a hard time articulating your business mission, vision, and why
You have not identified your business goals with specificity
You are moving from one program to the next
You are having a hard time attracting clients and opportunities
Your brand, message and business is not visible
Your message is not fully understood (can your tribe/network/community articulate your message?)
You are constantly launching (this one was a BIG issue for me)
You have not launched your program or published your book, etc.
Signs You Are Thriving
You feel empowered
You know what you want and your actions/behaviors confirm this truth
Increased production and results
Easy to manifest what you desire and goals
You are experience little to no drama in your life and business
You are experiencing an increase financially
Balanced emotions, sense of wellness and purpose
Things operate with ease and flow
Challenges are resolved quickly
Move from Surviving to Thriving in Life and Business
Luckily, it’s fairly ease to move from just surviving to thriving but it does require that you make a decision to be committed to the process and the journey. Here are a few suggestions to begin helping you move out of survival and into thriving.
Make a decision (reach a definite conclusion that you WILL thrive)
Remember you are a spiritual being first and as such you have all the answers you need to thrive in side you
Develop your personal mastery to continue becoming your highest and best versions of yourself
Become a lifelong learner
Develop a unlimited and thriving state-of-mind, focus all your attention on the idea and your divine birthright that you WILL thrive
Read or listen to something inspirational or empowering at least 15 every day
Do energy work (EFT, EMDR, Chakra clearing, etc.)
Build and utilize your inner circle (these are you most sacred friendships that will lovingly hold you to your greatness)
Follow through with your match words and action as best you can
Surround yourself with like-minded people and stay accountable to them weekly
Get a six month to yearlong mentor or coach
Visit Dr. Anita at her website here: www.dranitamjackson.com.