We hear the buzz word “thrive” all over media outlets these days, but can you spot the difference in your own life between when you’re thriving and just surviving? One medical organization has been embracing the buzz word “thrive” for the last two or three years, and every time I hear or see its commercials, it definitely gives me goose bumps. The power behind thriving can move obstacles and challenges like giant earth movers clearing debris in a disaster area: quickly, efficiently and with great results.

What prevents us from moving from survival mode into truly thriving? There are organizations and individuals that are excelling at what they’re doing even in this challenging economic time. So how do they do it? What motivates them to continuously move forward and step into or stay in action?

Before answering, let’s take a look at an example of what it means to be just surviving versus thriving in an area of our lives to which we all can relate: our physical wellness.

Physical Wellness -- I’ve focused on the topic of health and the overall benefits of what it means to embrace a healthy fuel plan (Remember, “fuel plan” holds a positive perspective versus the term “diet.”), and I’m pretty sure there isn’t a more disputed topic in the health industry than “the perfect fuel plan.” We know based on our high school health classes that our bodies are designed and outfitted with a few systems that run on auto pilot, such as our breathing, our hearts’ pumping and our internal organs doing their jobs. It would seem, then, that our bodies are designed for surviving since they remove toxins, repair cellular damage, replenish tissue, and can even take garbage and make some-thing useful out of it.

A great example of this I found when reading through one of the many websites was given with our livers. We know one of the main functions of our liver is to detox alcohol, but this doesn’t mean you can overindulge daily with the consumption of alcohol. If you choose to do so anyway, your body will do its best to survive—but it inhibits the body’s ability to thrive. The choice of moderation or limited consumption of alcohol empowers your body to thrive versus just getting by and surviving.

It’s important to remember that no one is perfectly aligned or 100% happy in all areas of her life, and striving to achieve the level of happiness you desire is all part of life and the journey through it. Our challenge is actually being able to understand the difference and acknowledging when we are merely getting by or surviving rather than embracing life fully and enjoying the journey or thriving.

Being able to move from surviving into thriving is dependent on retraining our thoughts and decision-making processes from being mediocre to passionate. Whenever anyone asks how I am, my automatic response is, “I’m great, thanks!” A few people have called me out on my response since they find it hard to believe I can be great 100% of the time. I try to explain that this is my perspective of my whole life and not just what might be happening at this particular moment. We have the ability to choose our perspective with regard to our experiences. Yes, things happen that seem to be out of our control that don’t feel very good or provide us with a warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s okay to have bad days and challenging times, but moving through those times becomes easier when you’re able to acknowledge that they are challenging and ask the question of yourself: How can I move through this quickly while continuing to thrive? Instead of falling into survival mode for even just one day, realize this isn’t about posi¬tive thinking but rather more about opening your mind to excellence – from just surviving to thriving.

Becoming aware of potential survival mode triggers is important. They won’t be the same for everyone, but knowing what pushes you into a place of inaction or survival will support you in your pursuit of thriving. You can begin by identifying five key elements or situations that can have a potentially negative impact on you and your ability to remain passionate about life and your life’s journey.

When you can admit and realize all your decisions in life both consciously and unconsciously have led you to all your experiences—no matter if they were positive or negative—you can stay in the position of thriving instead of just surviving. There is an amazing amount of personal power in our ability to remain in action, as it provides us with the sense of being in control of our lives. When we’re empowered, we embrace the belief that you are the sole supporting reason for achieving the life you seek and excellence you deserve.

So what actions can you be proactively taking to ensure you’re continuing to thrive in life? Here are a few examples:

~Take smart, common-sense risks and step out of your comfort zone.
~Begin to better prioritize your relationships, both with yourself and others.
~Change your environment to a more productive and encouraging one.
~Begin to work on understanding your emotions, emotional triggers and limiting beliefs.
~Model the excellence you want and expect in your life.
~Improve your fuel plan to support your physical body’s ability to thrive.
~Try something new and embrace an element of play in your day.

Spotting the difference between surviving and thriving is ultimately based on your ability to be honest with yourself regarding where you are and where you desire to be. Your desire is based on your ability to be in action while making decisions that allow you to take corrective measures in life to stay on your path of achieving excellence and feeling empowered. Your empowerment begins within and is not dependent on external influences or experiences.

Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.


Author's Bio: 

Karen Kleinwort is a certified professional coach who specializes in life, business and health coaching. Kleinwort also holds a BS in Business Management and an AA in Holistic Health & Fitness Promotion; additionally, she is a Reiki Master and CranioSacral Practitioner. Kleinwort is available for interviews and appearances. You can contact her at karen@therapyintransition.org or (877) 255-0761.