Are You Surviving or Thriving?


Periodically, I will be sharing posts from other writers that I believe will add value to you. This is one of those occasions. Today’s guest is DEBORAH BAILEY. Deborah is author of two non-fiction books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life.” She’s also the creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio, a weekly internet talk show. Her fiction work includes a short story collection and a novel, available on For more information, visit

The other day I got an email from a gentleman named, Tim. He asked me for advice about looking for a new job. He was unemployed and money was running low, but he wanted to make a fresh start.

How much courage does it take to transform your life after it’s come undone? Having been through this situation myself more than once, I’d say it takes quite a lot. That’s the difference between those people who survive and those who thrive. Survival is going from one crisis to the next, always shocked and a little surprised that you made it. Thriving is a totally different experience.

When you thrive you are not expecting doom at every turn. Your life isn’t just an endless journey through anxiety and insecurity. Yes, things do happen and life doesn’t always flow the way we’d like. I’m not saying you’ll never be hurt or disappointed, but I am saying that how you react to those things will determine your life experience.

We can spend a lifetime blaming this one or that one, being a victim of circumstances and believing that someone else took our stuff. Lots of people do it everyday. If that appeals to you, I certainly won’t discourage it. However, if you love your life no matter what you are thriving. That’s something no one can ever take away from you.

At the end of Tim’s email, he admitted to being uneasy about the changes he was about to make. He acknowledged his fears, but then he said he wanted a better life and was going to take the steps to get it. From the outside his life may not look very attractive, but with that admission he’s already made the move from surviving into thriving. I’m excited for him, and I’m looking forward to hearing about his progress.

How about you? Are you ready to make the move? If so, here are some steps you can take.

  1. Get clear of negative people and negative influences. If someone is always telling you what can’t be done or how awful everything is, you won’t benefit from being in that energy.
  2. Take some quiet time everyday. Whether you call it meditating or being alone with your thoughts, take time for yourself.
  3. Keep learning new things. Once you decide you know it all, you will never grow beyond that point.
  4. Write down your ideas and your goals. There’s something about writing them down that makes them real.
  5. Laugh. Not only is laughing healthy, but it’s much more attractive as well. Who would you rather be with – someone who laughs or someone who’s always grumpy?
  6. Love yourself, a lot.
  7.  Embrace life. Don’t wait for some terrible event to occur before you appreciate what you have.

I’ve been in survival mode and in thriving mode, and I can tell you that thriving is much better. No, fear doesn’t completely go away, but it stops being a way of life. We all have the power to go from surviving to thriving, and in the end it’s up to us to make it happen.

Copyright © 2010 – 2013 Deborah A. Bailey


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