You Were Born To Thrive, Not To Play It Safe In Your Comfort Zone

The Obstacle Is the Way

The Obstacle Is the Way

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” — Maya Angelou

We are born to thrive, not to play it safe in our comfort zone. We avoid failure because it weakens our self-esteem — although failure is a prerequisite for success. How do you feel about this statement? What emotions come up as you contemplate its meaning? That is where you need to spend more time exploring your deepest self.

Ask any entrepreneur or adventurer, and they will tell you failure is essential. However, I do not wish to embellish this article with positive psychology to make you feel good. So let’s cut to the truth since something drew you here, whether by accident or as a regular reader. For many, surviving means getting through the daily grind, only to endure the same battles over again. This is not living because we are needlessly clutching to life. I realise you have commitments and obligations. Mouths to feed, expenses and rent to pay. Still, there’s a better way. You may want more, though life can be difficult and challenging at times. It’s worth reminding ourselves, that the obstacle is the wayWhat is in the way becomes the way out of our misery and discontent.

Is this an idea you’re willing to embrace? I assure you, giving it your attention now will help you to see breakthroughs in your life. Some people seem to thrive under whatever conditions they’re faced with, while we wonder why we are stuck in our predicament. To thrive means to grow and flourish, not to simply scrape by. This is the premise of the film Groundhog Day, in which a weatherman played by actor Bill Murray, strangely lives the same day over and over again. No one wants to get by when we have hidden potential waiting to emerge.

Photo by Riki Ramdani on Unsplash

A Shift in Mindset

“Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.” — Maya Angelou

Those who thrive nurture their personal growth and step outside their comfort zone. Those content to survive are happy not to disrupt their lives because of the anxiety and tension involved. We can use tension and anxiety to give rise to creativity and opportunity. Thriving requires a shift in mindset and taking chances on occasions. The key to thriving is recognising we are unhappy and willing to make changes, irrespective of the steps involved. There is a staleness to surviving, in that we become wearied and discontent. Our soul calls us to venture into the unknown where freedom and good fortune lies.

This is the message underscored by author Linda Graham who explains in Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being: “Survive first, thrive later: that’s the motto of the lower brain. The well-documented tendency of our lower brain to encode negative, fear-based memories more readily into our unconscious memory than positive ones is referred to as negativity bias.” You are no doubt well aware that no one enjoys setbacks and mediocrity because the human spirit is full of potential and purpose. Life consists of constant change, for it is sewn into the fabric of our lives.

For example, how mindful are you of your negative thoughts? I mention this because to shift from surviving to thriving, begins by attending to our negative thoughts. Destructive thoughts can run deep into a person’s psyche if left unchecked. We must replace the negativity by addressing the underlying beliefs supporting them. We cannot move from surviving to thriving in days or weeks. Personal development is a journey of self-discovery and the pinnacle of achievement. You deserve to have more and be more. But, you must take the first step and move forward in that direction.

Photo by Jonathan Daniels on Unsplash

Thriving Is a State of Mind

“Inspiration may come from many places but motivation — the love of life, daily drive and the will to thrive — that must come from you from within” ― Rasheed Ogunlaru

We mustn’t be concerned getting from point A to B in the shortest time. For as soon as we arrive, there will be another place for us to transition to. We must take responsibility for our life by choosing our conditions, instead of blaming outside circumstances. As you know, victims are stuck in a despairing mindset, believing the world owes them something. They contend life conspires against them, without realising they create their own circumstances. Do you know know what you want from life? I’m not talking about superficial things such as the car you drive or house we live in. Yet something deeper: your purpose, what kindles your spirit and makes you come alive? I realise this is difficult for many to answer. Though it is important to know what is of significance to you.

Thriving is a state of mind in as much as surviving is a negative state of mind. Therefore, we must strive to shift our awareness from negativity to what is working in our life. There is nothing novel about surviving and if we stay in this state for long, our spirit contracts. This is tied to the deeper purpose for our life, regardless of whether we know about it. We all want to find meaning in our lives. However, if we do not make empowered decisions, we relinquish it to our unconscious desires.

The best way to achieve this is to take small steps without being fixed on the destination. Ultimately, our life’s journey is one of self-discovery. The journey is filled with highs and lows. The lows help us to master ourselves, so we gain lessons significant to our personal growth. As a final point, we must refuse to accept negative conditions being permanent. It was Charlie Chaplin who once said: “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.” Knowing we were born to thrive is motivating, since there is more to our life’s narrative than we presume. It involves merging into a grander version of the life we only thought possible.


Originally published at Medium