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Do you know a person who seems to be constantly embroiled in turmoil? What keeps us stuck in survival mode? Some of us seem to be dealing with one crisis after another and can never get ahead of it. Sometimes it feels like conflict or drama are a regular part of our lives. Could we be doing or not doing something that is keeping us stuck in turmoil? It is possible that we inadvertently create conflict or at least contribute to its existence. Some people grew up in conflict, turmoil, and dysfunction so it feels very familiar and comfortable in a strange way. We are often drawn to what we know and avoid what seems foreign and different. For some, conflict produces energy, challenge, and maybe even purpose. They seek turmoil in an attempt to fix what they couldn’t change during their childhood.
Unfortunately, surviving often implies just getting by and living with anxiety, stress, and fear that things won’t get worse. Survival mode is like living in a constant state of “fight or flight,” which wears down our physical and emotional being. Just surviving also enables us to have a built-in excuse for not thriving and accomplishing more in our own lives, even though fear and insecurity are probably the underlying factors. In some situations we take on too much and are too busy to achieve great things and find our true passion. Or we make bad decisions about relationships or work that create more turmoil than we can handle and we don’t have the strength or resources to pull out. Of course surviving is better than giving up or accepting defeat, but what does it take to thrive?
For starters we need to avoid getting in over our heads and trying to fix or solve everyone else’s problems. So having good boundaries and being able to say no will help. Finding our sweet spot and passion for life will enable us to thrive which takes time and planning. We need to take time to reflect, pause, and create a vision for our next year, five years, and lifetime. Obviously we thrive when we are functioning at full capacity so taking care of our physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual needs is crucial to thriving. Living life to its fullest, realizing our dreams, and having a positive impact on others can help us thrive. Remember that thriving is not about wealth, status, power or control. It is about finding your niche and experiencing peace, joy, and fulfillment. Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.