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From Striving To Thriving
by Helaine Iris

"The difference between what we do, and what we are capable of doing, would solve most of the world's problems." -- Mahatma Gandhi 

A few months ago I wrote an article about a client of mine who's been struggling to grow her business to the next level. She's an extremely talented and creative professional with a potential gold mine of a business. 

She's been determined to uncover and embrace her limiting beliefs eagerly accepting coaching to challenge herself to the next level professionally and personally. She put new structures in place to build a strong foundation from which to grow her enterprise.

She's been striving to achieve her goals, yet she feels exhausted.

Last week, when she "hit the wall" and was about ready to throw in the towel I asked her, "What if you stop striving and started thriving? 

How might you feel different?" 

There was dead silence on the other end of the phone. After some time she replied with a burst of relieved laughter, "Now THAT would truly be empowering."

She then went on to declare how this coming year of her life would be about thriving instead of surviving and striving. 

This gratifying interaction got me thinking about the distinction between striving and thriving and how they are and feel different from each other. Webster's Dictionary defines strive as... 

1. To make great effort; try very hard. 2. To be in conflict; struggle; contend; fight. Versus the definition of thrive. 

1. To prosper or flourish; be successful. 2. To grow vigorously or luxuriantly. 

Making a mental shift can be the first step in how you experience your life. Distinguishing what you don't want will create a contrast that allows what you do want to rise to the fore. Once you're clear about what you want, you can then prepare and devise the structures to support you and begin implementing the shift. 

Are you striving or are you thriving? How would your life be different if you could make this profound mental shift?

Here's the process my client used to make the shift in her life, why not give it a try?

1. She called for a "time out". She put her life on pause for a moment and reflected. She became aware that despite the apparent forward movement in her life, there was still something out of balance. She was tired of feeling stressed. She acknowledged what she was feeling and began to verbalize it. 

2. She let herself imagine what it might be like to be thriving in her life instead of struggling. She detailed the various areas of her life and painted a clear picture of what her life would be like next year at this time. 

3. Then she reassessed her projects: what she did want to take forward with her, and what did she need to let go of in order to prioritize her time according to her values and purpose? 

4. Next, she looked at the tasks she thought she "had" to do to succeed versus what she "wanted" to do. Much to her surprise, she found they were the same tasks; with this reframe, she realized she liked the tasks as they were an essential part of her professional expression.

5. Finally, she resumed her activities and strategies, but this time with a very different outlook. She now approached her same life and tasks with a renewed sense of excitement and focus. 

Today, she's thriving. Her energy has increased and her stress level has decreased. Now, she has a bigger problem, business is rolling in. It's a pretty great problem to have.

It's YOUR life... imagine the possibilities!
Helaine Iris is a certified Life Coach, writer and teacher that loves fall and her life. She works with individuals, and self-employed professionals, who want to thrive in their business while crafting a life that's in absolute alignment with their highest ideals, deepest values and gracefully masters the complexities of modern living.

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