In order to answer this question, you must first understand how each of these realities looks and feels. Once this is accomplished, and you have determined your current reality, you can begin the process of moving toward the one you desire.
A key characteristic of people who are thriving is their passion and enthusiasm for their profession, and for life. A person who is thriving in their career or business is one who shows up daily and looks forward to being there. These individuals believe in their product and/or service. They bring their positive energy to the workplace, and are happy to work with their teammates in meeting the needs of clients or customers. A person who is thriving is fun to be around. They care about themselves and others, and are successful. Here, money is not the center of their contentment, yet financial strength is present. People who are thriving are authentically happy people. They are living the life they want to, and are grateful for their life as it is, while still reaching for more. When you are thriving, life is great!
People who are surviving experience an emotional roller coaster as their passion and enthusiasm comes and goes on a regular basis. These people do not completely believe in the product or service they represent. Their success is limited because they do not positively impact their work environment, and the clients or customers they work with, on a consistent basis. Individuals who are surviving are not authentically happy people. They tend to be more self-centered and are not always fun to be around. Typically, there is a lack of clarity in these people as to what they really want in life, both personally and professionally. They may be in their particular career or business because it’s what their parents or someone else wanted them to do, or they may believe that they are trapped by finances. At a place of merely surviving, people lack gratitude for their very life, and are not being true to their passions. For a person who is surviving, life is just okay.
When it comes to individuals who are drowning in their career or profession, there is a great avoidance to even coming to the workplace. Passion, enthusiasm and positive energy are rarely, if ever, there. They do not look forward to working with teammates, clients or customers. The sheer thought of answering the phone is displeasing. These people struggle greatly to be successful in their position because their heart and mind are just not in it. They simply don’t want to be there. They are focused almost solely on their problems, care very little about others, do not believe in the product or service–or themselves–and are rarely, if ever, happy. Gratitude for their life is absent, they feel lost without any clarity about what would be pleasing work for them, and it shows. Clients or customers are turned off, and teammates avoid them. Due to their lack of professional success, finances are a struggle, as is a positive attitude. When you are drowning, life stinks!
With this information, it is now possible to become clear as to which reality you are currently experiencing. Did you see yourself in these examples? As a business owner, where do you see your current team members? Clarity and truth are two of the most powerful tools you have in the creation of a personal and professional life that is both pleasing and fulfilling. The power here lies in not denying your current reality, no matter what it is.
The way to move from drowning or surviving to thriving, is to accept the truth of your particular situation. From this point, you can begin to take action to enhance your reality so that you can stop suffering and start truly living. Even if you find that you are already thriving, there are powerful steps you can take to thrive to an even greater degree.
In my next column, I will lay out options you can implement NOW to move from the reality you are currently experiencing into the one you really want, one that enhances your life, rather than depleting it.