Surviving or Thriving?

The start of a New Year often prompts the question “did you make any resolutions?”.  I feel as though this is happening less and less as we no longer want to set ourselves up for failure or make a resolution that almost feels forced as Jan.1 looms.  I believe we are now more apt to set an intention for the New Year.  A word or a phrase that will guide us thru and often inspires us to take action but is more a state of being rather than setting a specific goal (ie: resolution).  The nature of my coaching business (and the fact that I’m annoyingly curious) has me discussing this with many people at the beginning of a year and I often see a trend unfolding.  January 2014 felt like the year of Survival.  It may have been the circles I was travelling in or who I seemed to attract but many people had a rough year and were looking for coping skills to make it thru with as few war wounds as possible.  January 2015 feels like there has been almost a seismic shift in what we want in life.  We are looking to thrive rather than simply survive.

This is definitely my story.  Eager to thrive, I realize that with this change in intention I also need to adjust my approach.  When we’re in Survival mode our focus is self-care, self-love, forgiveness, acceptance, and ensuring you are surrounding yourself with people that love and support you.  Of course these all continue to be important in my life but as I step more confidently into this powerful place of Thriving I know there are other areas I need to focus on.  If you feel you are part of this Thriving movement and ready to kick some serious ass this year, let’s play…

What is your Intention for 2015?  You want to come up with a word or a phrase that get’s you juiced up and into that powerful state of being.   When you take action and communicate from this place you feel like you are driving your life and it isn’t driving you.  My intention for 2015 is to live with a fearless heart.  In survival mode we often cope by protecting ourselves, we hesitate to take risks where we might fail or get hurt.  What I know for sure (sorry Oprah, total steal) is for me to really thrive and step into the life I want I must do things that scare the crap out of me but the key here is that these fearless acts will be lead by my heart and not my head or my ego.

What do you need to release in order to live your Intention?  This might be a long held belief you have from childhood or an experience that is no longer serving you.  For example, if your Intention is Abundance but you grew up in a poor home struggling financially you may revert to the belief that it isn’t possible.  When this comes up think of evidence in your life (so, actual examples) to support  why Abundance is possible and then imagine how you might approach 2015 with this thought.  By simply allowing yourself to release this long held belief you are able to ignite a beacon for Abundance .  It also may be something more tangible (and tricky) that you need to release…like a job, or a relationship.   I am releasing the thought that somebody else’s judgement of my actions carries any weight.  I can’t live fearlessly if I worry about what others might think.

What do you need to embrace in order to live your Intention?   While survival mode calls for a more nurturing, caring approach I would suggest that in order to thrive we want to step (or run) forward with confidence and courage and whatever else you need to embrace to live your Intention.   If it’s true that it’s all in the attitude, this is where we show our ‘tood.  For me to live with a fearless heart I must embrace who I truly am at my core.  I must embrace my strengths as well as my imperfections.  To be confident and fearless does not mean I have to be perfect at everything or meet some standard I think others have set for me, in fact it’s just the opposite.  When I try to fit a mould of what a business owner or a coach looks like I feel un-authentic and kind of awkward.  And have you ever been in a situation, maybe a dinner party or a family gathering, where the conversation starts to focus on an area you know very little about?  Maybe politics, the financial market, technology, or even a friend of 20 years talking about their job that you have never really been too sure what they actually do (ya, me neither).  How do you react in this situation?  Nod your head politely, maybe squint your eyes in that way that makes you look super smart, all while praying they don’t ask you a question?  In order for me to live with a fearless heart I need to be confident with what I do know and courageous enough to admit to the things I don’t.  I am embracing a learners mind and asking questions when I am totally lost in a conversation rather than faking my way thru.

Live Unapologetically!  When you decide that you want to Thrive and not merely Survive it can freak some people out.  If there are those around me that are struggling in survival mode they can often be annoyed by this “I want to live BIG” attitude.  In order to be cool and keep the peace I have sometimes chosen to play small.  Big mistake!   I often quote Marianne Williamson “…There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine as children do….And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”  To Live Unapologetically to me means to first discover who I truly am without social conditioning (these are the “shoulds” in your life) or long held beliefs that simply aren’t true and then to step out and take bold action from this authentic place.  And finally, after you have taken this courageous step, repeat after me…Do…Not…Apologize.

So if you have chosen to Thrive in 2015 and have set your intention for the year I encourage you to share it with the people in your life that love and support you (I call them my tribe).  By sharing our intentions we help to cement them into reality as well as having a loving team that can gently nudge us back when we wander off track.   And since you are still reading this I consider you part of my tribe so if I may share…In 2015 I will Live with a Fearless Heart!