9 Secrets to Thriving!
What does it take to thrive in every area of your life, including personally AND professionally? In a nutshell thriving is advancing, growing, and experiencing bliss in the various areas of your life.
Sounds simple, right? Sadly, in today’s complex world there are a whole host of activities competing for your attention simultaneously. And there are a myriad of internal activities that often get overlooked or that are crowded out by all that’s happening on the outside. That all adds up to a tug-of-war that leaves you feeling anything but thriving!
What’s the opposite of thriving? It’s being stuck, reverting to less productive ways, merely existing, struggling – never gaining the traction you need to move forward in life. That’s survival mode!
Over the past few months (yes, months much to our dismay!) we’ve been having some major work done on the back of our house. We’ve replaced siding, added a deck, and the last task to be completed is a brand new walkway. It’s going to be amazing!
Regrettably, our yard has taken a beating during all the changes. Because of the construction, we’ve had to shut off our sprinklers in the back yard so no regular watering has been happening. There have been trailers, bricks, and other construction supplies strewn about the yard preventing the grass and plants from getting the sun they crave and damaging them in the process.
You could say that our yard is withering away right before our eyes!
Needless to say, it’s going to take some steady, intentional care to beautify our yard. My husband and I have a vision for our back yard where it is thriving and gorgeous – a space that brings us joy!
What would it look like for you to thrive in your life? To be blissfully growing in powerful ways?
In order to thrive – grow vigorously, bloom, and make steady forward progress, it demands that you approach life in fresh ways. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Take Responsibility
You can only be proactive when you take responsibility for your life, your work, your relationships, finances, and so on. Blaming, surrendering to circumstances, and giving up keeps you stuck.
Often times your mindset prevents you from moving forward in a positive direction. If your mindset is “fixed”, then you believe that what is will always be – there’s nothing you can do to change it. That’s also known as a victim mindset, and it’s a powerless place to be.
On the other hand, a “growth” mindset is characterized by searching for opportunities to learn, being curious about how what seems potentially negative might move you in a better and more positive direction, and you are willing to experiment because failure is just another chance to learn.
Recognizing your role in situations and taking steps to improve what you can – that’s the beginning of taking ownership and thriving!
2. Less is More!
Nothing will zap your energy, creativity, and zest for life like over-committing!
When you don’t know what your purpose, priorities, and boundaries are you will take on more and more, spreading yourself thinner and thinner, until you are virtually ineffective at whatever you’re doing!
The truth is, you can’t do it all, but you can do a few things incredibly awesome and those are the very things that will allow you to thrive.
Focus. Pair down. Say no. Delegate and eliminate. Then you can put your energy into what will truly make a difference. There’s no denying that when you are making a difference its energizing rather than depleting.
3. Stress + Rest = Growth
From the beginning of time there’s been a weekly rhythm to life – work, work, work, work, work, work, then rest, along with the occasional extended break from work that we call vacation.
I might be stepping on toes here, but working more than 7-8 hours in a day is counterproductive! It means that you are stealing time from other key areas of your life and they are probably suffering. Thriving doesn’t mean that you are successful at work. In order to truly thrive, you must be flourishing in ALL areas of your life.
The flip side is also true. If you rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, then work it won’t lead to thriving either.
The more you follow the way God established the rhythm of life to be, the more you will thrive!
4. Do Hard Things
Thriving is about growing and developing well. You can’t grow if you don’t step outside your comfort zone and engage in activities that challenge you. Where in your life are you struggling? That’s a great place to practice doing hard things.
5. Focus on The Process
Being too hyper focused on results at the expense of savoring the process robs you of experiencing joy along with way and causes you to overlook all the progress you are making. Rather than focus on results, keep your focus on the process. Enjoy the process. Trust the process. And consider ways to improve the process.
6. Face Your Fears
Fear is powerful! It keeps your world tiny, and it’s hard to thrive in a tiny world! Everyone has fears, but the people who are able to push through their fears are the ones that discover that facing fear is not that big of a deal after all!
Thriving – that’s on the other side of your fears.
7. Practice Gratitude
Whatever you focus on grows. If you dwell on the negative there will be more negative in your life. You might even be meditating, ruminating, or recycling those negative thoughts and they are draining the life out of you.
8. Do What You Love
Fear has a way of choking out the very activities that are life-giving. What do you LOVE to do? For me it’s time with friends and family, reading, puzzling, and being creative. I make a concerted effort to carve out a minimum of 30 minutes for these activities on daily basis.
When I let other activities edge out doing what I love resentment builds which never leads to thriving!
9. Don’t Go It Alone
You and I were created to be in relationship with God and others. Spending time with God daily makes a remarkable difference. And so does regularly engaging with others.
Leaders, professionals, and Type A folks tend to be lone rangers. Who can you team up with personally or professionally? Consider participating in a community of believers, a group, mastermind, or book club; a place where you can connect on a reoccurring basis.
Ask for help! Seek out professionals who can assist you, including a coach.
If my husband and I invest our time in enjoying the new deck but never get to work in the yard we can’t expect that it will thrive. Once the renovations are complete, we need to take action. With our work schedule and full life it will require intentionality.
Life really isn’t all that different. Without being intentional you’ll drift back to your old not-so-thriving ways!
I’m certain you want to THRIVE! What’s your next step towards truly thriving?