There is no “right” or “wrong” answer. Just perspective…
"Survive" is not a bad thing at all, in fact, I highly recommend it! For me (and maybe in some dictionary definitions) it also suggests "pulling through" or to "remain in existence. All good and...
"Thrive"? Thrive can mean "grow and develop" , "prosper" or "flourish" to name a few descriptions.
I don't know about you but if I had no other choice, I would pick survive.
Notice that I said "if I had no other choice"...
Ah the complexity of choice, being stuck in a comfort zone and growth. Why do I bring this up? Come on now, you know by now that I share what I am hearing and maybe, just maybe, this particular blog may be personal?
We are all creatures of habit. No exceptions. We are that way because it is part of our survival to be that way - our brain is determined to keep us safe, that IS its reason for existence. If you don't give it anything to work towards it will just amp up its trouble shooting skills. Good for your existence if that's all you are aiming for but not so good if you want to live a life where you can grow, prosper or flourish. Or as I call it, fulfillment.
I recently had several opportunities to get out of my usual pattern of behaviour and let me tell you...it was UNCOMFORTABLE.
I have been co-training a course for about a year and a half now and had quite comfortably settled into running the pieces I felt I knew rather than the ones that were just outside of my comfort zone - I'm not talking about right out of my comfort zone but rather at the edges of my comfort zone. I set an intention at the beginning of the course to push myself to grow and my co-trainer willingly obliged. So this is how it went down (at least in my head it did!) - I'm at the front of the room with a group of maybe 10 people and my job was to introduce a new concept and get them ready to do some exercises to build on it. Sounds easy doesn't it? For all of my corporate readers you may want to note that this entire six day course is taught without Power Point! What?? I kid you not. It is possible. So, there is no slide to refer to.
This is how it plays out. I start explaining the concept and it seems to be going well, then I feel like I have nothing to say yet, I know my mouth is saying stuff because I can hear my voice. But in my head? I am saying "holy shit, hurry back" to my colleague all while looking for the nearest exit or hoping the floor will open up and swallow me in! Ever been there? I repeat a few things and maybe feel like I'm going to faint but, miraculously, it doesn't happen and my partner shows up just in time for me to pass the baton. Even writing this gave me a minor sense of anxiety!
Here's the thing that happened though, after I finished I realized that I was still alive and no one in the room seemed any the wiser.
But I was.
I felt a sense of hell yes, you did it! "Fortunately" I had a few other opportunities to do this during the course - step just out of where I felt comfortable and each one had the same "oh shit" feeling and the same feeling of "I did it".
Building resilience. Recovering, learning and adapting. Growth.
My point in putting this out there is that growth is not supposed to feel comfortable. I know, gross. However, I also want to point out that some people's definition of "comfortable" isn't exactly how others might define it. Staying in relationships, bodies or jobs that they aren't happy with because it is familiar and staying in the shit you know is more comfortable than stepping into the shit that you don't know, right?
This is actually how we think. It is safe.
The flipside to this is that there is a whole world out there waiting for you if you only come to the edge of your comfort zone to see it. Really.
Its kind of a 20/20 hindsight thing. I know, you have to go through it to see it. That's why it can be useful to ask yourself "five years from now, will I regret doing this or will I regret not doing this"? See what pops for you.
In the meantime, if you are ready to start "thriving" rather than "surviving" and you don't know where to begin, reach out. I would be delighted to help you see what possibilities are out there for you.