surviving vs thriving:  which one describes you? 

Don't settle for surviving when you could be thriving. Every once in a while my wife and I try to plan a time for each of us to get away and rest on our own for a few days. It’s a great time to slow down for the one who gets to go away.  It’s truly a gift.


However, who ever is left behind, it is full steam ahead with getting kids to school, sports, jobs, after school events, and tournaments on the weekend.  Whew, the work doubles, dishes increase, take out is utilized and the need for sleep increases exponentially!  This can work for us for a few days.  Really anyone can push through for a short time.  It’s when this pace is year round that we truly pay a great price.


Maybe you can relate. You do your best to prioritize your commitments and manage your schedule, but you can’t keep up with the pace of life. It seems like there’s never enough time in the day to fulfill your responsibilities—let alone give your personal or spiritual life the time it needs to grow.



Instead of thriving, you’re barely surviving.

It’s a tension I see in many leaders’ lives, and unfortunately, this type of imbalance takes a toll on almost every area of their lives. Do you ever wonder why so many high-profile leaders, moms and dads, and a live of great intentions are prone to moral or ethical failure? Or why it’s harder to maintain a healthy marriage the higher you rise in an organization?


We all experience stressful seasons, but living in survival mode for prolonged periods of time will limit your effectiveness or shorten your tenure as a leader. Leaders in survival mode exhibit the following “symptoms”:


Traits of a Leader in Survival Mode:

• Exhaustion

• Sleep deprivation

• Feel suffocated by life’s pressures

• Lack emotional energy

• Stress

• Lack vitality

• Work feels like it sucks the life out of them

• Overburdened schedule

• Drained – depleted reserves

• Anxiety or panic

• Maintains a Bankrupt lifestyle

• Restlessness

• Desperation

• Defensiveness – they don’t receive feedback well

• Isolation

• Frequently talking about how overloaded they feel

• Lack of boundaries


Take a moment to review this list. How many of the traits do you see in your life? If you were to rate your level of exhaustion, where would you fall on a scale of 1 – 10 (1 = fully rested, 10 = utterly depleted.)


Don’t settle for surviving when you could be thriving

In your current life, what practices, roles, or relationships make you feel most burdened? Now take a look at the traits of a thriving leader:


Traits of a Thriving Leader:

• Energized

• Rested

• Experiences Freedom

• Has margin – unstructured time

• Enjoys aspects of daily life – not waiting for a future date to start living

• Has time for interruptions – available to serve others

• Spontaneous

• Replenished

• Relaxed

• Life-giving – has surplus energy to share with others

• Feels Alive

• Optimistic – not overly critical

• Flourishing

• Joyful

• Resilient – bounces back from difficulties

• Content

• Seizes opportunities

• Healthy

• Passion

• Appreciative

• A team builder


Think of a time when you’ve experienced these qualities. What factors (schedule, role/responsibilities, relationships, routines) helped you thrive?


Discuss the traits in this post with a spouse, colleague, or accountability partner. What do they see as areas where you’re thriving, or just surviving?


Identify two changes you could do over the next six months that would help you thrive.


My dream is to help you live out your calling and thrive.  I believe that your best days are before you…not behind you.  We all need a little coaching, encouragement, wisdom, and help from time to time.  We can’t accomplish our goals in isolation or always on our own.  We need each other.  It’s time to thrive.  Let’s do it together.  Remember, you are not alone. Click here to set up a Discovery Coaching call.