At the Table with Jen

Are You Surviving or Thriving?

When you think about where you are in business or life, which word would you choose to describe it - surviving or thriving?

Let me share with you why I chose these two words and why one is where you would want your mindset to be as the CEO of your life. This was inspired by our youngest kitty, Cap'n Jack.

When we found him in 2016, he was between three and five weeks old, in a parking lot flower bed, limping for coverage under a large bush. Cap'n Jack would walk a couple of steps, then gingerly move his right back paw.

After some cajoling and help from a few other animal lovers, we got him and could see his right back paw was twice the size as the others and blue. We took him immediately to our vet who determined immediate surgery to amputate the wounded leg was necessary to save him.

Over the course of a few days, Cap'n Jack amazed me. The vet said within minutes of waking from surgery, he was up on all paws and moving. He seemed relieved and happy. Since then, he’s grown into a happy, healthy, loving, and playful cat and is living fully despite his changed body.

It would be easy to say he survived, but surviving doesn't do this champion justice.

Surviving is defined by Webster's as "to remain or continue in existence or use" or "to get along or remain healthy, happy and unaffected in spite of some occurrence." It’s as if this one word has two phases to it. The first step is to remain in existence, and the second step is to be content with life, even if it’s not ideal.
I am sure all of us have had moments in life and in business where we felt just like the first definition. I know I have. And sometimes, this requires significant effort, just like Cap'n Jack during his first few weeks on earth and immediately after his surgery.

Yet when we are living fully and leading with purpose, would surviving still be the right word to describe our state of mind or would thriving be a better choice?

Thriving is defined as "to grow or develop vigorously; to flourish." Thriving takes surviving to the next level. It’s about actively moving forward and staying open to possibilities, even when there are challenges.

As the CEO of your life and business, you must cultivate the ability to protect your mindset.

The words you use shape your perspective and paint the picture of how you see your environment or how you see yourself. The words you choose can build someone up or tear someone down, including when those words are about you.

Do you beat yourself up on mistakes or forgive yourself?

Do you remind yourself that you’re not where you want to be in your business or organization or do you remind yourself of what you are capable of?

Choose words that having a thriving feel about them. Choose words that reinforce the confident leader that you know you're meant to be.

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