Thank you to Feather Blue Studios for the photo!
A little over a year ago I was really struggling. I had put on 15 pounds in my first year of marriage (I love my new family, and yet becoming a wife and step mom to four had significantly shifted my eating habits). My fledgling business was having the normal ups and downs of a fledgling business – but I didn’t have a clue how to handle the “downs.” Because of that, I was tired, lacked energy, had no motivation, and was stressed about finances; all of which impacted my spiritual life and my relationships. It was one huge, ugly spiral with nights of no sleep and lots of tears.
I have a strong spiritual faith, so I truly believe God used all of that to get me where I am today and He certainly used it to inspire my new company name and direction – Dare to Thrive. [Side note – this really was before I realized that “thrive” had become the word of the year….] Dare to Thrive is a company all about helping business leaders (busy women in particular) and the businesses they lead, really thrive in health, work and life. I was excited about the direction and felt a very strong personal passion and connection to it.
And then it dawn on me.
I needed to figure out what it looked like for me to thrive first.
Yikes. What if thriving was something I couldn’t achieve? What if I was never able to thrive? How sad would that be?
Nonetheless, I made myself go to my favorite “thinking spot” down by the river, and with my trusty journal in hand sat down and started to let myself just think and dream about thriving. What did that look like for me? What could that look like for me?
The very first thing that popped in my mind was “thriving does not equal perfection.” Whoa. I had to just sit with that thought for a minute.
Thriving does not equal perfection?
That felt huge. You see, I think deep down, I was really afraid that thriving meant that I had to be perfect. My company had to be perfect. My marriage, my being a step mom, my health, my finances; the list went on and on. When I realized that was not the definition of thriving (at least not for me), it opened up my mind to what thriving really is.
And then it started pouring out of me. I realized that thriving for me is a bit more “simple” (not simple to achieve necessarily – but we’ll get to that in a later blog). Thriving for me is a strong faith and relationship with God. It’s a loving, healthy, and yet “perfectly imperfect” marriage and family. It’s taking care of my health so that I can do the huge bucket list of things I want to do. It’s about a business that truly gives back and impacts businesses (even if I never become world renowned). It’s having enough money to live on and give back generously. It is travel and laughter and those simple moments in life – like sitting next to the river. What a beautiful picture of life I had created. I realized if I focused on that version of thriving, that I’d lead a much more enjoyable life and probably a much more enjoyable business.
So you may ask if I’ve “arrived” at that place of thriving. Nope. And I’ve come to realize that this is a lifelong journey. I have to constantly keep coming back to my foundation of understanding what thriving looks like for me. And I have to keep making sure that those big important parts are included especially when things get “busy.”
What does thriving look like for you? If you’re struggling to figure that out for yourself, a great place to startis my “Dare to Thrive Strategy Session.” I’d love to help. And I’d love to hear your thoughts!