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We spend most of our lives in survival mode. The time has come to stop surviving and start thriving. Check out today's post and learn how to thrive!

Moving from surviving to thriving

Facing difficult times is overwhelming. It feels as if the world is closing in on yours. That the very air you breath is heavy with the weight of the responsibility that you are facing. You want to thrive, but all you can do is survive.

We start to rationalize the weight of it. You think, “If I can make it one more day.” One more day and then I can free from this pain. Another day longer and then I will be able to rest. I want to thrive, but all I can do is survive. Just one more day. 

One more day never comes.

It is always the same. You wake up. Surviving today is all you can think about. Trying to do more than survive isn’t even an option.

You are too exhausted to try to thrive.

All you want to do is to make it through one more day.

Looking in the mirror you see the bags under your eyes and the stress weight. Realizing that you haven’t taken care of yourself the emotional pain starts to set in.

1. You feel guilty.

You should be able to handle this weight. Life shouldn’t be able to kick you in the teeth like it is.

You sense something deep saying to you, “This isn’t what your life was supposed to be. There is greatness inside of you”

That greatness is calling to you. It is asking you to step up and step our of where you are in life. Take up the adventure and live the life you desire to live.

Guilt keeps you locked in your current predicament.

All these obligations that you have are killing you. You don’t want to let people down, but you know you cannot keep up this pace.

So you feel guilty.


2. You feel ashamed

Ashamed for feeling guilty.

The shame is intense. It eats away at you. You believe that you shouldn’t feel this way. That you should be able to handle all that life throws at you.

Then you realize that you aren’t living the life you want. You are going through the motions.

That brings deep shame.

Believing that you could handle anything you have to face the truth. The truth is that you hit the wall of what you can handle.

You feel guilty that you hit that wall.

Shame and embarrassment are at the forefront of your emotions. You believed that you should have been able to do overcome the challenges of life.

But you couldn’t overcome them.

Now life is too heavy for you.
My story isn’t much different at this point.

I want to say it is, but it isn’t.

My story is at this place.

A place of overwhelming burdens and exhausted nights.

I carry the weight of many responsibilities. As a follower of Jesus, a pastor, a father, a husband, a writer, a school teacher, and caretaker of my wife I carry a bit of weight.

The responsibility to provide seems too much. The demand on my life is great.

Yet, I look in the mirror thinking, “How much more can I carry before I fall under its weight?”

Then you feel guilty.

Too many people are counting on you. You can’t fall. If you do what will others say? How will they get what they need?

The weight of it all exhausts you.


I bet you are reading this and thinking, “I can resonate with you.”

That what I am sharing hit you right in the heart as well.

You may be dealing with an abusive relationship. Possible that you are struggling with a wayward child. You may have lost an income, your house, someone you loved, or your job.

The weight of it all is bearing on you and you don’t know what to do with it.

You want to move from surviving to thriving.

Well, so do I!

I want to give you some tips that I am trying to follow that will help you move from a life of surviving to thriving.

What can I do to THRIVE in this life?

1. Practice Gratitude.

Above all things practice gratitude.

I find that being thankful for what I can be thankful for changes my heart.

It took me from an attitude that screamed survival mode to the attitude of a warrior.

A warrior who wants to be victorious in this life. One that thrives. A person who isn’t looking to survive, but wants to own my destiny.

I find ways to be grateful.

When I say, “This is too hard. I hate my life. My weight is awful. I hate what I am going through. There is to much pain. I am having a hard time understanding why this or that is happening.


I try to say, “I am grateful that I woke up today. Grateful that I am able to spend time with my family. That I can put a smile on someone’s face. Grateful that my life is being leveraged to make a difference in the lives of others.”

I don’t always get this right. Yet, I am finding that the more I find the silver lining in my darkest clouds the easier my burdens seems to be.

It is weird how gratitude has a way of lifting your spirits, puts a little pep in your step, and helps you feel lighter.

Stress can be overwhelming.

Gratitude has a way of helping you navigate from surviving to thriving.

2. Get Rid of Dead Weight

Let’s face it. If you find that this article connects with you then you have a bit of dead weight in your life.

Stress happens when you do more than you are able to.

The more you do the more burdens you’ll have. The more burdens you have the heavier your life becomes. The heavier your life becomes the easier it is to slip into survival mode.

When you are in survival mode long enough you start to slip into burnout.

We want to stop the slippery slope of your life that will lead to burn out.

You can never thrive in your life while you are living in burnout.

To thrive and avoid burnout we have to get rid of dead weight.

How do you do that?

a. Take an inventory of all that you do

Whatever gets your time write it down on a list. It will surprise you when you learn how much you are doing.

Write down the hours you work. Add to that list the hang out time with your friends. Do you have children? Have a hobby? Are you part of a sports team?

Write it all down.

b. Decide how you want to spend your time.

Schedule your priorities first. The things that are most important to you must be the first thing you put down on your list.

There are major things you’ll put down first. For example, you need to make a living. The first thing you will put down is your employment. The next thing you’ll put down it time with family.

You only have so many hours in the day. Spend them in a way that is healthy.

c. Get rid of the rest

You read that right. Get rid of everything else. Push it out.

Your goal is to thrive in this life. To do that you have to come to the conclusion that you CANNOT do it all. Something has to go or something will give out.

At this moment, I am wrestling with a lot. I run a church, teach a public school class, trying to start this personal business, and I have a family. That doesn’t include that I take care of everything in the house. My wife has an illness that she is working through. It doesn’t include the hours I spend coaching, counseling, and hanging out with people.

Notice something? I didn’t have a hobby in there. Yes, there is nothing for my personal sanity in those words.

Needless to say, I am overbooked and over exhausted.

My life is steamrolling towards burnout.

I have to do something about it.

I am trying to determine what needs to go in my life. It is not an easy thing to do. Yet, my goal is not to do it all but to be healthy.


The greatest thing you can do for you is to learn to say NO.

Don’t be afraid to say no to people so you can say yes to you!

3. Lean into your faith.

I am unashamed of my faith. I am a follower of Jesus.

What does that mean?

I am a believer in the truths of The Bible and how you can apply them to everyday life. This means that there are truths in the Bible that can help us live a life of victory.

When you are facing incredible overwhelming odds lean into your faith.

I find the greatest peace when I am praying. No matter what is happening or coming against me I can find peace when I pray. I get a sense that everything will be ok.

The greater my overwhelming feelings the greater I have to press into my faith. I have to believe that I can keep moving forward. I have someone rooting for me and giving me the strength to overcome.

When I learn to be grateful, drop dead weight, and lean into my faith I can move my life from surviving to thriving.


I would love for you to do a few things for me 🙂

#1. I love it when people share their thoughts.

I am eager to hear how you have helped someone through this? Please honor me by commenting below! I look forward to engaging you through them!

#2. Would you consider sharing these retweets as well as sharing the article?

[bctt tweet=”The greatest thing you can do for you is to learn to say NO. #livestrong #sayno” username=”Jim_burgoon”] [bctt tweet=”Stress happens when you do more than you are able to. #liveburdenfree ” username=”jim_burgoon”] [bctt tweet=”You were meant to THRIVE and not just survive. #liveoutloud #liveitup” username=”Jim_burgoon”]


About the Author Jim