To survive means to continue to live or exist in spite of danger, whereas to thrive means to grow, develop and prosper. Most of us have times in life when we have to pass through a period of survival in order to thrive. So why is it that some of us are more equipped to get through periods of survival in order to reach a higher plane and ‘thrive’?
This could be attributed to having had parents who themselves had good strategies to survive difficult or traumatic situations and these were learnt from a young age. What of the reverse, for those of us who were not so fortunate, and raised in ‘toxic environments’, leading to the development of ‘early maladaptive schemas’, and in order to survive grasped onto whatever coping strategies we could devise, but often these strategies were unhealthy and could develop into longer term problems, preventing any possibility of ‘thriving’.
How do we reach out to those who deserve a chance in life to thrive and not just survive? As a schema therapist I have had the privilege of watching many of my clients let go of unhelpful coping strategies which they used to survive childhood traumas. They have replaced them with new, more helpful strategies enabling them to survive difficult situations as adults and eventually go on to thrive.