One of the most profound Maya Angelou quotes is “Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.” Sometimes we get so caught up with everyday situations and obstacles that it becomes difficult to see beyond them. While survival is crucial, at times we forget to shine.
To thrive, we must believe we are deserving of happiness, success, and joy. We must know and acknowledge our value. We must believe that we are worthy.
The choice is ours. We can merely survive, or we can thrive. Life will always throw us unforeseen circumstances. It could be heartbreak, a major physical, emotional or financial loss, or any life-altering change. The reality is, when situations leave us down and unsure of how to move forward, we go into fight or flight mode, with survival becoming our goal.
We don’t always realize that there is so much more beyond survival and that we have the opportunity to embrace whatever we choose. It is a choice to live a life worth living, to live a life that makes us proud, and to grasp our ability to thrive.
At some point in our lives, we are faced with people who try to discourage our success. They are the nay-sayers, the people who know better-than, do better-than, and believe they are better than everyone else. The people who hold you back, drag you down, cause you more pain than pleasure. They will tell you, candidly or inadvertently, that you aren’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough… simply not enough and never will be. Remember that those who try to prevent you from reaching greatness, are those who are incapable of reaching it themselves. And they are people we need to walk away from, whether it’s a partner, family member, friend or boss.
The moment you believe their words and believe that you aren’t enough, is the moment you will begin to just exist in your own life. You cannot prosper if you allow people to try to convince you that you aren’t worthy. Leave them behind, along with the self-doubt they caused, and don’t look back.
Because in order to thrive, you must move forward. And whomever you are moving forward without is someone you don’t need to have by your side. Remember that you are allowed to achieve success, to be happy and joyful, and to experience all the world has to offer, and you’re allowed to do it on your own.
Life moves on. We move on, closing chapters of our lives, and leaving people behind. Sometimes we struggle with leaving them behind because we feel guilty that we are able to move forward while their lives remain the same. Guilty for embracing opportunities presented to us, for embracing the growth we crave and require. But why? We should not feel bad about our success if we did the work, struggled through the hard times and earned it. We have to celebrate our achievements. We need to be proud of our ability to surpass the goal to just survive and be proud of how we can thrive.
And most importantly, we should never feel remorse for anyone we’ve moved on without. We should take comfort in knowing that we always can, should, and will thrive without them. Because they had a choice as well… and they chose to stay behind.