Stop Striving Start Thriving | ItThis summer I realized I’m a striver. I try very hard, too hard, to make things happen, and often times feel exhausted by my hard-driven efforts.

This is not a fun way to live, because so often when I hit the finish line, there’s no energy left to enjoy the accomplishment. This awareness has made it clear to me that this is not how I want live out my days. It’s just too hard to find peace in the midst of trying so hard.

So I’ve made a decision to try thriving instead of striving. My first steps have been to journal more, and to spend special time with the things in life that make me very happy.

As so often happens when seeking to be open, the perfect guidance showed up as the perfect time. I have been hugely inspired by The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. This book emphasizes the importance of understanding what really turns you on in life, and I love this concept. Instead of trying too hard for reasons related to the ego, I decided to give myself permission to drop into what feels good, joyous and even blissful.

The big surprise though was how uncomfortable dropping in to my bliss made me feel. If I am whistling along in my life, what will others think? Will they think I am an unproductive person? Will they think I’m a freeloader, or a slacker? Oh my goodness, I hit a gold mine of information on myself that I didn’t know existed! There was the ego in living color, taking up all sorts of space in my mind and not allowing the soul its chance to be heard and seen. It shocked me to realize that there was a part of me that really felt those feelings. Bingo!

What matters is how I deal with those thoughts, now that I know they’re there. So often we underestimate the negative thoughts and beliefs that lie somewhere beneath the surface, just waiting to leap on us when we feel most vulnerable. Now I feel free from the restrictions of those beliefs, because I’ve pulled them into the light. I can choose to listen to another voice, the voice of my soul, guiding me to the things that really matter. This is the way to feel as good as I can feel every moment for the rest of my life.

It’s occurred to me how understanding what really makes me happy is the ultimate act of self love.