Shift from Enduring to Flourishing

| August 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

by Mrs. Freud

“What does not kill me makes me stronger!” This sentiment is a staple in many households and maybe it was in yours growing up. It is very prevalent with people who went through severe hardships like a war or the Depression. It is understandable in those times and served well for survival. Today, we live in a much different world. Rarely is our physical survival in danger. Yet we might live in a state of enduring things rather than seeking out the things that help us prosper and flourish.

As a psychologist and life coach, I know very well the difference between enduring and flourishing. My psychology clients in Vienna had serious clinical mental health issues and were struggling with everyday life. They often had to endure to make it through the days. The pain they experienced brought them in to my office to get the benefits of modern psychology and its techniques. With life coaching today it is much different. I work with highly functioning people who want to go from “okay” to excellent, from only a little pain to great beyond their wildest dreams. It always amazes me how difficult it is for people to go beyond the point of “good enough.” It is as if many of us don´t think they deserve to feel and live better than just good enough. “It´s okay,” and “it will do” are statements that limit progress and growth, forward movement and building momentum in terms of prospering.

The downside of living in the “good enough” zone is that we are not the best we could be. Only when we flourish do we inspire others to do the same and then share our gifts and talents with the world. It is our responsibility to do what we can and to accept help so that we can function at our own personal best.

However, here is something to think about. It is one thing to think to deserve the new iphone or latest fashion accessory. These are short lived satisfactions, because the next better thing is invariably around the corner. But it is a different story to truly believe you deserve a chaos-free life, to be able to set boundaries with energy vampires or to consistently and consequently follow a lifelong dream like writing a book or learning a skill from scratch. Too often we barely think about it and put it in the category of “one day I will do it.” That way our days, months and years vanish, filled with routines, work and chores that say nothing about who we truly are, what makes us happy and what we stand for in this world, during this one and only life of ours.

I wish I had a magic wand so that I could wave it and make everyone take a first tiny step in the direction of their very own personal flourishing. Eventually the world would be freed of much jealousy, micromanaging, envy, dissatisfaction and much more. We would all become more generous towards others, once we have fulfilled ourselves.

“I can´t afford it,” I hear from people considering going on the journey with the help of a life coach. Truly, we all can´t afford not to do it. Just existing is not the way to go. We have all these options that many of our parents did not have. I see it as our duty and responsibility to follow the path of prospering and flourishing and not to stand still in any enduring mode out of habit or just because we are scared. Limiting ourselves serves no one, but going in the direction of a fulfilled and happy life serves us all.

Author Sabine Starr is a psychologist licensed in Vienna, Austria, currently living and working in Mission Hills. She has written numerous articles for professional psychology journals. For further information, visit and follow her blog at; and a new social media offering is

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