Don't Just 'Survive' as an HSP, Thrive as an HSP!
Updated: Jan 11, 2019
There are all these books, resources, and talk out there about how to survive as an HSP. And while I think it is reassuring that the trait is becoming more widely known, and that there are more and more HSP survival guides popping up to support our struggles as HSPs, there is a part of me that thinks: “Well, what about thriving as an HSP? I don’t want to just survive as an HSP…”
"What if we could thrive instead of just surviving? That’s what I want to teach HSPs if I teach them anything: Don’t limit yourself to just surviving... open up your mind to the possibilities beyond that." -Coach Tiara
How we view what is possible for us has major influence on our health and happiness. And while I think that teaching HSPs how to survive is a helpful and positive sentiment, I feel it also sends us a slightly negative subliminal message that that is all we can aspire to be: merely surviving in this world that isn’t quite suitable to us.
But what if it could be suitable? What if we could make our part of the world suitable? And not just suitable, but maybe even rejuvenating, exhilarating, grounding, strengthening, calming, uplifting, and supportive? What if we could thrive instead of just surviving? That’s what I want to teach HSPs if I teach them anything: Don’t limit yourself to just surviving. Once you’ve gotten yourself steady on your life raft, take a deep breath, and let yourself relax for a second… and then open up your mind to the possibilities beyond that. Maybe there is an island of paradise just beyond the horizon that we couldn’t really think about before when we were treading water and grasping for air.
Take a journey with me for a second: Imagine after some big storms and some fighting for safety, you are able to steady yourself on the raft. The clouds clear up and the sun comes out. You find the middle of the raft, plant yourself down, and get balanced. The waters have calmed down now. You take a deep breath in, and exhale out. For the first time in a while, you feel like you can see past one foot in front of you, and you are in awe at how expansive the view is. There is bright blue glistening water in every direction. You blink a few times, and remind yourself to keep breathing, still in somewhat of a state of disbelief at everything around you. Taking it all in bit by bit, like a true HSP. ;)
Suddenly, you notice there is an island way off in the distance. You plop your hands down into the water and try feverishly to start paddling yourself in the direction of the island. Although, all that is really doing is throwing off your balance. The raft starts rocking again, and the water splashes around you... So, you decide to stop, breathe, rebalance yourself, and keep focusing on staying calm and relaxed. You've already drifted a bit closer, and then you realize of course that you are close enough to shore where the tide is moving in the direction of the island anyway. You wait it out... with the sun shining on your back and drying off the splashes of water on the raft.
Eventually, you make it to the island. Your raft hits the shore, you jump out, run up the beach, and you feel a sense of relief! Finally! Phew. But, just as soon as the relief set in, it is now dissipating because you think, "well, what the heck now!? ...What if the island has no food, no shelter, what if there are other inhabitants that don't approve of my arrival? What if its too cold at night? Too hot during the day?". So many worries run through your mind! But what if, you redirected your mind to thinking of other possibilities... like, "what if there are loads of nutritional and delicious tropical fruits here? What if there are other people here who can help support me? What if they've built little tree-houses and I can end up living in a island, forest paradise! What if I can support myself well enough here that I actually grow to love it, and feel like I have everything I need?"
When you get to your raft, or your island, or whatever the next step is for you, try to shift your mindset to thinking of the positive possibilities. Despite what you may have grown to believe deep down, you don't have to live your life feeling unfulfilled, unhappy, unhealthy, or like you don't belong. You don't have to limit yourself to just surviving in what seems like someone else's type of world. What if you could make it your own? What if you could thrive instead?