3 Signs that you are Surviving, Not Living.

September 21, 2015 Thoughts

Do you do what you do to survive or do you do what you do as part of living?  Many people think they are living life, even if they don’t like the life they have,  but they make their choices bases on fear, or the need to survive.  Survive what?

1.  The need for approval from others.

For people who are surviving, not living, the need for Parental approval is high.  Their choice of work and how they live is to be seen as ‘good enough’ for their parents, or extended family.  They may struggle their whole life and one day realise they will never be ‘good enough’.

For others who are surviving not living it can be the need to be ‘seen’ as successful.  They may stay in a job they hate and despise for years so that they have enough to buy the best, the newest, the biggest. They may hang out with people they are never really close to, yet they are the right people to be seen with, the type of people others would approve of. They can become quite bitter and cynical as life seems to have little meaning.

The flip side of the coin can be those who play a small game in life to keep the approval of other non-achievers, generational welfare families may fall into this category.  The need to be part of the tribe means that they never risk being called a ‘tall poppy’ or ‘too big for their boots’.

2.  The need for certainty or safety.

Many people live lives of quiet desperation, never taking a risk, staying in a stable job that pays the bills even though it does not fulfil them in any other way, so that they always feel safe.  Their need for certainty means that they will stay in unfulfilling or even abusive relationships, as the perceived safety of what they have is better than the fear of the unknown.  They survive by always remaining within the comforts of what they already know, even if at some level they know their life is shrinking; they are not really living, just dying slowly.


3.  The dream of “One Day”

Some people survive life by dreaming about what they will do “One Day”.  They have dreams that always seem just out of reach and that they tell themselves one day I will travel the world, write a book, learn a language, get out of this abusive relationship and the lists go on. They think their one day will be when the kids have grown up, I have made a million dollars or after I retire.  Unfortunately for many, “one day” never happens.  Maybe they live a safe life telling themselves they will be happy when…  they get a new car, meet the right man/woman, win lotto.  Their whole life is on hold for that one day, that ‘thing’ that will make life the way it is meant to.  They survive in the meantime, never living only waiting.

Are you surviving or living?   Please leave a comment below about your experiences of surviving or living.


If any of these things apply to you and you would like to know more about moving from surviving to living than call Maryanne on 0418247775, or email me at maryanne@beingyourthoughts.com.au