Shifting from Survive to Thrive

When asked the question: “What’s your title?” the natural response is to blurt out what’s in your email signature or printed on your business cards. Makes sense, right? For me, career has always been front and center in my life. And, I could probably recite every job title I’ve had since I first walked through the doors of Ketchum in 1992. I think it’s fair to say that I earned those job titles and I certainly never took them for granted.  But, what about the titles that become attributed to us in our personal lives? The titles we end up with, whether by choice or by circumstance.

I started thinking about “what’s in a title” when I learned I was being recognized as a Visionary of the Year from a hidden gem non-profit called Single Moms Planet. After a friend of mine spent a year urging me to get involved with this organization, I finally gave in and attended a panel discussion. I was inspired by their mission to empower under-resourced single Moms and, in typical Christy Salcido fashion, I went from sitting on the sidelines to speaking, mentoring and writing blogs for them. Then I pressed the pause button.

Single Mom wasn’t a title I had ever aspired to, unlike my current SVP/Brand Practice Director title at Ketchum. All of a sudden I found myself waving the Single Mom flag, but it wasn’t planned. You see, three years ago, I decided to move on from a very turbulent personal relationship and, by doing so, came to the realization that being a strong, positive role model for my daughter Carly – simply had to be my priority.  So, why wasn’t I proud of this title?

I realized that, for a very long time, the first word I thought of each morning as I faced the day was SURVIVE. How would I survive all of the pressures and responsibilities that came with my titles?  Then, I decided to change that word to THRIVE. Now, I wake up and think about how I can thrive each day as Christy Salcido – in my life and in my work.  So I pressed the play button. And, I proudly accepted the title and the award from Single Moms Planet.

Whatever quandary you might find yourself in – whether it’s a crossroads in your career or if you’re simply feeling “stuck” in your life and you need to rediscover your passion – my hope is that the advice below might help you turn that corner and move from a survive to thrive mindset.

Five Ways to Move From A Survive to Thrive Mindset:

Speak Up!
There’s nothing wrong with asking for what you want. We spend so much time over-thinking what the reaction or decision might be, that we chicken out and never speak up! Be in the driver’s seat of your career and your life so you can steer it in the direction you want to go.

Honesty Always Wins
The hardest person to be honest with is yourself. But, if you can’t take a long look in the mirror, how can you expect to thrive and grow?  Once you’ve been honest with yourself about your goals and aspirations, you can be honest with your boss about the direction you want to go in your career. Being honest with yourself also helps you move past less then positive situations in your personal life.

Don’t Let Your Dreams Live “Under the Carpet”
It’s human nature – we all sweep the topics we feel uncomfortable about – UNDER THE CARPET.  That way, we don’t see them and, in essence, don’t need to deal with them. Remove the “carpets” from your life and face those topics head on. Your dreams deserve discussion. Your conflicts require conversation if they’re ever going to be resolved. So, foster your dreams and face your conflicts. The right moment is… NOW.

Age Yourself Five Years
What?! Who wants to do that? What I mean is this – think about where you want to be or what you want to be known for in five years? What action and attitudes will it take NOW to get you there? A favorite quote and book of mine is: Happiness is a Choice.

Lean Into Change
I read somewhere that the only constant in life is change and it really resonated with me. If you consider yourself change adverse, try flipping that in your mind and start considering yourself a change agent. A change agent of your own life. Sure, change can be scary, but it also helps us grow. Change happens in our lives no matter what, so lean into it.