We wear our struggles like a badge of honor. We’re a culture of warriors. Included in any good success story are the struggles we’ve had to overcome. We may be sleep-deprived, completely stressed, and perpetually busy, but we’re always able to get it all done.

But, if you can accomplish so much when you’re just enduring, imagine what could happen if you started thriving. Imagine what could happen if you stopped putting yourself through struggles and started feeding yourself a little water and sunshine.

If you want to reach your full potential, it’s time to stop enduring and start thriving. Curious how? Try these five ways.

1. Cut the obligations.

These days, there are so many things we have to do that we hardly have time for ourselves. But, in actuality, there’s not much we really have to do—just a series of choices. We choose to go to work or we might get fired. We choose to do the dishes or our place will look like a pigpen. And we can choose to drop the stuff that feels like obligations. If we’re just doing it because we’re supposed to and not because we love it, it might be time to drop the dead weight and make choices more in line with the life we want. Because anything in our life we don’t love is stopping us from completely loving our life.

2. Do what comes naturally.

These days, people are so focused on fixing their weaknesses that they forget about their strengths. In our constant quest to round ourselves out, we start to lose our edge. But why make things difficult when you’ve already got a leg up? You can save a lot of time and headache by focusing on what naturally comes easiest to you. Drop the embedded belief that anything worth doing has to be a struggle, and learn how to play to your own strengths. No one is naturally good at everything, but people who thrive constantly put themselves in situations where they’re set up to succeed.

3. Learn how to let people down.

There are just over 7 billion people in this world. Chances are you’re going to disappoint one or two from time to time. Instead of living your life based on what others will think, you’ve got to remember that you’re only responsible for making one of those people happy. We’re inundated with rules, from laws and business policies to dress codes and cultural norms. It’s hard enough keeping it all straight without people’s expectations. So give yourself a free pass to be imperfect and get really good at letting people down. The less afraid you are of saying no to others, the better you’ll be at saying yes to yourself.

4. Ask for help when you need it.

Slow down there, Superman, or Wonder Woman. You may be perfectly capable of doing, or learning how to do, just about anything. But is that really the best use of your time? Does it light you up? Does it make you thrive? Instead of doing everything under the sun, why not stick to what you’re really good at and ask for help on the rest. Chances are there’s someone out there who would love to help with what you’re needing, and it frees you up more time to spend on what you really love. The strong person is the one who can admit that he or she needs a little bit of help.

5. Keep your eye on the prize.

Enduring is all about struggling. It’s about going from one obstacle to the next. But thriving—that’s about growth. Sure, there are a few aches and growing pains on the way to flourishing, but that’s all par for the course. Instead of getting stuck in the rut of current obstacles, keep your focus on where you’re moving. Remember why you’re doing this in the first place and how you’re progressing toward your goal. We don’t measure magnitude; we measure direction. And, if you’re working towards your goals, you’re growing in the right direction. I think some people call that thriving.

We’re insistent on struggling our way to success without ever tapping into our own arsenal. We’ve got strengths, passions, and skills that we’re ignoring. And, if we keep ignoring them, we’ll keep the game weighted against us.

So let’s turn this board around. Let’s create a playing field on our own terms. Let’s decide, once and for all, to stop struggling and start thriving.

Because thriving is really about laying a groundwork that inevitably leads to success.

And it’s about time your potential starts to bloom.

Featured photo credit: Thai Jasmine via flickr.com

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