For those of us who grew up in not so safe homes, we all learned “rules” to survive the chaos. Often times what we figured out was to keep our heads down and not draw attention to ourselves, so bad things don’t happen to us. Another rule we learn is to not take risks, because surviving daily was a hard enough challenge. What happens over time is we learned to not get involved and not to put ourselves out there to others. To be fair, for many of us, keeping to these survival tactics was necessary to make it through our childhood in one piece.

The problems come when we finally leave the unsafe home and start to build adult lives for ourselves. What we eventually realize is that the rules for childhood survival do not allow us to thrive as healthy adults. To grow a full and balanced adult life requires us to take risks and to engage with people around us in a meaningful way. We have to intentionally choose to step out of our comfort zones! This means, putting ourselves out there for the promotion at work, or starting our own business, buying a house or even more frightening, pursuing a relationship with that special someone that really catches our attention.

For us “survivalists”, proactively inviting challenges into our lives goes against our core beliefs, and seems downright nuts! But experience teaches us that “playing it safe” in our professional and personal lives usually leads to disappointment. But how do we change the strategy from Surviving to Thriving? This is where the assistance of a skilled therapist is invaluable. An experienced Psychologist can help you identify problematic patterns in your life and help you develop different approaches to life challenges through the process. Much like how a good golf coach can correct problems in your swing, a knowledgeable Psychologist will pinpoint the “glitches” in your life and help you pick a healthier path. If you are sick and tired of just getting by and “Surviving”, and would like to start “Thriving” in your life please give us a call at West Maui Counseling Center. Our team of skilled Maui Psychologists are waiting to help you move toward a fuller more satisfying life!

Please feel free to email us here if you’d like to schedule some time to talk. WMCC therapists are very skilled at helping folks learn to live healthier and challenge old patterns, living a fuller and mentally healthier life!