How do we thrive inward and socially?

Abeer albashiti
6 min readFeb 24, 2023

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We tend to focus on continuously improving ourselves, ignoring or underestimating what we are or have at the moment, always looking for more to achieve, waiting for the best time to start something, striving to have someone in our lives, and searching for the status or salary we dream of.

None of these makes us thrive; on the contrary, these are the recipe for anxious life where more is always needed, and now is never enough. By doing this, we unconsciously associate our contentment with uncertain external conditions that we contribute to but do not control the results.

This makes us live in the future without feeling present, where we miss unforgettable moments and interactions. And, above all, preventing love from letting in from people who strive to share their warmth gestures with us.

And, to make it clear, I love outward thriving through professional achievements; it feels amazing! And one of the reasons for writing this article is to share how overestimating them is painful; focusing on external paths of thriving that are by nature uncertain is wrong and directly impacts our wellbeing.

What does thriving mean?

Let’s start by detaching thriving from happiness; they are different! Despite that, happiness is a state that sometimes comes when we thrive, yet thriving is much broader than happiness.

To thrive means living in alignment with your authentic self; you feel the depth, balance, discomfort, and challenge in your life. In both cases, you are learning and bouncing forward without feeling shame, the number one cause of non-thriving.

Thriving implies discomfort and challenges us to speak up in tough situations or take immediate actions, and as it is a journey, we may get it right or mess up! Both are great lessons for our journeys, and we shall accept that.

However, one of the costs we pay for being vulnerable within the thriving process is feeling shame when expressing ourselves openly in the wrong setting!

Sharing our stories with all is not right; they must earn that through their previous presence and support, especially when we are vulnerable.

These topics are one of my favorites, especially after pursuing a career in mentoring and augmenting AI algorithms with an emotional layer to build empathy within the technology.

It’s an amazing journey that requires a massive effort from my side to ensure I encourage others to join me on this cause i.e.; no one would like to hear about boosting emotional wellbeing from someone feeling bad!

So, it’s a responsibility and privilege to be in this position, and sometimes challenging; I used to push myself too much to be well all the time, which is not right or realistic.

Part of my thriving journey is to embrace being emotional and reactive sometimes, feeling imperfect, shame, and guilt. Despite that, I work with my trainees to overcome them. This does not mean I do not feel these states. I notice them, let them in, and then learn to overcome them with minimum pain.

Whether you are a mentor, a practitioner, or a coach, you are still a human, or what I love to call myself, an emotional being. So, it’s OK to feel bad sometimes.

Things are going well, and sometimes I figured it out. Then, something hits me on a nerve, and I realize it’s never done. The self-purification process is a continuous journey with massive inner work.

And you know what! I found that embracing tough emotions and expressing them soothing our souls; it’s just like training a muscle. Sharing that with others is also a skill that requires good judgment; we share our stories with people who earn that to protect ourselves from carelessness or firing back.

Why it’s critical!

Because seeking support implies showing vulnerabilities that require empathy, validation, then reflection on the learnings. And, if we do not receive that when sharing with others, there is no way to consider them as a support system or a reliable connection. And as a result, we will not receive the value of vulnerability as the path of psychological safety.

While working in the wellbeing area, I pushed myself and received harsh notes when I felt unwell! Assuming that working in boosting wellbeing means I feel 100% well all the time!!!

And here comes feeling shame for being yourself, which is anti-thriving on all fronts! Being human means emotions and vulnerabilities are part of our contract with life. While shame and guilt are included, they are not human norms, but we must handle them with curiosity to learn and thrive.

Validating our emotions is not a privilege within a conscious relationship, whether with a lover, a family member, or a friend; it’s the least we can do to build our containers of admiration, respect, and love. If we do not consider this a primary pillar, we will never have a long-lasting conscious connection.

The benefits of mastering conscious vulnerability are the ability to ground expectations, ensure we are in the right setting in terms of place and people, open the space to receive love gestures from others, and then strengthen the connection more.

At workplaces, the issue’s impact is complicated by at least 3x; being vulnerable means compromising your career path, relationships with colleagues, and self-image. Does this mean no need for vulnerability at work?

Of course not, but we need to work on creating a safe environment first, and in a professional setting, personal interaction will follow; co-workers will feel heard and respected. And they will be able to build a good judgment regarding when and to whom they can show their vulnerabilities.

Why I am sharing!

I was impressed with the idea of showing vulnerability, readings articles and books for my thriving, and implementing whatever I see as doable with our trainees. Now, it should be combined with good judgment i.e., where and with whom shall we share our story, and do they earn to hear it?

Throwing our vulnerabilities with people who do not care, or at least they can not relate, is disappointing. And to be fair, they do not owe us to show up if they don’t want to, a fact that we sometimes forget!

And here are some points that are worth your attention:

  • Shame and guilt are within human nature, so accept them and work on making them an exception, not a norm.
  • Showing vulnerabilities is always great; it's a way of building conscious relationships. And this should be with people who earned it, those who want to hear your story and support you.
  • The number one metric to measure if this is a healthy setting, relationship, and environment is the ability to validate your thoughts and emotions when sharing your story. And you can feel it, so be intuitive.
  • Giving chances is a must because we are humans! And we mess up sometimes, yet both parties should do the work if they are interested in doing whatever it takes to reconnect with a new setting and learnings.
  • For me, love, respect, and admiration are created by actions and aggregated in our hearts’ containers! These containers are evacuated by hurting actions, and sometimes they break. So, we must keep working on filling up good deeds.
  • And for mentors, coaches, and practitioners who are learning or working on wellbeing boosting with or without technology:
    YOU will feel bad sometimes and may question your career. And remember, no one has the right to judge or blame you just because you feel vulnerable and seek support.

Thanks for reaching this point; it seems the article resonates with you ;-)

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Abeer albashiti

YOU can consider me as an enabler who loves to connect with people and lives a life of service :)