The National Society of Leadership and Success
Building leaders who make a better world
Bridget Pasapane's picture

My name is Alyssa Phillips. That in itself for the longest time was insignificant. I was just surviving, just barely getting by, and each day it seemed to be harder and harder to just get by. I had big thoughts but I could never really get to them because of the task of living day to day. I joined The National Society of Leadership and Success because I had big thoughts and I figured why not. It was just another thing that filled my day. The speakers had good messages but not a single one spoke to me until Arianna Huffington started to speak about "Thrive."

I couldn't remember the last time my internal gas tank was full; empty was the normal. I was burnt out. The funny thing was, I didn't know it. I didn't know I was just surviving. I thought I was living. I am young, only twenty years old, and I had resigned myself to just scraping by. I was inspired by the idea of Thrive [the title of Huffington’s book and the topic of her Society speaker broadcast]. I had spent the better part of the past ten years—half of my short life—out of control. I struggled with my personality disorder, depression, anxiety, self-harm, and in the darkest of my days, I fought to keep living. I struggled with keeping it a secret because I was ashamed of the stigma surrounding mental health.

I have big dreams; I want to help children with the same things I struggled with and more. I want to help others to learn to do more than just survive, and to live fulfilling lives. I used to have a roaring fire pushing me toward all my dreams, but my life was just there, nothing significant about it. I was so caught up in work and school and life that it consumed every moment of each day. I was unhappy. I was so burnt out that my relationships suffered. I would barely even speak to my fiancé; I was on autopilot on a plane that was headed toward the ground.

The twelve simple steps of Thrive were life changing for me. It started out simply by getting a few extra minutes of sleep, choosing to walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, or thanking my fiancé for loving me regardless of where I was in my life. From there I was able to start making lists of what’s good in my life, who can I help today, and what can I do to start making connections to those around me. I found my footing and I was able to start doing the hardest thing, forgiving myself for everything I had held onto, and working harder each day to not only survive but Thrive.

Originally posted on the Huffington Post

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Alyssa Phillips
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Friday, July 24, 2015
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