Quality Magazine

Jim's Gems: Develop a Survivor Mentality

June 12, 2012


Have you ever noticed that when times get tough, some people fold while others become stronger? Have you ever wondered why some seem to be able to handle life better than others? Everyone likes to think that they have what it takes to survive adversity and tough times, but when the chips are down, some folks definitely do better than others.

In contrast to the participants in the glut of reality shows, which only seem to bring out the worst in human behavior, the real survivors in life have developed personalities that allow them more options. They also have a strong and clear intention to survive, and to do it in good shape. When problems or setbacks occur, they don't waste time complaining. They certainly don't dwell on the past or what they might have lost. Instead, they focus their energies on getting things to turn out well.

Countless articles and books, including Al Siebert’s The Survivor Personality, have been written on this topic. However, one of the key points is that survivors believe, no matter what happens, is that they are the ones who are in charge of their destinies. They don't get mad at the world for not treating them better, but they do seem to have an extensive menu of behaviors to choose from, depending on the situation. In other words, the real survivors are option-thinkers, vs. black and white, either/or thinkers.

Real survivors have developed a wonderful ability to face adversity head-on, because they know that even if they lose everything else, they will still have themselves. People with a survivor mentality can walk confidently into the unknown because they expect to find a way to make things work out.

So, if you want to be a true survivor, don’t think or act like a victim. Instead, focus your attention less on safety and security and more on developing positive self-beliefs and personal expectations. Think in terms of options and you can develop a survivor mentality that can turn adversity into opportunities. You can do it so get started today.