Moving Beyond the Mindset of a Survivor


Disclaimer: this post is based on an article written by Craig J. Phillips which appears on his blog, Second Chance to Live. Beyond Adversity employees, management, directors, advisers, consultants, and vendors are not in any way responsible for the content of Second Chance to Live or the beliefs/words of Phillips.

Phillips begins his article with the premise survivors have a mindset which actually delays or prevents rapid and thorough rehabilitation. As I think back to the first year or two following my brain injury, my version of reality was definitely based on the mindset of a survivor. I accepted my situation, I joked with friends about my situation, but I did very little to change my situation. I was thankful I survived. What more could I possibly want?

I attended physical, occupational, vision, speech, hearing, and cognitive therapies as directed, but I was attending therapies rather than actively participating in them or embracing suggestions. Participation and embracing came a few years after rehabilitation began.

According to Phillips, “what I discovered was that having the mindset of a “survivor” I nurtured a victim mentality” and by having the mindset of a survivor “I did not consider the possibilities of what I could do with my life.”

One of my favorite comments in the article is Phillip’s statement, “what I discovered was that by having the mindset of a “survivor” I never considered the possibility that I could create possibilities.”

To read the entire article written by Craig J. Phillips, click here.

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  1. I never thought of myself as a survivor until just recently. But my definition of ‘survivor’ says- just because someone has not succumbed to death, a survivor he/she is not. You become a survivor when you’ve learned to move with it and used what’s left to do something, anything. It can be as small as getting across the hall, street or town to climbing the highest mountain.

    1. Lexie, I like your definition of what is, and what is not, a survivor. If I understand you correctly, the people who Phillips calls survivors are actually survivors only in the sense they now have a second chance at life. To be a real survivor, one must also “embrace” the change and roll with the punches.

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