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  • Writer's pictureErika Sardinha

The Secret to Truly Thrive in Life as a Survivor

If you told me ten years ago that I would thrive in life, I would never have believed you. I was barely surviving, and thriving sounded like a farfetched concept. 

On the outside, though, people thought I had it all together, even when I was at my lowest. 

The thing is, I had always been the helper; the person to go for guidance, sometimes financial help - listen, this one is funny because I was broke most of my life - and relationship advice. Even though I was broke, and broken, I did a great job helping other people thrive. Unfortunately, I sucked at following my own advice. 

Sounds familiar? Don't worry, we are all guilty of this. 

You may ask: "But, Erika, if you were feeling broke and broken, why did people think you were thriving?" 

That's a valid question. It was a mix of achieving enough external stuff for people to think I was doing okay and at the same time never, ever sharing my struggles with anyone. 

So when I went abroad 10 years ago, got into an adventurous relationship, learned a third language, and moved to the Canary Islands, everyone thought I was having the time of my life. Putting it that way it sounds beautiful, right? 

The reality is that back then, I was downright checked out and disconnected from myself, and feeling either numb or depressed most of the time. The adventurous relationship quickly died out after I arrived in the Canary Islands, and I was working an insane amount of hours to be able to afford both my and my now ex's expenses.

Why do we survivors do that so well? Well, we learned that suffering in silence is how it's supposed to be. Going through trauma is an isolating experience, and unfortunately, many of us unknowingly prolong that isolation for years or even decades. 

And that's where I was a decade ago, trapped in behaviors and beliefs learned from my traumatic experiences. But since then, a lot of things have changed for the better. 

After a few cycles that brought me back to my old preset life situation - aka broke and broken - I started rethinking my life. 

I call the 'old preset life situation,' that place where you always end up in life and ask yourself: "How is it possible that I ended up here again?" only to discover that until you learn the lesson, that situation is going to repeat itself.

So, I was done with my old preset life situation and decided to change. It was clear to me, that I could get out of any situation, but this time I wanted to get out and stay out. Plus, a little enjoyment would be nice. Little did I know, I was actually aiming for a thriving life. And I couldn't get there if I kept focusing on the outside; I needed to go inwards. 

I was lucky enough to understand at the beginning of my journey that - to me - there is no thriving if I'm not happy. And I don't mean 'la la land' happy. I mean fulfillment, inner peace, and enjoyment as a preset. I'm not sure what got me, to go from feeling numb most of the time to dreaming about a happy life, but that's how it went. I guess I was done, done. 

Fast forward to today, I can say I'm thriving and living a happy life. And the best part is, I also feel it in my bones. It feels like a triumph, especially for someone with a history of trauma and abuse. 

As a survivor, the road to a truly thriving life can be bumpy, but that's why I'm here; I walked the walk, and I'm ready to tell you the secret that makes all the difference. 

To truly thrive as a survivor, one must have a 'from the inside out' mindset. It doesn't matter what you want from life, you're gonna have to go inwards before, during, and after the fact. 

Let me give you an example; let's say you want to have the relationship of your dreams. You know what is it that you desire in a partner and you even have a list of attributes your partner should or should not have. 

Now, I ask you: are you really open to a new relationship? Did you grieve and self-forgive? Does your heart feel ready? 

If you get into the relationship of your dreams, do you know how to do 'healthy'? (I certainly didn't!) Can you be vulnerable in your relationship? How about embracing happiness and truly relaxing and enjoying your partner? 

A lot of questions right? I know, but it will be alright because the answers are all within you, and they are the ones who will allow you to thrive and be happy now, and then. 

Imagine living in a world where you feel so good inside that you're able to patiently go after what you really want, and when you get it, there's no emptiness, just joy, and fulfillment. Doesn't it sound amazing?

I call it thriving from the inside out, and it is as amazing as it sounds. If you want to know more about it, subscribe to this blog (down below) if you haven't already. That will be the topic of my next blog. 

In the meantime, in what ways can you go inward, so that you can change your outward reality? 

I can not wait to see you thriving from the inside out!




Pssst: I'm giving away FREE Next Level Clarity sessions this month. If you want more clarity about where you are, where you want to go, and what is it you need to start working on to get there, this offer is for you. 

At the end of the session, if it feels aligned for both of us, we can talk about ways of working together. If it doesn't, it's all good. Either way, you'll leave the call with more clarity and peacefulness. 

I've been helping survivors of trauma and abuse heal, thrive, and level up with my content, blogs, podcast interviews, my Facebook group Happy Survivors Tribe, free masterclasses, exclusive trainings, and 1:1 coaching programs.

It doesn't matter where you are in your journey, there's a resource for you. Email me at if you have any questions or simply want to share your story.     

You can book your Free Next Level Clarity Session here


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