By Latasha McGill
When I was a little girl, I felt like an adult in a child’s body. I felt like I had responsibilities, thoughts, and concerns that a child shouldn’t have. I became a mom at the age of seventeen, and by the time I was twenty-five years old, I was the mother of four daughters. That’s a lot of life to go through in such a short period. Nonetheless, it was my life, and I not only had to live it, but I also had to navigate and survive through it. I’m not sure when I developed the Survivor’s Mentality, but I can remember being in that state of mind as early as ten years old. Believe me when I say it’s a heavy cross to bear. It gets heavier the longer you carry it. The thing about Survivor’s Mentality is that it is customized for everyone. For me, it was derived from my experiences, circumstances, situations, and traumas.
For many years, I was raising my children alone (even when I was married), often alone, trying to better my life and theirs with education, building a career, and finding love and being loved and doing all this while being broken and unhealed. I was a woman who was existing and not really living. My daughters were always my “Why” even before the term existed, and I knew what it was. I was surviving for them, pushing myself through for them.
The Survivor’s Mentality cripples you. It tricks you into believing you can’t trust people, not even yourself, at times. It makes you think you can do everything yourself. You label yourself Strong, Independent and believe you must hold onto this mentality to protect yourself. It also prevents you from having healthy relationships. The Survivor’s Mentality always keeps you on guard, and when you do let your guard down, it’s usually for a toxic situation. My Survivor’s Mentality had me in a place of mental and emotional bondage, drawn to toxic and abusive people and environments. This mentality will also keep you stuck in a place of familiarity mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. Moreover, the Survivor’s Mentality has you in a place of fear.
So, how do you break free from it? Healing is the ultimate answer. When I began my healing journey, it opened my world up, and my mind became free. Divorcing the Survivor’s Mentality wasn’t easy because I was married to it for years. It was a huge part of my existence, but it wasn’t giving me life. Surviving for me meant a lot of anxiety and worrying about everything. I had to make a conscious choice to let it go. Every day you wake up, you must decide to let it go. Live in the present and vibrate positive energy. The frequencies from the positive shift will kinetically connect you with the right people, places, and spaces. It took me a while to shed the part of my Survivor’s Mentality that kept telling me, “I had to do it by myself.” For years, this was my reality, but that way of thinking does not serve you in a healthy relationship or any other area of your life.
Letting go of the Survivor’s Mentality drew me closer to God and closer to myself. I discovered I no longer desired to be the strong, independent; I can do it all by myself woman. I just wanted to be a woman who has nothing to prove by having labels God didn’t ordain for me to have. I like having the Peaceful, Wisdom Seeking Mentality. This mentality, coupled with discernment, keeps me grounded, centered, and focus. When old habits and thoughts creep back in, I use tools such as prayer, meditation, journaling, affirmations, and therapy to bring me back to my center. Healing is a journey. I have learned to give myself grace in this journey and to be patient and compassionate with myself. I have surrendered it all to the Almighty God and have gained a greater understanding of Him and His love for me.
I encourage you to release your own Survivor’s Mentality because you deserve to be free from people, places, and spaces that do not add value to you, that do not serve you. You deserve a life full of joy, peace, and freedom. All it takes is the will and desire to do so and begin your journey one day at a time.
Latasha McGill is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Tasha Mac is a mom of four adult daughters, a vegan, and a workout junkie who lives by the mantra Whole Person Healthy. It is her journey of total wellness in all areas of life. She enjoys encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring people to discover their own journey of total wellness and seek wholeness and freedom every day. Her favorite guilty pleasure is veggie chips with hummus or guacamole.