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To Succeed Or To Survive?

Written by: Cathy Dimarchos, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


“Survival of the fittest” is a quote so often referenced when looking at evolution, business, and even sport, but is it really what we should be aspiring towards?

When we look around everyone is setting the benchmark to “survive”, but are we selling ourselves short in thinking this is what we should be aiming for? What happened to thriving and planning forward, planning to succeed with a perpetual future outlook?

If you “survive”, then what?

Let’s take the next 5 minutes to really look at how we can better shape our mind so that the lens forward looks beyond survival; it includes thriving and success.

Your outcome is about your mind and your behaviour.

Our lived experiences and history, in general, enable us to reflect and make choices as we move forward. Yes, that’s right, the choices we make today are what will decide our future. Our future is not reliant on where we have been so if we aim to merely survive, that is great, set your plan forward to get you across the line of the destination you have chosen. There is no failure in that, you have succeeded, or have you? What do you do then?

Resilience is about survival, and we have seen triumphs of resilience over the past decade and in fact over centuries, but perhaps even more so over the past two years, especially through natural disasters, and then the pandemic. We have seen unsung hero’s show up day after day to provide comfort, support, and guidance.

We have recognised that as a collective, we keep getting up to do the same thing the next day, and that is showing us that we are resilient, we are surviving, however, the road forward appears to be longer than we anticipated, we waver, we doubt and we question what we all need to keep moving forward to stay resilient.

Everyone has drawn on their personal skills and tools from lived experiences, but still, we recognise that to survive we may need something more.

What can we add to our toolbox to go from Survival to Success?

Reflection provides us with a unique opportunity, to truly identify what has worked so that we may learn from it, not just to repeat it but to learn from it.

Let me elaborate on this point as we don’t’ always take the extra step.

If we ask ourselves; what have I been able to adapt, learn from and then use to become stronger; we would then take an extra step because it’s not just about doing the same thing to avert an error, it will be to ensure we elevate the outcome as well.

When we look at successful people in history, there is one key pattern that can be drawn on. Whether it be a battle, an individual or a corporation, they have all followed a similar path to reach success.

They have failed, they then reflected on key learnings and then looked at identifying what they could do differently to strengthen from what they have experienced.

Whilst this may not always appear to be an easy step, when you look at the alternative you have a key driver that is important – to succeed!

Don’t stay in a holding pattern of survival, take an extra step in the process and then enhance that by bringing others on the journey with you, collaborate, and create robust discussions, asking questions such as “what else?” increase your vision of strengthening so that you reach success.

Resilience vs Antifragility

Whilst others pursue the path to be more resilient, consider what you have just learnt and decide on your future. Do you want to survive and have learnt from it, or do you want to learn and strengthen from it?

The steps to develop this enhanced skill means that you will not just have a different path forward, but you will also have identified opportunities for growth personally and in business.

Antifragility is not new, it is just that very few know about it, very few practice it, and very few are able, willing, and prepared to change.

As a business strategist and advisor with three decades of lived experience in Finance and business, I now understand that we need to know more and to be more. My journey of strengthen began when I decided that learning needed to form part of life, so I also became a qualified Counsellor whilst staying in finance, and recently also became certified to train in the 4 stages of psychological safety but my learning’s don’t stop here, I learn through the feedback of my peers, my staff and my elders in pursuit of success.

For me success is to ensure that the people, leaders, and businesses that I work with succeed. Survival is the first step, but we must always strive for more. I succeed when you succeed.

How will your moments of reflection serve you? Want to learn more from Cathy? Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and visit her website.


Cathy Dimarchos, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Cathy Dimarchos is an award-winning business advisor, mentoring and coaching leaders internationally, and is an indefatigable philanthropist who believes we can all contribute to lifting the baseline of people across the world one person at a time.

She founded Solutions2you with the purpose of impacting so that she can serve others and leave a lasting imprint. As a professional advisor and motivational voice, Cathy dedicates her time to perfecting a combination of people, business, and situational skills. Her values take center stage, and business becomes honest and expressive. She believes that knowledge exchange leads to self-reliance with effective and sustainable outcomes.

Her Advisory services extend to New and Established Entrepreneurs, teams, and large corporates and support people to become antifragile in a world that is forever changing, stretching their boundaries.

“When we rise, it is important to also lift those around us” — Cathy Dimarchos.



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