The Thriver Zone Motivational Model
How and Why It Works
The Thriver Zone Motivational Model with the Seven Step to Thriving After Abuse has been developed over the last twenty years by Susan Omilian in her My Avenging Angel Workshops. Based on the idea that “living well is the best revenge,” these workshops have transformed the lives of hundreds of women who have survived domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, by helping them take the critical “next-step” from victim to survivor to thriver and create a new future for themselves and their children.
Having survived so much, many have a longing for something else to happen – something good and wonderful – but they didn’t know how to make it happen.
Here’s how Lora described her state of mind coming into Susan’s workshop:
“I had done a lot of work before I met Susan, attempting to make the best of a bad situation, dressing up my existence and trying to make life choices that wouldn’t victimize me. I knew I was no longer a victim. I had learned how to manage not to be that, but I was always wearing my “survivor” armor. The armor was heavy, and it defined who I was and my limiting circumstances.”
Heavily burdened with low self-esteem, emotional fear, shame, guilt, and hopelessness – the inevitable impacts of such trauma – they could worry, as Lora did, that their lives would be forever limited, permanently damaged given what they have experienced. But when introduced to the first of Seven Steps to Thriving – See Your Journey, Adrienne described her experience as moving beyond her survivorship to a place that she had no name before coming to the workshop:
“When I first met Susan, I was really very good at surviving, but not much more than that. In fact, I was a “high-functioning” survivor. It might have felt like I was moving forward, but actually I was vacillating between victim and survivor. I didn’t even know what “thriving” was.”
Tenille had a similar experience:
“I was feeling okay about myself when I first came to the workshop until Susan wrote ‘VICTIM to SURVIVOR to THRIVER’ on the board and talked about how the journey beyond abuse was from struggle to transformation to happy ending. It was then that I realized I wasn’t living in my happy ending but stuck somewhere in between victim and survivor.”
HOW IT WORKS - Stepping beyond survivor is the first step!
The Thriver Zone Motivational Model, with easy-to-use worksheets and interactive writing exercise for each of the Seven Steps to Thriving, allowed survivors to set aside limiting beliefs about themselves fostered in many cases by years of abuse and find the strength, courage, and determination they need to move beyond all that has happened to them.
This is where Pam started:
“When I first met Susan, I didn’t see any future ahead of me. I had no dreams about what I wanted in my life to be. I had a tiny bit of hope, but not a lot. Hope means to me that something good is coming and you can start to see that there are possibilities out there. But I had very little hope.”
“My vision for my life today is to take the talents and skills I have and combine them into a career – a business that can help children or adults by showing them how they can make a change in their lives. I’d like to be a working artist, creating books for children and working every day, like in a painting workshop. This would make me happy and bring me great joy.”
WHY IT WORKS
At first, the simplicity of the Seven Steps resonates the survivors, but when they feel the transformational power of taking that critical “next-step” from survivor to thriver, they regain their power to find a life of purpose beyond violence and abuse. As a result, they set and accomplish new goals for themselves. They have gone back to school, got new, better jobs, started singing again, bought their first homes and found new healthy, loving relationships. They have entered the Thriver Zone, learned how to stay there and now live there, celebrating “living well as the best revenge!”
Here’s how Sophia describes it:
“For me, living well is about living in a place of peace and joy. There I can I think about what I want my life to look like, and I know that I can manifest all those desires if I stay with positive thoughts and push through my fears. That’s the motivational model that Susan teaches and that matches my own life experiences. When I am living well, I don’t question whether I am good enough or who am I to dream of a better life.”