We will all be faced with struggles, challenges in our lives that can derail us, shake the ground out from underneath us but how are we going to deal with it? Struggle is mandatory; however, suffering is optional.
We have all heard stories of individuals who have faced insurmountable odds and have inspired us with their stories of grit and determination, rising above when most would fall.
In 1954 a young girl was born in Mississippi USA. Her mother was 13yrs old at the time of her birth. This young girl was consequently raised by her grandmother and ultimately conceived and delivered her own first child at the age of 13. Her baby was born stillborn. Can you imagine what this would have done to a teenage mother, its unimaginable the pain she must have suffered. Before having a child, she had been assaulted by 4 separate family members and on top of all of that she was black in a state that did not recognize people based on their character but rather the color of their skin. This woman went on to become one of the top influential people of this century, was one of the most successful talk show hosts and multimedia publishers in American TV history. By now you may have guessed, this woman is Oprah Winfrey. Somehow, Oprah was able to not only survive but thrive despite the odds being stacked against her.
So how does one transform a breakdown into a break through? Oprah is an extreme example of this however, each of us will at some point or another face challenges in areas of work, health, relationships and how can we see the opportunity in these breakdowns to create a better future for ourselves? We are inundated with information and strategies to fix just about any problem. You don’t have to walk more than 5 city blocks to observe a wide range of offerings from personal trainers, to diet centers, personal growth and counselling. Today, there is a strategy for just about anything that ails you, the problem lies in the block that occurs thereby preventing us from fulfilling on these strategies.
Through research and experience I have discovered that the two blocks to any breakthrough in any area of your life are a) your story and b) your state of mind. Lets look at story for a moment…each of us has had a multitude of experiences on this planet which have shaped who we are. We have developed strong suits because of these experiences and these strong suits have helped us to become successful in our lives. Conversely, from our experiences we have formed beliefs or stories that limit our performance. They are kind of like a ‘get out jail free’ card in a way. They are similar to a hall pass whereby we don’t have to be responsible for ourselves. For example, you may have pervasive negative self-talk which you attribute to your father who was also self-critical and you may feel like you’ve learned it from him so it is no surprise that you are following in this footstep. By blaming your parents for where you are in your life means you can hedge your responsibility in this area and justify your own behaviour. Recognizing the cost of this story and rewriting the script will allow you to break free of this constraint.
The second critical factor is your state of mind; your attitude and what you chose to focus on. Your state of mind will directly influence your emotions and your emotions will directly affect how you think and feel. Ask yourself, what are you focused on? Know that whatever you focus on, amplifies. For example, in your relationships if you are focused on the negatives then these will completely overshadow any positive qualities this person might have. If you would like to lose weight and you are focused on your large bone structure you may find yourself being defeated before even trying any of the weight-loss strategies that are available today. I can only imagine that Oprah has chosen to focus on helping others and this would ultimately have taken her out of suffering and into the world of gratitude.
Don’t squander yourself to a crappy story or a negative state of mind, instead chose to write a new empowering script one that will serve you in the highest possible way. Why do people’s lives turn out differently? Because of decisions not conditions. Be mindful of those 6 inches between your ears, it can be a dangerous neighbourhood or hopefully a powerful ally. You get to decide.
k here to edit.
Creating Peak Performances
"If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it." Tonny Lasorda