How do you rise above to succeed in life and business?
Shit happens to everyone.
I do not know of one person who has not had adversity in their life.
Most people have experienced:
Death of a spouse.
A business closing.
Loss of a job.
Decline entrance into the school.
Made fun of.
Everyone has issues and sh*t they are dealing with.
The women facing adversity fit into two categories:
- The Victims- one who becomes a victim to the circumstances in life.
- The Risers- one who rises despite the circumstances in life.
Which are you?
I don’t want to seem insensitive. Believe me- I get it.
Losing a loved one, husband cheating on you, bankruptcy is freaking tough.
You need to mourn and deal with your loss. But then you must rise above despite the circumstance. Eventually, it is time to put your big girl pants on and get moving so you can face the day.
Let me share my story….
I was on my first business trip as a young graduate. As I was preparing for my first business flight to Chicago for a conference, my father helped me load my luggage into my car. He shut the trunk door, hugged me tightly, and expressed how much he loved me. He went on to tell me how proud he was of me and that he knew I would do great things.
In the moment, I did not realize how much that conversation would mean to me someday. He shut the trunk and drove out of the drive looking in my rear view mirror at him waving. This was the last conversation and final memory of my dad.
Two days later, my mother frantically called the hotel to tell me my father had died in a car accident. He was gone.This was not fair. His life should not have ended at age 52. He had a wife; a business; a daughter in her first years of college; and he was to walk me down the aisle in just six weeks. I never experienced such an empty, sad feeling in my life. The loss was unimaginable.
But, I could not play the victim for long. He owned a business in which people counted on us to get their paycheck. He had customers who expected us to fulfill orders. I had a wedding to finish planning. And, my sister needed to get back to college to work on her degree.
If I did not share that I dealt with depression at this time in my life, I would be lying to you. But, my father would not have wanted me to put my life, dreams and aspirations on hold. He would have wanted me to rise despite the tragedy.
How do you avoid becoming a victim and rise despite your circumstances?
1. Don’t Whine- Take Control
Whiners who play the victim will never create success. It is not that they don’t have the ability, gifts, tallents, education, and money to achieve high performance. Their attitude is limiting them from achievement. Success requires a person who can rise above challenges and take control of their reaction to the situation they face.
This is called the dichotomy of control. Let me explain.
Dichotomy of control requires us to:
- Differentiate between what we can change and what we cannot.
- Determine what we have influence over and what we do not.
- Focus on the parts of your day and aspects of your life within your control and let go of the things you cannot.
You will get through any tough situation and have advantage over others who are continuing to fight a losing battle of playing the victim if you understand this concept.
It comes down to identifying and separating the matters that are defined as external forces that are not under your control, and those in which you have choices and actually control.
Whenever you find yourself stressed or upset about a situation, reflect on these questions:
Is this something I can change?
Is this something I have influence?
If the answer is YES, to either question, then determine how you will act.
If the answer is NO, to either question, do not focus your energy on it.
Let it go.
Let me ask you a simple question.
Have you ever heard of a successful person whine?
I am sure you answered no.
Success requires you to work hard and rise through any challenge to achieve success.
2. Don’t Blame- Take Responsibility
Anyone who has high achievement in any area of their life has it because they take responsibility for their life. Anyone who blames someone or something for their circumstance will never achieve success.
When you make the choice to take the position of blame, you are giving up control of your life. Let me say this again. It is so important for you to hear this.
When you make the choice to take the position of blame, you are giving up control of your life.
To get where you want to go in life, you must take a position of control and this starts with responsibility.
You will continue to have set-backs and disappointments are inevitable.
That job promotion will not always come to you.
The break-up with a person you thought was Mr. Right will happen.
You will not get everything you want or maybe not get what is rightfully yours in life. You must prepare yourself for this reality.
So, instead of responding through blame, take responsibility.
Take responsibility this way:
- Hit the reset button and change your thinking from blame to responsibility.
It is now not another person’s issue. It is yours.
- Evaluate the situation.
Ask, What happened?
- Determine what you could have done differently.
Could you have given more effort in an area so this did not happen?
- Decide what you will do moving forward.
What actions do you need to take so this does not happen when you have another opportunity?
Blaming your employer, your friend, your husband, your family, your up-bringing, lack of time, lack of money, where you live, your social-economic status, your race, your gender- I could go on and on- will not get you anywhere!
You will remain in your situation and will continue a life of let-downs and disappointment if you do not go from blaming to taking responsibility for your life.
3. Don’t Make Excuses- Create Solutions
You do not have to be the most brilliant, educated or most resourceful to overcome problems and achieve success. Although knowledge, experience, and preparation are important to success, the biggest resource you need is the skill of focusing on solutions versus making excuses.
Why do we tend to focus on problems and make excuses?
It is actually what our brain is wired to do.
Dr. Sandeep Atre, an Emotional and Social Intelligent Expert tells us that we are hard-wired to like certainty and convenience, because the brain works less in this state.
Our brain has millions of circuits that relate to past memory and experience, which give us certainty. It takes less electrical impulses to go to our memory. It also requires less oxygen and glucose when you seek the familiar. In other words, focusing on the problem and making excuses is a lazy response.
Ask yourself, “How do excuses make you feel?”
I know how it makes me feel.
Like a failure.
Why should you work hard to focus on solutions?
Dr. Sandeep Atre shares that our brain likes certainty and convenience, but if it gets a glimpse of productivity by creating solutions, you feel joy and a high.
When we challenge our brain by seeking solutions, we are activating the right hemisphere where we become more insightful. The feel-good chemical, Dopamine, is secreted in the process which gives us a pleasurable high.
So, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the weight of the problem and respond by excuses that make you feel even worse. Create solutions immediately and trigger the brain to release the pleasurable feeling of joy.
In this state, you can literally turn your feelings around to:
What excuse are you making today?
What solution will you commit to?
When you find yourself relenting on your problems and making excuses, stop! Flip the switch in your brain and create solutions.
4. Don’t Become Stuck- Take Action
All of us have experienced set-backs over our lifetime. These experiences of disappointment have created limiting beliefs that keep us stuck.
The three common beliefs holding you back are:
- The beliefs you have about yourself.
A barrier exists in your mind about yourself that limits you from moving forward.
You believe things like:
I am not smart enough.
I don’t have enough money.
I don’t have the experience.
I can learn.
I have the capability to save money.
I am able to create opportunities to gain experience.
- The beliefs you have about others.
You impose a limit on yourself due to the false belief you have about others.
You believe things like:
She is smarter than me and does not need my point of view.
He will not promote me because I am new.
Their personality is the type to achieve more.
I have unique experiences and knowledge, so my point of view is important.
He may be looking for a new, refreshing leader like me.
I am unique as a leader, and I appreciate my personality.
- Your beliefs about the world.
Limits are self-imposed because of how we view the world. We tend to take an isolated experience and make it a general rule for the world.
You believe things like:
No one can get ahead without compromising their integrity.
The economy is holding everyone back.
If you are rich, you are selfish.
There are ethical and kind people who are successful.
There are opportunities for growth in any economy.
Successful business people find ways to give back to their communities.
The doubt in our mind keeps us stuck and is toxic to high achievement. When you allow negative beliefs about yourself, others, and the world you to creep into your life you:
Shield yourself from future disappointment, and protect yourself from judgement.
But, you develop a cynical attitude; become stuck; and limit yourself from high achievement.
To move from stuck to high achievement, you have to believe you can overcome any challenge. Trust you are capable and have the willingness to take action to prevail. Switch your limited mindset to become action oriented.
It is time to exchange being stuck to action. Let’s dive into four steps to get you started:
1- Identify the limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Write them down and own the belief.
2- Be honest with yourself about how the belief is holding you back. Write down how this belief is holding you back.
3- Reframe the belief. Write down a liberating truth to each of the limiting beliefs you wrote.
4- Determine the action you will take to move forward.
It is time to become clear about the beliefs that are keeping you stuck and take action to reach high achievement. You have what it takes.
Begin by upgrading your limiting mindset to create action. You will take the first step to reaching your goals and experiencing high achievement.
I want to introduce you to an amazing woman!
I had the opportunity to meet an amazing woman around 2015. Kayla Harrison is a fellow Ohio girl, who made history at the 2012 Olympics in London by winning the first Gold Medal by any American, man or woman, in the history of the sport of judo.
But there is more to Kayla’s story. In order to achieve success, she overcame an unimaginable personal struggle and chose not to play the victim but to rise to the occasion.
Kayla’s love for judo began at the young age of six. As a teenager, she quickly rose to become one of the top junior judo athletes in the country. Winning distinguished titles in the Junior World Championship, US Senior Division Championship, and then further the Senior World Championship, she became recognized on the world stage in judo. Something few Americans had done before her. In fact, she was only the fourth American to ever win the Senior World Championship in 2010.
Although she was achieving great success as a young woman, she was also experiencing an unimaginable struggle in which she revealed at age sixteen. Kayla revealed that for years she was sexually abused by her judo coach. Once this came to light, she determined to uproot herself and move to Massachusetts to train with the coaching duo, Jimmy Pedro and his father Jim Pedro, Sr.
This transition was not easy. She battled depression, suicide, became angry and wanted to run away from judo. With discipline, tenacity and support of her family and coaches she made the choice to rise despite her adversity. She made the choice to not play the victim.
Her training and continued commitment to rise above her circumstance allowed her to make history. Kayla fought through the pain and circumstances of her past to become the first American, man or woman, to win the Olympic Gold Medal in the sport of judo in the 2012 Olympic games in London.
Today, Kayla continues to be a strong, confident woman by usings her voice to encourage and empower others who face sexual abuse.
Kayla most recently created the Fearless Foundation to increase awareness of child sexual abuse and to enrich the lives of survivors through education and sport. Her hope is to lead survivors to mastery and encourage them to flourish in all aspects of life.
When you are facing adversity in life, decide how you want to respond?
Will you choose to be a victim or choose to rise above your circumstance?
Become intentional about your life by overcoming challenges and take control, become responsible, create solutions and take action.
Listen to Melissa on the Become More Podcast to learn more!