Do you have a hardship that it makes you feel like you are reaching your limit and you just can’t take it anymore? Are you facing an obstacle that is like unmovable rock and after your continuous, but unavailing efforts you are contemplating on letting it go?
As we go through our life journey, every one of us experiences heat and cold, sun and rain, valleys and hills covered with green and flowers, and also the desert with no water or liveliness. Difficulties are just the same part of life as everything else that we consider good and we are not going to avoid them as much as we would like to. Even if we were absolutely perfect and did not make any mistakes, then there would be an impact from the outside that would cause us problems, right? Some are easier to deal with, and some of them sometimes bring us to the point when we feel like we just can’t take it anymore and we are very close to saying “Forget it, I am done with this”. Does that sound familiar to you?
Quite often I am asked “How do you keep on going, Inga? You are so strong, where do you get the strength?” And since it is one of the most frequent questions I am asked, I decided to analyze myself, collect my observations and share it with others.
As I was on my journey of returning back to life by becoming independent and leading a dynamic life again after losing both of my legs and the use of my left arm, I had continuous battles with some serious obstacles, challenges, and pain. Losing nearly half of my body at the age of 22 brought an enormous challenge just to function daily, in addition to the enormous emotional and physical pain. Then, life threw at me such challenges that at times it was simply unbearable to live another day. On my way, I kept meeting obstacles that ironically smiled at me conveying the message that I won’t be able to move beyond them. Before I successfully achieved my Impossibles (it’s not a mistake; I just made up that word from adjective to a noun in a plural form ), for quite some time my strenuous efforts seemed absolutely meaningless as I did not see the fruit of my labor after countless hours, months and even years of work. The loss, wordless betrayals, and disappointments appeared over and over and over…. How do you get up, how do you break through and keep moving on? Sometimes I even asked myself How much more can I take? But then, I would pull myself together and continue my journey toward my ultimate vision.
As I was analyzing what makes me get out of bed in the morning, break through those barrier walls and keep on going, I realized that all these years I was unconsciously applying the same strategies of how I deal with challenges and obstacles that try to prevent me from taking another step. It’s not that I am stronger than you. I just know my source of strength that is my Rock solid foundation and I know strategies to deal with challenges and tools to overcome obstacles. And I applied it. That’s all. I truly sincerely believe that anyone can successfully handle their difficulties. It’s just a matter of knowing and applying. I want to share this with you and others, so you can take it and apply it in your own life.
I will start with the first key, which may seem very invisible at first, but plays an incredibly significant role in our lives. When I look back, I see that there was always a very fine line between continuing my life in misery blaming unfortunate events or other people, and me attaining a fully engaged and meaningful life. There is a fine line between some entrepreneurs, like for instance the publisher of Success magazine Darren Hardy, who became highly productive and successful and those who cannot see results that they dream about in their own businesses. There is a fine line between the Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker Nick Vujicic, who leads an extraordinary life even though he was born without his legs and without arms and those who are miserable even though they have everything they need to lead a fulfilling life. What was that fine line that made such a big difference in my personal experience and in the lives of many over-comers and high achievers? What can determine which direction our lives will take after some adversity strikes us or when just simple daily difficulties take place in our lives?
It’s a Choice.
It was my choice what I decided to do when I was hit by those difficulties. I didn’t think about the power of the choice at the time, I was just totally committed to my ultimate outcome and I was doing everything possible to continue on my journey to implement that outcome. But after certain personal experiences, and observing other successful people, I clearly see that our choices how we handle those challenging times determine what’s next.
All of us have difficulties in our lives, and each of us handles them differently. While we are going through some hardships, we don’t always think about what’s far ahead, because we are focused on the moment and how we feel at that time. Often we make unconscious decisions in order to get away from pain as soon as possible regardless of its subsequent effect later on. But the fact is that our decision during the difficult time of how we are going to look at the situation (choosing the perspective) and what we are going to do about it, will determine what’s next for us. It is our choice during the difficult time whether we are going to allow that hardship to sweep away our decision to pursue our aim or we are going to push through and continue our pursuit. So it is very important to keep in mind what is our current goal in the progress and what is our ultimate vision and respond to the hardship in such a way that will support and not jeopardize our desired ultimate outcome.
There is always a choice to step into the victim’s role and blame somebody else for our broken destiny or failure to achieve our goal. At the same time, there is a choice to accept the responsibility for our current circumstances, be determined to make a change and take action to improve our situation. There is always a choice to take an easier route that does not require our efforts and discipline. There is also a choice to make an effort to change our life’s direction and relentlessly work to implement the outcome that we decide to have in our life. There is always a choice to use the given time to entertain ourselves, and a choice to use the same time to do something for the attainment of our goal and fulfilling our purpose. There is a choice to adopt the belief that nothing can be changed and go along with whatever circumstances show up in life, justifying it by “that’s just life” or another very famous one “I guess that’s just my destiny”. Right beside us, there is another choice to believe that there must be a way. With God’s help, we will be able to make a change and improve our circumstances, regardless of how bad it is at the time. It’s not occurred events that determine how our lives are supposed to be, but God’s will for us and our decision what we are going to do in each situation.
At the door of each difficult situation, there are always two choices that are waiting for our pick. These two choices are going to take us on different paths, and each of those choices will deliver totally different results.
“Sure, I would like to make the right choice. But how can I make it, how do I make that step forward, when I just feel tired, frustrated, disappointed, and at times I just don’t want to get out of my bed and do anything…How do I keep going on?”, – you may ask.
Yes, I know. It is very hard to think about things that you need to do when you don’t want another morning to come. This feeling is so familiar to me. But there is a way. I am going to share it with you as we move along.
Today, think about the power of the choice, because the determining factor whether you are going to live your dream or you will remain where you are now is your choices and decisions compound. Know that “I am done with this” or “I don’t feel like doing any of it today” is just simply an emotion, affected by certain events. Today you feel depressed and don’t feel like doing anything, so you decide to stay in bed and watch TV. Tomorrow you feel like you can’t take it anymore and you drop the ball. Another day you feel you need to take it easy, because it has been stressful lately, so you decide to entertain yourself. Time will go by very quickly, and those emotions will pass as well. And where will you be if you make your decision based on your emotions? You will have to live where your choices have brought you.
Is it worth it?
Is it easier to put it off to another day? Yes, it is. But again, is it worth it?
Sometimes, our one choice – One Single Choice – can literally direct our life journey one or another direction. Also, our daily, weekly, monthly choices compound deliver their results as well. They may seem quite insignificant, and even they may not even appear like choices. But they are. Every time we decide to do something or not to do is a choice.
Just simply know that while you are going through a hardship, it is best to not allow your emotions to determine your decision what you are going to do with that situation and what you are going to do about your ultimate goal, because if you do – most chances are you will regret about it later. Have a rule to yourself that you are going to move forward relentlessly regardless of obstacles and any hardships that you will meet on your way.
Sure, there are times when some troubles can hit us very hard, and our well-being becomes a priority. (Our physical health, spiritual and emotional well-being is the #1 care, since we won’t be able to have any productivity if we are not doing well, right?) But with that, we need to be honest with ourselves, if this is a really serious issue that must get our care and attention, or is just a simple “feeling down” because we are not in a mood, the weather change or another routine disappointment. I believe the difference can make a person’s understanding that Procrastinating to get things done to “another time” or “when I feel better” is just a simple, invisible and yet dangerous time waster, which delivers an instant relief, but after a period of time brings us the irreversible result – we lose the time that we had to bring our vision to fruition. The longer we wait – the more time we waste, while our projects remain to be not completed. And what’s even worse, by waiting until we feel better we might miss our greatest opportunity. Again, there must be a balance in everything, but it is always good to have that awareness of what is really happening behind our decision “to do it another day.”
During my personal journey, I simply knew that the only way for me to get out of the pit was to be relentless and in spite of it all do everything possible to implement the outcome that I decided to attain. I was always aware that my daily consistent action is a step closer to the realization of my dream, whether it was to walk again or establishing my independent living in the United States. I knew that by canceling my daily work for whatever reason meant I was putting off reaching my ultimate goal to a later as well. In my mind I had a very simple math – doing the work meant getting closer to my goal’s achievement, and procrastinating in my action pushed my goal further away from me. I wanted to reach my goal as soon as possible, so I was committed to do exercises, work hard and just do what I had to do regardless of whether I felt like it or not. When I was facing betrayals and people’s acts that directly and destructively impacted my life, I knew that I could not allow myself to give up on my life only because of another person’s certain act toward me. My life was way too precious for me to allow anybody or anything to stop me from making it blossom again. I moved on because I clearly realized that it’s not other person’s act toward me that could destroy my future, but my choice to give up after that.
Other people and outside events can impact your life and they may even stop you temporarily. However, the ultimate outcome will be determined by you. Are you going to allow your emotions to put your project aside, or are you going to push through and make an effort to do at least something to bring yourself closer to your ultimate aim? Are you going to remain in the pit and wallow in your misery blaming the person or the event, or are you going to shake it off, learn your lessons and move on toward your vision in spite of it all? Are you going to give up when challenges show up, or are you going to break through and reach your destination anyway?
It’s your choice.
Lay a firm foundation for yourself that you will always make a choice that will align with your purpose. You will always make a choice to overcome and do the best you can in any circumstances. Make a non-negotiable decision that you will never give up, no matter what it takes for you to take another step. So when you face some tough situation, don’t rush to do anything out automatic reaction. A lot of times we just react, making unconscious choices based on our habitual mental patterns. Stop. Make a conscious decision. Think about the situation in a big picture. Where are you going? Try to see those two choices, and ask yourself “The choice that I am going to make now, where will it bring me ultimately?”
What is that beautiful place in your life where you are headed? Look how far you have made it! I am sure you have had some obstacles on your way before you got here. And today, one of the combining reasons why you are successful or have not reach your desired outcome is how you dealt with those hardships and stumbling blocks, would you agree?
Today is your opportunity of many choices. Tomorrow is a new day, which is a new opportunity to use your given time and make choices that will get you closer to your vision, or away from it. Your own choice will determine it.
Life is like an art piece. Our decisions shape and consistent daily actions create this unique piece of art. Make your life a masterpiece.
I hope this add some value to you. I cannot stress enough how important it is. If you would like to share with me and other readers your thoughts, feedback and your experiences by posting right below, I would be absolutely delighted to hear from you! Also, please pass this on to others, if you know someone who might benefit from it.
I will continue sharing with you How to break through and keep on going. Until then, use what you just read. It will make a difference.
Here are few questions that you may ask yourself to help you:
- Choices that I am making during difficult times – do they work for me or against me? Are they bringing me closer to my goal? If not, what different choices do I need to make in order to start consistently moving forward?
- The choice that I will make now – is it going to bring me closer to my ultimate vision or pull me away from it?
If you would like to have some support through the coaching process, I am just an email away. Please email me Inga@BecomingUnstoppable.org
And like always, I wish you to Be Strong. Be Determined and Persistent. Be Unstoppable.