I’m baaaack!!! And it feels so great! I appreciate your patience and still hanging in there for me. I’ve learned so much the past month with my business challenges, which were nothing compared to other people’s more serious situations. But, if you’ve just recently subscribed I’ll catch you up.
I had serious tech issues that pretty much stopped everything I was doing in the online part of my business. I couldn’t deliver my blogs, I lost tons of material I had already prepared for upcoming social media distribution and I couldn’t even log into the back end of my website.
These issues got me thinking because I felt horrible about myself. I started to beat myself up for not being able to foresee this problem. I started to doubt that I should continue my entrepreneur path and wonder if my blogs or program were good enough.
Then I realized I was being hard on myself because I push myself to do my best. I care about the quality of my work and I always feel like I let people down (in this case, you) when I don’t do what I set out to do on time.
As I was venting to a friend about my challenges, he (thank you Gerardo) told me to create a list of successes where I’d look at my past experiences and write down every negative challenge – personal or professional – that I’ve overcome.
So, I did. And after I finished my list I realized how insignificant my current tech problem was. Accepting this, I allowed myself to relax a little and I became confident that it would all work out. As soon as I did that, things started moving a little faster and I started working more efficiently.
From that moment of self-reflection, I was inspired to write this blog about overcoming challenges. So, I began to think about people who have amazing stories of trials and tribulations that have helped me get over my pity-parties. And I remembered something that I realized I’ve always purposely kept in mind that has helped me make impactful decisions.
I remembered that in my late teens people would say to me, “You’re a product of your environment”, therefore society expects you to be the results of that environment.
Those words used to petrify me because I grew up in not-so-favorable living conditions, with little resources, where I was expected to be a failure. The odds of having a better life than the one I was living at the time were not looking so good.
I hated this statement each time I’d hear it. It was said to me as a way to tell me to not hope. To not dream, or to not try to expect a good ending to my life story.
If you’re in an environment that’s not so favorable to you or anyone in it, you MIGHT believe that you don’t have a way out. You might believe that you don’t have good options.
BUT, if that statement were true, then we wouldn’t have people like world renowned motivational speaker, author and business owner, Tony Robbins. Tony grew up in a low income household with an abusive mother who was also an alcoholic and abused prescription drugs.
Tony could have chosen to become a person similar to his mother. He could have chosen to grow up without any chances of making a good living and increasing his quality of life. But he chose to learn WHAT NOT TO BE and WHAT NOT TO DO to become like her.
Instead, he became an ENORMOUS SUCCESS. He’s change millions of people’s lives with similar or worse circumstances than his. He didn’t allow himself to sulk in his own sorrows and use those bad experiences as a crutch or excuse to not succeed.
Then, there’s Karen Turner, a girl that I met when I was going through basic training in the Army. Karen came from a Klu Klux Klan family and had risked her life to leave her family and friends because she disagreed with their beliefs and actions against others.
What Karen did took courage. It’s hard to decide to leave your entire family and friends behind for good at the age of 18, enlist in the military and hope to stay strong in a new lonely world. But she persevered. She made a career in the military and she felt free from having to abide by and live by her family’s standards.
Noah Galloway’s story was a bit different. He faced adversity when he lost his left arm above the elbow and his left leg above the knee during an IED attack while serving in the military in Yusafiah, Iraq. At first, Noah dealt with his traumatic experience with prescribed medication and alcohol. He suffered from depression and didn’t know how to deal with his life-changing experience.
Fortunately, he chose to change the outcome of his situation by focusing on the positive and encouraging words of his friends and loved ones. He begun focusing on sports and physical training.
Later, he became a personal trainer and in 2015, he was chosen as a contestant on the famously watched show, Dancing with the Stars.
Although Noah didn’t win the season 20th’s competition, he didn’t do so bad by winning third place. Millions of viewers (including me) watched each week as he struggled to dance using his prosthetic leg and partly missing arm.
Viewers saw his frustration of knowing he could not perform as well as if he would have had his nimble leg back. However, viewers also watched him overcome.
Noah’s perseverance didn’t get him to first place, but he inspired millions. His courage and dedication to himself led him to other lucrative opportunities after the show.
There are many other people who face bad challenges in life, who make a conscious choice to overcome. Instead of allowing their current or past negative experiences from influencing them to do the same to others or to themselves, they’ve said, “No! I will NOT be THAT person.” So, they become successes. They become the unexpected results from environments they came from.
You might personally know someone or that someone might be YOU.
Unfortunately, not all people choose to stop negative cycles. But when they do, they change generations and their contributions add beauty and love to our chaotic world.
So, if you’re going through something right now, KNOW THIS. You ARE a product of your environment, but that doesn’t mean that you will become the bad result of that environment.
You can be that single flower in a deserted, dying garden that choses to survive. And if you allow yourself to fully bloom, you’ll spread the seeds that will turn that space into a gorgeous colorful garden.