Last Friday, I had a fantastic day. I had one of those days where everything was going right, I received good news after good news. I felt like all of the hard work I had been putting in these past weeks were finally paying off - I was turning a corner.
When I got into bed Friday night, I pulled out my journal as I normally do and started reflecting on the day. Going through the day, I realized that there had actually been quite a few significant negative events. Negative news that would normally have derailed me, spiraled me into anxiety and fear, but instead I had actually written that I was grateful for these events/news. Why was this not spiraling me? Why had I been able to maintain my positive outlook and excitement on Friday despite negative circumstances?
Because I was looking for the good.
And I was living my life like everything was happening for me, not to me.
I was able to reframe the story, the situation in my mind so that it no longer became an anchor weighing me down, but the fuel to propel me forward.
And that is what I want to challenge you to this week. For you to reframe a story you tell yourself about a major event you feel affected your ability to succeed, or a circumstance from your childhood. It could also be a circumstance arising from COVID-19, perhaps you’re a business owner now and you're struggling to keep you business alive.
Here’s an exercise to help you identify these moments, reframe them and then use them as fuel to move forward. I suggest writing these down with pen and paper!
Identify the moment.
What major moments in your life have you felt like the world was ending around you? Perhaps it was when you lost a job, a breakup, you didn’t get into the college you wished you had or COVID-19 has forced your business to close, you're scrambling to stay afloat and keep alive what you have spent years dreaming about/building.
It doesn’t have to be an event, it could be a circumstance. Perhaps you had a hard childhood and others didn’t so that’s why you feel you’re not successful, perhaps you feel cheated by someone and they robbed you of your success and that’s why you’re in your current circumstances. Maybe you had a business fail and you lost everything or a traumatic event happened to you as a child and you feel it derailed you from the path you need to be on to achieve your goals.
Reframe the story.
What if this horrible event was actually designed for you by the Universe, God or whatever you like to call it, to get you to this exact point, right here, right now. What if going through that is what actually makes you uniquely qualified to be successful at whatever you desire.
Look for the good.
What did this moment teach you? How are you stronger and wiser for it? How has that event pushed you to become braver and more capable in your life?
What qualities has it instilled in you that you otherwise wouldn’t have? How can you use these qualities to achieve your priorities in life?
Has this event led to other events that have helped you in certain ways, or led you to circumstances today you are grateful for? Did a new door open as a result of this event?
Write down all the good you can think of around this event. You may be surprised with just how much good has come out of an event we hold as so negative.
Look at all of the good that has been a result of this negative event. As I said above, what if this horrible event was actually designed for you to get you to this exact point, right here, right now?
Practice gratitude, write down all the reasons you are grateful for this event and how it has shaped your life for the better. Remove the negative power you have associated with it, it’s holding you back.
I challenge you to also practice gratitude daily. Before you go to bed, for as little as 5 minutes, jot down all the things you are grateful for today - it could be that it was warm out, you slept 7 hours the night before, etc. Whatever it is, big or small, physically write it down.
I promise you, over time, it will retrain your mind to look for the good. If you can see the good in hard times your life will be instantly more abundant.
We now know that a “negative experience” can have a positive effect on your life, and so, what is there left to fear? Clearly, our failure and hardships will teach us invaluable lessons we need on the path to achieving the life we desire - so we should not fear the difficult times, as we now know that these lows are just as important as the highs.
Tony Robbins swears by this simple principle taught to him by his mentor, Jim Rohn “every day, stand guard at the door of your mind, and you alone decide what thoughts and beliefs you let into your life. For they will shape whether you feel rich or poor, cursed or blessed.”
Like many of us - myself included - you may have been using these events or circumstances as an excuse for not taking your life, business or career to the next level. And you're right in a way, something is holding you back. But it's not the event or the circumstance, it's the thoughts you associate with that event or circumstance. It's the belief about that event or about yourself that you have formed and live within in your mind only, not in reality. But we have control over what thoughts we let into our life and we can shape them to look through a different lens whenever we choose.
You alone decide what power you give to your thoughts and your past. Let it be positive, let yourself see the good, let it be the fuel that keeps you going along this journey towards the life you desire.
You got this! I’m rooting for you!