The Best “You” Ever:
and Live Your Dreams
By Valerie Greene
one expects adversity or enjoys experiencing it, the fact is that
challenges are a normal part of life. From a job loss to a divorce, a
health challenge to a natural disaster, adversity comes in many
different shapes and sizes. However, it is not the actual situation
that causes people turmoil; rather, it is the way we react to the
adversity that makes the situation stressful. Consider this: Two
people working in the same department with similar education levels
and skill sets get laid off from their job on the same day. One moans
and groans about how unfair life is, worries how he’ll pay the
bills, feels like a failure, and is forced to settle for a new job
that pays less. The other believes that “things happen” in
business and doesn’t take the job loss personally. He knows he’ll
find an even better job that pays more…and he does.
wonder how two similar people facing the same adversity can have
completely different outcomes. In reality, their outcomes were the
same. That is, they both believed a certain outlook on life, and that
outlook became their reality. So if you think of an adversity as
something negative to be feared, then you’ll create a negative
experience. However, if you view an adversity as a time for change and
rebirth, then that’s exactly what you’ll enjoy.
the majority of people fear adversity because they’ve heard messages
their entire life of how difficult challenges can be: a job loss might
lead to financial ruin, a divorce might leave you lonely and bitter, a
negative health diagnosis could make you weak and feeble. Realize that
you don’t have to buy into these negative messages. You can
decide what you want your outcome to be. How? Use the following tips
to guide you:
1. Erase the negative programming: Don’t let anyone else’s
experience influence your current situation. If you hear other
people’s “war stories” of how awful a job loss is, for example,
then you’re likely to think the same thing will happen to you. And
if you constantly tell yourself, “I’m not going to get through
this,” then you won’t. That’s why you need to stop those
negative messages as soon as they start.
Be like a
courtroom judge. When the judge hears someone on the stand say
something that’s pure conjecture during testimony, she tells the
stenographer to “strike that statement from the record,” and then
tells the jurors to “disregard what the witness just said.” You
need to do the same thing to yourself.
When you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, cancel
that statement. Give yourself the same power you give everyone
else—the power to influence your thoughts and create your outcome.
2. See yourself beyond the adversity, successful and happy: Napoleon
Hill said, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it
can achieve.” His words are so true. When you’re in the midst of
an adversity, envision where you want to be, even if your vision seems
unrealistic. See yourself beyond the challenge. When most people are
in the middle of an adversity, they only see themselves as they are
during that set point in time—in the middle of their challenge. That
is, they see themselves as unemployed, as sick, as divorced, etc. But
you need to look beyond that to what you want to achieve.
that whatever situation you’re in is temporary and it will pass, no
matter how bad it may seem. When you envision what’s possible, you
quickly discover that adversity actually propels you to move to the
next level. It’s a catalyst for change that allows you to re-invent
yourself or your life circumstances. Adversity prepares you for
3. Surround yourself with visuals of your dreams: In order to keep
your mindset positive so you can envision your desired outcome, cut
out pictures and phrases of what you want or of how you want your life
to be. Post those pictures and phrases in a prominent place so you can
see them every day. Despite the usual advice of “get over it and
move on,” overcoming adversity involves making
the situation pass. The old saying of “This too shall pass”
should really read: “This too shall pass…if you let it.” You let
situations pass by being proactive during them and working towards a
goal you can actually see.
pictures you post can be of anything meaningful to you. For example,
if you’ve been told you’ll never walk again, you may post pictures
of people running marathons or of the dream car you want to own and
drive. If you lost your job, you may use images of successful working
people to guide you. If you just got divorced, photos of happily
married couples could prompt you to finally find Mr. or Ms. Right.
Decide what images you find motivational and inspirational and use
them to see you through any trying times.
4. Decide to change your outcome from ordinary to extraordinary: Why
be average or mediocre when you can be spectacular? Most people
don’t know what is really possible. They don’t realize that they
have the power to change their life. So when a doctor gives a bad
prognosis, or when an employer enforces a salary cap, they accept the
circumstance as “just the way it is.” In reality, you can always
what the normal or average is. If you don’t like the situation
you’re in or the prognosis you’ve been given, don’t buy into the
belief that you can’t change it. We all have the power to overcome
adversity and find ourselves in the middle of something extraordinary.
We simply must decide to believe we can.
Your Future Awaits: Adversity is part of life. The key is not to get
hung up in it. No matter what life challenge you’re currently
facing, realize that you possess the power to overcome it. Granted,
sometimes it takes what seems like a long time to discover that power
and implement it, but once you do, anything is possible. So go ahead
…push through the fear, spark the flame of greatness that’s deep
inside yourself, and never allow anything or anyone to extinguish your
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about Valerie Greene.
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