How To Turn Challenges into Opportunities

I have been talking a lot lately about my struggles.  Of trying to decide if the glass is half empty or half full?  My vision has been blurred (and not just by the glaucoma) with the struggle to process thoughts, find my passion and to stay focused. Do you look at the world through rose-colored glasses? Some days I do.

We’ve all heard those sayings, right?  We may have actually felt the distinct difference between viewing life with a positive perspective and viewing it with a negative one.  Positive beliefs draw more positive things, right?

My struggles with emotions is real… some days I want to curl up in a ball and cry for no apparent reason.  Then there are days when I feel like the movie “50 Dates”, you know the one where she keeps reliving the same day and is always happy.  All of these challenges hold opportunity but the key is learning how to change the mindset.

When it comes to facing life’s challenges—because we all have them—we have the change to reframe them,  appreciating how struggles help us build strength and resilience. I could be a world-class weight lifter if that was the case.  LOL.  The key is to train our minds to view these challenges in a more positive light by first reflecting on our lives, identifying those tough times, and understanding how they shaped us and made us stronger.

As I reflect on the past challenges, those I can remember, I struggle with understanding them but I do see how they have made a huge impact on my life.  I can see how the negative mindset has led me on the path of relapse and had me looking at life as if I was a victim.  As I moved into recovery, I am slowly able to embrace the positive in all of life’s challenges and move forward.

In every challenge—and in the time which follows—we build strength and resilience. We don’t have the power to change the past, but we do have the power to find the positive within the past and use it to create a greater impact today.

Thank you for sticking with me during these challenges… my blog posts tend to ramble, my Thirty One business continues despite my bad days, and The Angel Connection is starting to grow.  I guess you are wondering where is the challenge, right?  For me, the challenge in finding my passion and deciding where I want to head in the future.  How am I moving forward?  I am reflecting on these key questions:

What are you learning? How are you growing?

I’m looking for the growth from each difficulty especially in my relapse and my MS diagnosis.  I’m trying to identify new knowledge I’ve gained, relationships I’ve built, or personal growth I’ve experienced. The truth is I’m moving forward despite these challenges, which means I’m strong and resilient, right? I need to open my eyes to the positive outcomes.  I know the lessons I have learned will help me to find my passion again and decide the direction for my business.

How does this challenge reinforce what you are grateful for in your life?

Practicing gratitude has been BIG during my recovery.  I have felt ungrateful for all of the problems which came from my relapse.  I felt resentful.  I needed to find gratitude for what it’s given me and what it’s shown me. As I  look at everything in my life—the big and little things—and learn to appreciate them, it is those things which will help me during the tough times.

What boundaries will you put in place in your life to avoid future challenges and allow yourself to grow?

With the lessons you learn and the strength you build, consider whether there are ways you can adjust your mindset or actions to prevent future challenges. Sometimes life events are out of your control, but other times, you can make changes to move you toward a life of growth, positivity, and purpose.  My MS may be out of my control but continuing in recovery is something I can work on daily.

Today’s post has been a ramble, a way for me to share not only my personal struggles but to try and reframe it to help someone else.  It you are struggling to discover your strength and resilience today, try these simple steps:

  • Use the above questions to look at a challenge from your past. How has this challenge made you stronger and more resilient?  Believe it or not, it has!
  • Make a list of things you’re grateful for. Focus on the positive in your life, no matter what the circumstances. Large or small, it doesn’t matter.

Now, think about one way you can live out your purpose today—and then do it! It could be as simple as a random act of kindness or buying someone a coffee.  Living with purpose requires strength and resilience. Tap into those and challenge yourself to grow further.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

How To Get Unstuck

We are at the end of the first “J” month.  In direct sales, June is one of those dreaded months where business can slow down.  Does it really slow down or do we loose our focus?  For those with kids, the summer means juggling activities and keeping them busy.  For others, it means nice weather so trips to the beach, barbecues and just enjoying time with friends and family.

Did you know, when you allow a summer slowdown, you are really forecasting what your business will be like in September and October?  What you do now will effect your business in 90 days…….It will be like restarting your business all over again when everyone else is gearing up for the busiest shopping time of the year.

Here is a simple three step process from one of my favorite business coaches, Julie Anne Jones. to get you unstuck.

Step 1:  Focus On What You Want

I know I am not alone because as  human beings, we naturally focus on what’s wrong and try to fix it, when things aren’t going our way.  The key to changing your mindset is you need to look for a solution instead of focusing on the problem itself.  I have talked about positive affirmations before – bringing the “good” into your universe, right?  One of the easiest ways to do it is to use these to get your mindset working for you.

Grab a sheet of paper or a journal and answer this question:

If the perfect outcome to your problem magically appeared, what would happen (be as specific as you can. Add details and remember to stay focused on what you want to happen, not on what you don’t want to happen). Doing a thorough job during this step will make the next two easier.

Step 2: Activate Gratitude

When I am feeling down or on the “pity pot”, I take a gratitude walk.  Sometimes it is outside enjoying nature but when it isn’t possible, I start writing a list.  Gratitude is the quickest, and easiest way to change your mindset from the negative to the positive. It’s hard to stay stuck when you’re focused on everything in your life you’re grateful for.

This step is fun…create a “Gratitude List” of at least five things you’re grateful for RIGHT NOW.  It can be as simple as “getting up this morning”, or having a roof over your head.  Keep writing for about 10 minutes.   See what happens when you focus on what you’re grateful for and how quickly things turn around for you.

Step 3:  Create Affirmations

Affirmations are positive “I am” statements about the outcomes you want.  You state them in the present as if they have already happened. Here are some examples:

  • I am attracting the perfect clients in my business and love helping them succeed.
  • I am making enough money to pay my bills
  • I am booking parties and love helping people get FREE products
  • I am at my goal weight and am enjoying eating healthy

Can’t wait to hear how your summer turns out…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

The Comparison Game

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We have all done it sometime in our life….

We have compared everything—our husbands, our children, our churches, our cars, our jobs, our homes, our schedules, our finances, our blessings, and our burdens.  Admit it!  It is what women (okay, I’m sure men do it too) do in an attempt to measure up.  It is one of the most dangerous and destructive behaviors that we as women engage in.

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When we compare our life, our family, our stuff, our failures, and our accomplishments to that of someone else we brew a bitter cup of jealousy and resentment.  I will admit that I have drank my fair share of that bitter drink.

Our comparison is based on just what we see on the outside.  Maybe it is all of those “perfect” posts on Facebook.  It is like comparing apples to oranges.  We know the good, the bad and the ugly of our own situation. Yet, we only know one side of the person that we are comparing ourselves to.

It’s easy to listen to the voices (those inner gremlins) that say, “You’re not this, and you’re not that. You don’t do this well, and you can’t do that.”  Those inner gremlins would LOVE to get in your face and keep you down.  You were made to be you, and are called to be uniquely you.

There is nothing wrong with striving for excellence. And being aware of areas in our lives that need improvement is good.  God has a plan for each of us and we need to accept that we are right where we are supposed to be at this time.  The sooner that we ACCEPT who we are right now, the happier we will be.  I’ll admit that I struggle some days.

When I struggle, I begin looking for things that I am grateful for.  Writing a gratitude list helps to squash those inner gremlins.  Believe it or not, even though things in your life appear to be a negative (a divorce, a lost job, an addiction, credit card debt, etc), they can all be something that you can be grateful for.  No, I haven’t lost my mind.  It is all about re-framing our thoughts and moving forward.  For YEARS, I let the inner gremlins take control of my life – beating me up for all of my past mistakes.  When I started changing the way that I thought about those things, I slowly stopped comparing myself to others.

What about your accomplishments?  Can you list them?  I have achieved so much in my life and because I was busy playing the comparison game, I missed enjoying some of those moments.  I won awards for the work I did as a Social Worker.  I raised an amazing daughter.  I inspire women every day to look for that little bit of sparkle in their life.  I beat drugs and am staying clean for 25+ years.  I lost over 100 pounds.  I am CEO of my own business. I am fighting MS.

I feel so blessed to have made so many connections with like-minded women. When we aren’t playing the comparison game, we are open and ready to welcome new mutually beneficial relationships into our lives.  Whether that is to help you grow your business or for personal growth.

It’s time we quit chasing the interests of others and start pursuing the passions that were written on our hearts. God wants us to stop trying to measure up to everybody around us and be content in Him.

Need some help or just want to talk… reach out, I would love to talk with you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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