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!

 

Grow Your Confidence – Part 2

Last week, I talked about growing your self confidence and I received a lot of feedback.  I won’t say i am surprised because despite all of the overwhelmingly positive posts on Facebook and Instagram, there are people who struggle. They struggle with standing tall and proud letting their sparkle shine through.

So here are a few more things which might help you boost your confidence…

1. Take some time for personal care.   I will admit, I am the worst at this.  When I am feeling yuk, all I want to do is lay around in my sweats.  The truth is, we should really nudge ourselves to do something for us.  Now, I don’t mean spend a fortune. How about pulling out your favorite shaving cream and shaving those legs? The warmer weather is coming.  How about deep conditioning your hair? Or even soaking in a bubble bath?  Pamper yourself with something you enjoy doing for you. Give yourself permission to enjoy life. Giving yourself permission to relax and even PLAY, will pay you back ten fold.  You will gradually change your mindset so the fun times come more naturally.

2. Visualize and Reframe.  This is going to sound a little crazy since I always talk about how important positive thinking is BUT believe me it works.  Take a few minutes to reflect on the problems you are facing in your life. Feel the feelings associated with the problem.  Do you naturally assume the worst – let’s REFRAME the problem and the solution!  Nothing is hopeless but when you believe it is, all you will feel is unhappiness and that you are a failure.

So, I want you to pick one problem and look at it in a new light by recreating a positive outcome.  I know it can be tough but you can do it.  Imagine a positive solution and really feel the feeling of the new positive ending to your story. Now, make the new ending happen!

3. Make a List of Your Positive Attributes.  Yes you do have them.  We all do even if we don’t always see them.  For many years, I heard “you are your own worst enemy” and I know I am not alone.  It is time to make a list of your positive gifts (physical and mental). We need to find an inner love for ourselves, instead of looking to others for approval.  I struggled with this exercise for years and then with the help of a friend, I reached out to several close friends and asked for their help.  I asked them to describe me in just 3 words.  I was blown away by the response. Once I wrote them all together, I put them into positive mantras I could repeat until I really started to believe them…

4. Fake it till you make it.   I know this sounds easy and hard to believe it actually works, but trust me it is easy and it does work. Remember those negative thoughts like:”This day sucks”, “I feel ugly” or “I am not good enough” guess what? Those thoughts radiate and everyone knows how you are feeling.  You need to keep your thoughts in check, so when the negative self talk creeps back up- proclaim the opposite. This will help you to build your self worth cause the negative inner gremlins can get pretty sneaky.

5. Get enough sleep.   I know as busy women, who has time for a good’s night sleep, right?  What is the definition of a good night’s sleep?  Is it 5 hours or maybe less?  Maybe it means a night when the kids aren’t climbing in your bed.  When you are tired and your body is run down, it’s difficult to feel good about yourself. Your body is dragging, and the negative inner gremlins are ready to rear their ugly heads. As much as you may hate to hear it, your body needs a solid 6-8 hours of sleep – peaceful uninterrupted sleep. I used to live on about 5 hours then age creeped in and health struggles.  I am grateful my hubby got me into a routine of at least 7 hours of sleep.  There are days when I get less but I can tell because my sparkle dulls just a little.  I know it is not always easy but find a happy medium for you so you have the energy to fight off those nasty gremlins.

I would love to hear from you and know what you do to boost your confidence on those tough days.  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!