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Updated: May 16, 2021

You didn’t get the job. You didn’t get the promotion, someone said something horrible about you, you didn’t follow through on your diet plan for the day or the week, you didn’t reach your goal of losing 2 pounds or 10 pounds or whatever. You were diagnosed with an illness or someone you love is ill, you lose a friend or family member.

So what?!

Uh oh.......This sounds like a loaded hateful question. But let me finish. The question is “So what are you going to make it mean in your life?”

When things happen to us that feel out of our control or that we don’t like, our brains go to work using our thought habits to create feelings and actions. It’s imperative that we stay mindful and manage our brains through these challenges in our lives.

We have the ability to choose the way we think about the circumstances that arise. We can choose where we focus our attention. THIS IS EVERYTHING!

With the examples above… You didn’t get the job or the promotion. What are you making that mean? Have you decided that it means that you’re not good enough, that you’re not worthy, qualified, smart or pretty enough?

Are those facts? Are there any other ways you can look at?

How about… You were simply not a good fit, you have too much experience, you are overqualified, this is not the right job for you because the one that is right for you has not come up yet and if you take this one will not be available for that one.

Are any of those options facts? Which of all of the options above serve you? Meaning, will they help you to step forward improve and continue on in your journey?

If there is something to learn from that experience, learn it! There are only accomplished results, and working results.

Why is it that some people face challenges and crumble? Why is it that other people face the exact same challenges, losses, adversity, and go on to have incredibly meaningful lives?

It is truly the way we frame the situation. We can focus on all the negatives and let that drive our life. Or, we can search for and find something that helps us move forward. It takes effort and conscious thought and awareness.

This includes very tragic situations like the death of a loved one. When you’re in the middle of it, it may seem impossible. It is very important to grieve and feel the emotions that arise. There are steps to the grieving process. Seek support.

It is also important to know and remind ourselves that this is part of the human experience. We all suffer, we all have challenges and we all can overcome. The feelings and emotions associated with it are not permanent. (although it may seem like it)

There are hundreds of thousands of people that decide to make their challenge and tragedy meaningful in a way that propels them forward.

For some it is a perceived failure, for others it is real tragedy and loss.

Here are just a few Overcomers that you might’ve heard of…

Oprah Winfrey gave birth at age 14 and lost her child. Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before creating the lightbulb. Stephen King’s first novel was rejected 30 times. Jim Carrey used to be homeless. Charlize Theron witnessed her mother kill her father. Bethany Hamilton had her arm bitten off by a shark. Pastor Christine Caine was subjected to sexual abuse for many years as a child.

The next time you have a challenge or a tragedy, consider asking yourself. So what am I going to make this mean?

What has motivated you to move past challenges and tragedy?

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