What is the Secret to Growth and Success?
How is it Julie, that with so many brilliant beings on your planet, so few recognize that when one’s life encounters turbulence, choppy waters, or setbacks, it’s always a sign that things are about to get wildly better than they’ve ever been before?
The past week has brought some fairly difficult challenges in our lives. My focus is on working through these challenges while remaining in gratitude that they have been put in front of me. That might seem strange to some people, however what I’ve found is that it is during the challenging times that we grow the most. It’s up to us to decide whether we shrivel up and die (metaphorically), or grow stronger than ever before.
When faced with darkness, it's important not to push it down. In order for us to grow and move forward, we must allow it to rise to the surface. Once it's brought to the surface, the light can begin it's healing work.
Often when faced with a major life challenge, we must grieve a loss. Sometimes it's a loss of a future we had designed or a relationship that is no longer authentic. And it’s important that these feelings are addressed and dealt with, which may require professional support.
It’s not always easy to do this, and this is where our solid foundation of gratitude helps us to keep going. I am grateful for all of it – all of the setbacks and challenges that I’ve faced in business and in life – and I wouldn’t want to change anything about my past experiences.
By continuing to focus on the present and what I’m most grateful for, right now, it’s easier to face the inevitable challenges that come along.Inevitable challenges: Things that stop us in our tracks like a miscarriage, separation, sudden death or legal entanglements. And most often, they show up when we least except them. We may be tempted to ask 'why me or why now?" My favorite philosopher Jim Rohn might say, ‘I wouldn’t sign up for that class,’ meaning that it’s not our role to focus on WHY things are happening or WHY things are changing.
What I have realized is that whenever I'm poised for massive growth, massive challenges will appear.
If it were easy to be successful, we would have all already reached our own personal version of success. What most people don’t realize is that success comes from facing challenges, making mistakes and learning and growing from them. We have to stop being afraid to make mistakes, hiding from challenges and step out of our comfort zone.
This is the key to success: facing the uncomfortable and humbling experiences that arise from these difficult situations.
Gratitude makes it easier to face these challenges, once we realize that they are there to help our growth. Many successful people will tell you that they are grateful for their challenges. They might not have seen it when they were knee deep in difficulties, but often gratitude shows up in hindsight. If we choose to be grateful, even when we are going through our most difficult times, it makes those times a bit easier to navigate.
Where in your life are you facing challenges right now? Would you be open to using gratitude to help you move forward? Here's a great place to start! My best ideas are summed up here: How To Wake Up With Gratitude (Episode 4 of Wake Up With Gratitude Podcast). I share my favorite ways to start the day with gratitude.