Smartful Coaching

Adversity Flip™

Turn Adversity Over to Find Something Good

06 May
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Gratitude & Adversity

“Gratitude allows us to put life back in balance. When you live with constant gratitude, your life will become a living prayer.” 

~ Barbara DeAngelis, from her book: Real Moments

You may be wondering what gratitude has to do with adversity.

A lot.

It’s easy to be grateful when things go well. How many of us are grateful when things don’t go well, when life is filled with adversity?

It’s important to be grateful for all of life. Even the adversity.

Adversity is where the growth is. Adversity allows us to rise above it.  Adversity is where the lesson is.

Life itself is both triumph & adversity. How can we triumph without adversity? Have you ever been inspired by someone overcoming “the good life”?

No. Every story of inspiration is about overcoming adversity.

 “Our pain can be our greatest teacher. It leads us to places we’d never go on our own.” 

~ Debbie Ford, from her book: The Dark Side of the Light Chasers

My father died when I was 9. I’ve been divorced twice. My daughter has disowned me. Do I wish these things had been different. Absolutely.

Yet at the same time I learned & am grateful for the lessons.

From my dad’s death, I learned to:

  • never take loved ones for granted
  • be grateful that my mom is still living – some have lost both parents
  • be grateful that my dad lived as long as he did – some never know their father at all

With divorce, I learned that:

  • it’s important to follow both my heart & my head
  • I need to love & respect myself before I can truly love & respect another
  • love alone isn’t enough, you have to like, respect & understand each other

With my daughter refusing to speak to me, there are times I think that all I’ve learned is heartache. But then I realize I’ve learned:

  • true love is expressing your feelings, regardless of whether the other person will express theirs or not
  • to focus less on the outcome & more on making sure I’ve done the best that I am able to do
  • once I’ve done all that I can, to be patient, let go & turn things over to our creator in faith & trust

Do I wish these events in my life had played out differently? Yes.

Yet, I’m grateful for what I’ve learned as a result. Adversity has helped me experience significant personal growth & become a stronger person.

It all comes down to a matter of perspective. And we all can change our perspectives if we choose to. Find ways to be grateful for adversity.

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

22 April
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How Did It Get This Bad?

My life was falling apart. I couldn’t believe how bad it was & how quickly it seemed to happen.

I searched to find the “one bad choice” that landed me on the dark path I was on.

There wasn’t any one thing.

Simply a series of small changes that individually looked minor & harmless.

But when combined, radically altered where my life was headed.

My job, my finances, my health, my spirit & my attitude – were all a mess.

I didn’t feel like “me” any more.

I was super-stressed, eating poorly, lacking exercise, feeling isolated & sleeping very little. I’d put myself on the path to an early grave. I was beyond anxious to find a new path.

Then I discovered a big part of the problem. I was trying to control everything. In particular, related to making a career change.

“I once had a grip on everything.  It feels better to let go.

~ from the song: I’m Not Over by Carolina Liar

Change careers – I was so ready. But instead of letting it develop naturally, I set it in my mind that I must have a masters degree. Instead making the end goal (career change) the most important thing, I was totally focused on a rigid set of steps that I decided must happen first.

And I’d become so determined & focused on getting that degree that I blinded myself to all the warning signs around me.  Then one day I “woke up” & saw how bad my life had become.

A difficult decision, but I chose to leave school. Immediately my stress was reduced, I found time for exercise & improved my finances.  In turn, my sleep improved.

In hindsight, one of the best decisions I ever made.

I can’t recall the author’s name, but I once read a book that talked about the importance of “choosing the hard no”.  My hard no was dropping school & having faith that the needed events & people would appear in my life when the time was right.

And that is just what happened.

My life fell apart in 2007/2008. In 2009, I got back on the right path. And in 2010, I attended two life-changing seminars (by Barbara Sher).  Those seminars solidified that I was making the right career change & significantly shaped the way I do business today. In 2011 I launched my business full-time.

It’s easy to seen now that I was trying to control everything out of fear. In this case, my level of adversity had to red-line before I was able to learn the lesson.

The lesson…  don’t get so locked into a way of thinking that you miss what’s going on around you.  Instead, pay attention, have faith, let go, & deal with fear in the right way.  We all arrive where we need to, but we can’t always choose the route.

Bob

 

 

29 January
4Comments

Take a Leap…

“Don’t be afraid to take a big step. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.”

~ David Lloyd George

When I was ready to move to warmer climate, I was really ready. Stick-me-with-a-fork-I’m-done kind of ready.

Winter had just begun in Iowa (October of 2010) & yet, I was already sick of the cold. I decided at that moment it would be my last winter in a cold climate.

Now that I’ve been in Phoenix for 7 months & feel a bit more settled, I’ve had  time to reflect on all the changes that have transpired in my life.

One thing I noticed is how long it took me to actually make the move. A move I’d talked about on & off for about a decade. There’s no doubt, that leaving friends & family played a part in slowing me down.

But I also came to realize there was something else holding me back. Fear.

Previously I was looking only at safe ways to make the move – i.e. have a job lined up prior to moving. Like the quote above says, I was trying to cross a chasm in 2 jumps.

I chose to accept uncertainty & have faith that all would work out as it should.    Once I decided on that approach, everything related to the move accelerated.

I was looking for part-time income to keep me afloat as I built up my business.  Within a few weeks of arriving, I was offered a part-time teaching position.

What at first looked to me like years of failing to make the move, was something else entirely. It was an opportunity for me learn.  I learned 2 things.

First, how to be shoulder-to-shoulder with the fear & not run the other way. Second, to take that leap of faith & trust that all would work out as it should. And it has.

Bob

 

 

 

19 January
7Comments

I Forgot to Remember

“Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.”

~ Steven Wright

It started slowly – my memory loss.  I found myself writing down little things to make sure I wouldn’t forget them.  Increasingly I was writing down more and more things.  I heard myself telling others how my memory “used to be to so much better”.    I was getting older and had accepted that my memory was fading.  A number of people around me were saying similar things about their memory, so I guess there was some comfort in that.

Then one day it hit me.  Wait a minute – am I really sure my memory is this bad?  Is this really memory loss or is it something else?  Conditioning?  A lack of faith in my own abilities?  Losing some memory is a natural part of aging, but maybe this was more than that.

Clearly my memory wasn’t as sharp as it once was, but it seemed like time to see if maybe I was fooling myself.  So, I started testing myself.   Minor things – I quit writing them down to see if I would remember them.  I cut back on how often I told myself (and others) that my memory was bad.  Overall, my memory seemed to improve.

My issue wasn’t really a memory problem, but instead a lack of faith in my memory.  Go figure.  I was holding myself back.  It helped me realize that  it would be good to examine other areas of my life to see where else I might be holding myself back.

Does anything come to mind on how you have imposed artificial limits on yourself?  Please leave any thoughts that you’d like to share in the  comment section.