In last week’s post I shared the story of how Oprah was able to transform her knockdowns and great obstacles into a great strength, developing great empathy for people and becoming a beacon of hope for thousands who have come into contact with her.
This week I will continue our theme of POW and what to do to get back up when life knocks you down.
There are countless of other examples of people who experienced great knockdowns in life just as Oprah did. We all need to learn how to get back up when we are knocked down, and what better way to do that than to hear inspiring stories from some of the people I’ve been fortunate to interview:
Roger Crawford was born with a physical handicap that affected all four of his limbs from the elbows down and from the knees down, leaving him with two fingers on his left wrist and one on his right, a partially developed right leg with three toes, and his left leg from the knee down was amputated. But he became a world-class tennis player, recognized by Sports Illustrated as one of the most accomplished athletes in history. During our interview Roger made this very profound statement, which I want you to listen to here:
Please take this message to heart… and to your focus. As Roger said, “Oftentimes what we initially saw as an obstacle turned into a great opportunity.”
Another example I’d like to share is Dale Beatty. Dale is an Iraq war veteran who was severely injured during his time serving his country. Despite injuries that might have crippled someone else’s life and spirit, Dale got back on his feet, literally, and chose to go through his obstacles to something better on the other side. Let’s hear from Dale directly on how he learned to get back up:
So as Dale said, don’t let your life’s experiences define you; YOU decide the definition. Don’t define them as a wound you need to heal from, but rather, as a strength, and now your advantage.
The last example I’d like to share is Jennifer Gilbert, whom you heard me interview on our March 2014 SUCCESS CD. She was the one who was brutally attacked and stabbed repeatedly 37 times with a screwdriver and left for dead. She recovered and went on to become a very successful entrepreneur, but never spoke of it for 20 years. She was ashamed and tried to block out the experience. But when she started to finally share her story here is what she learned:
She helped heal a lot of people who have gone through similar trials… and it more deeply connected her to her friends and clients now that they know the story. So I encourage you to do the same.
What Dale said later on in the interview was to “take your negative and spin it as a positive for others.” You can do this as directly as Dale did, which was by helping others who suffered the same tragedies he went through, or it can be as simple as sharing your story so that it might better connect you empathetically to others around you, or might serve as a source of inspiration to those around you.
Here is your action plan:
1. Write down the three worst experiences of your life.
Those three things that have caused you the most pain, headache and heartache.
2. Next write out the story of each of them.
The better you share the story the greater chance it will have to move, help, connect and heal others.
3. Then start telling those stories.
I know, I know…. It’s scary stuff.
Some of these stories you haven’t told anyone.
Some of them you haven’t even allowed yourself to tell or remember.
But you have to trust me on this. I can speak from experience, because I had stories I never told anyone, never wanted to even admit to, most particularly to myself. But when I mustered up the courage to start sharing them, wow, my life, my relationship, my connection to thousands of people have deepened immensely. So that is what I want to promise you.
While it might seem scary and unnerving, I want to encourage you to do it. It’s worth it, I promise.