Everyone has a story. People suffer from abuse and neglect, disappointment and heartache. Some people become life-long victims of their circumstances and ultimately live their lives emotionally damaged. These people learn to survive by guarding themselves from others. They are often verbal abusers, self-destructors, and commitment dodgers. They complain, blame, deflect, and inflict every chance they get. They respond reflexively to life often without even being aware of the negative effect their childhood abuse, broken home, unsuccessful marriage, failed business, or loss of loved one has had on their life choices. I don’t blame them for finding ways to survive. Before one gains control of his/her emotions, surviving is all one knows how to do. It is better to exist than to just give up completely.
Then there are those who need more than to exist. There are people that have a hard time accepting their bad experiences as all that life has to offer. There are those that don’t want to cope with life, but who want to conquer it. They have suffered rejection, disappointments, physical and verbal abuse, but still desire a good life. So they set out to push past their unpleasant circumstances to experience the joy of not just surviving but mastering life’s difficulties. These people are often over-achievers. They spend their lives building confidence in their ability to thrive by living a life that opposes negativity. They think before they speak because they know how damaging hurtful words can be. They live a life of gratitude because they understand that one bad choice could have shifted their life into a world of self-destruction. They take care in their career and personal life because they understand that it is important to invest in the things that will benefit them the most.
I’ve mentioned they, them and those people…now let’s talk about you.
You have survived the disappointment, heartache, abuse, and setbacks of life. Now…it is time to conquer them. Become a master of difficulty. Some people go through years of therapy just to get to the point where they can admit that bad things happened to them. I was able to start the journey of conquering my life’s difficulties by doing four things.
1. Coming to terms with the fact that bad things happened in my life.
2. Admitting to the fact that those things negatively affected my choices.
3. Made a conscious choice to forgive the people who hurt me
4. Forgave myself for responding reflexively.
This is not a task that can be completed in one day. To move from survivor to conqueror status, you must spend significant time with yourself. You must ask tough questions and be prepared for the answers. You must let go of the past and stop making excuses. You may even have to ask the people that you have hurt as a result of your hurts to forgive you. In the end, to will gain emotional freedom, be able to move fluidly to your next stage in life, and thrive in a healthier emotional environment. If you have been held back by your emotional tantrums, afraid to to try something new from fear that you will mess it up, have a hard time building significant relationships...it's time to stop surviving in life and start conquering it!