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6 Ways To Make The Story Of Your Life Impactful

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All of us dream of having a life that is impactful and forms a story that may one day be turned into a book or movie. The story of your life is made up of many elements that are also the fundamentals of success.

Unless your life is impactful, no one is ever going to care greatly about your story. Your story is owned by you, and only you can create and determine how much impact it will have. Ask yourself the question right now, does your life have a significant impact? If it doesn’t, then it’s time to change it.

It’s time for you to create something that everyone will remember you for. It’s time to turn that dream that you have always had into a reality. This all starts with a decision and often you need some major, painful event to trigger this desire.

Think about the emotions you would feel if the majority of people respected you and were inspired by you. You would be on top of the world, and your life would have meant something. Your name will forever live on, and generations of people will live their lives in dedication to what you stood for.

That sounds like a real vision, and that sounds like a common goal that we should all strive for.

Below are the six ways to make the story of your life impactful.

1. Do something outstanding

Life stories that have a major impact all involve someone doing something outstanding; something that no one thought was possible or that would ever be done. Have you done something outstanding already?

If you haven’t, that’s okay, but start thinking about what major task you could achieve that would be outstanding. Start thinking about what you’re great at or what you could be great at.
This first step is the most crucial and you need to decide on it before you proceed.

There are so many people that never realise that they need to do something outstanding, so just this realisation alone can be empowering in itself. Given the size of this task, it’s not going to happen overnight.

When you come to terms with what you are going to do, it will begin to manifest itself in your life. Doing something outstanding ties together passion, giving back, purpose, fulfillment, and many more success attributes that we have all heard before.

The fact that doing something outstanding covers so many of these attributes is the reason why you should dedicate your life to this one task. Once you achieve it, then you have the very rare task of doing it all over again with a new task.

2. Teach Others

Any great story involves some form of learning. Before you can teach other people something, though, you need to teach yourself first. I like to begin with lots of reading across a broad range of topics. This will give you the foundations of what you can teach others.

For me, what I want to teach other people is all about self-development, entrepreneurship and how to reach success. This is no easy task for me but I have devoted a large amount of time to it, and I can see progress every week now.

In the beginning, I didn’t see any progress but my mentors told me that eventually I would, and they were right. At the start, I was the student, but now I am becoming the teacher. Each day I get to teach people ideas I have learned myself and translate it into my own language.

Google has meant that education and information is easy to find, but the real task now is for someone to curate and translate the information.

It’s this translation of the learning I have done that allows me to create value. The language I speak in is unique, and the ideas are curated by my own mind. When you can begin to do the same thing, then you two can teach others (if you’re not already).

I recently got the opportunity to work with a graduate. Initially, I wasn’t that excited about the task, but as things progressed, I realised that I had the chance to completely shape his career, which in turn, would shape his life. Anyone can do this and even if it starts with just one graduate, you have the chance to begin to make an impact.

3. Share your story

Once you establish your story and start to create an impact, it’s time to share it with others. This doesn’t just mean that you share the good moments with some happy Instagram photos – there is much more to it.

The key to sharing your story is that it’s about being vulnerable, and sharing the negative moments and failures, and then balancing these out with the positive successes. As you share your story in this way, you will begin to compound the impact your story has on the world.

There are many ways to share your story and I have found the easiest way is online first. As you become more comfortable in sharing your story, you can then start sharing it through video, and then later in person.

With my own story, I am about to start sharing it on video, and then the next step will be through public speaking. I am happy to tell you though that I am not great at public speaking so expect to see me at a local Toastmasters shortly. If you are an expert in public speaking and can help, then feel free to reach out to me.

4. Live your dream at all costs

The only way your story will have any impact is if it is directly hardwired to your dream. You will need to move every obstacle out of the pathway of your life and agree to live this dream no matter what.

Even when all your close friends are out having dinner, there will be times when you will be required to not take the easy route, and not attend so that you can work on your dream. The temptation in these situations will be great which is why your own individual dream needs to be something you have thought about and truly care about.

Your dream is linked to your passion, and when you are in a state of mind where you are doing something you love, you experience high levels of happiness. Happiness then becomes a fuel for your mind, and you subconsciously start to create your story and make an impact without even thinking about it.

5. Show some emotion

To make the story of your life impactful, it needs to contain some emotion. Emotion is what draws people in, and it’s what makes it your story. When it comes to the story of your life, the word impact really just means emotion.

You can’t fake emotion in your own story. The more real and the rawer the emotion is, the more people will be drawn to it. If your story is full of made up elements, then people can spot the fakeness a mile away.

As I have said before, your pain becomes your success, and your success is often determined by the impact you are having. There is nothing like seeing someone give it all they have got and sharing every amount of emotion they have with you.

You get tingles down your spine; you feel unstoppable, and you want to spend more time with them. These are all things that our brains think about subconsciously all the time. If a thought pops into your head about something you are going to do, and you start thinking about what people will think of that action, just do it and don’t think twice.

The chances are that if that action is something that you are worried what others will say about it, it’s probably because it has some form of emotion attached to it that requires you to be vulnerable. It’s these actions that you should commit to doing if you want to have an impact.

6. Learn to control your mind

The one element you have 100% control over when it comes to the impact of your life story is your mind (assuming you learn to control it). This is no easy task and so many people never master this art. It requires you to study some basic elements of psychology and really understand yourself.

You need to work out what you love, what you hate, what motivates you and what stops you. If you practice this art form every single day, your brain becomes like a muscle and starts to grow. Your ability to make tough decisions becomes easier, and you’re drawn closer to your purpose.

“Once the human mind is understood and put to proper use, your impact can become more widespread. You can begin to move closer to the things that you care about most and stay clear of the things you have no interest in” – Tim Denning

The people who have controlled their mind the best usually go on to become leaders in their field. From Warren Buffett, to Tony Robbins to the Dalai Lama; all of them live their life at the highest level.

People from the outside will observe the way you control your mind and begin to be drawn to you because it’s such a rarity to have your mind under control and working for you, instead of against you.

Everything I have just mentioned starts with a decision: a decision to be great, a decision to be the example for others rather than let your life waste away to something that no one will remember.

Will you be the person who has the funeral that the whole world stops for, or the person whose funeral has less than twenty close family members there to see you off?

How are you going to make the story of your life impactful? Let me know in the comments section below or on Twitter and Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Vanessa LeMaistre

    Dec 19, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Hello Tim,
    I absolutely love your article. I can tell from the way you write, you will be an impactful speaker. I have been in Toastmasters for a few years as well and one of the biggest tools I took with me is to use emotion in your speeches because it is the most impactful thing you can do. I am moved by your story as I had been writing a self help book about overcoming things. I overcame pretty big adversities and my goal with my book is to then become a motivational speaker. I feel like I need the message first; then I can deliver. Sometimes though, I wish there was a school for how to be a motivational speaker. Instead, you have to create your own path. I guess that’s the beauty of it. Any pointers on how I can be even more impactful than that? That is so black and white and I want to do as much possible to reach my highest potential. I’ve got all that it takes, and a powerful story to go along with it. I just need some more direction sometimes or more tips on different ways I can impact the world.

  2. Joyce L. Moore

    Apr 20, 2016 at 7:28 am

    I recently discovered that telling your story, a good story is empowerment. I always told my three sons, when you find your passion you will find success and then, over the years, encouraged each of them to use their talents and develop their passion and success would come. Knowing their back story, their history is an important part of that discovery of achieving a life of meaning and success and, working as a family, we were able to start making positive change and impact. We have just started. We want to be the example of how everyday people can make impact full change.

    Your article fills in some of the holes that I feel is necessary to take it to the next level. Thank you.

  3. Kerry-Anne Minns

    Jan 5, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Tim,
    I find this article fascinating as it something i’ve been thinking about and discussing for many years. You’ll see by the holding page on my website that I haven’t quite got there. Friends and family tell me that I have an impactful story but I haven’t worked out how to translate that into something yet. I’m going to spend sometime going through these points and see if it will help me move it forward.
    Also, I would highly recommend Toastmaters i’ve been a member for about 4-5 years I’m currently President of the Bicester Speakers club in UK. I really enjoy public speaking and am always happy to volunteer to speak in public even if its on the spot. The skills i’ve learnt at toastmasters has contributed to me getting jobs and progressing in my career.
    Thanks

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 11, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks for reading Kerry-Anne and for your comments. I am very keen to see how Toastmasters goes for me and congrats on all your success so far. I look forward to seeing the holding page turn into your website 🙂

  4. Jody McPhearson

    Dec 31, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Tim,

    Thanks for this article. And thank you for having an impact on my life! As I am on this journey it is good to know that others are there to help. Your words about pain becoming success are powerful! Forgive me, your first success principle is powerful! I have recently embraced this idea of failure and it is amazing what impact it is having on my life. My writing is clearer and my goals are more defined. I can not wait for the new year to take the next steps to help others and be impactful in a major way.

    Thank you!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 31, 2015 at 10:47 pm

      Jodie thanks for the feedback. Tip number one is also my favourite because unless we do something outstanding, then not much else can happen in our life that will shape our overall story. I will make sure I check out your writing and thanks for reading!

  5. Addicted 2 The Grind

    Dec 29, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Tim, Thanks for the follow on twitter! Great post.

    The point that really sticks out to me is #4. Not giving in to temptation is very hard to do, but once you can control that temptation you can get a lot of stuff done.

    In order to be successful you have to make sacrifices and if that means not hanging out with friends or not catching up on your favorite tv shows then you do what it takes.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 11:27 pm

      Not a problem guys I love what you are doing and regularly read your Twitter posts. I have just sent you a tweet 🙂

  6. Peter

    Dec 29, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Thank you for your work. You write good articles and I enjoy reading them. They’re very thought-provoking. However, I don’t think that making an impact on the world to achieve fame and glory is what life is or should be all about. I’d rather have no one show up for my funeral than not be true to myself. I think it is written in Christian scripture that “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” There can be more important things in life than making an impact on others or on the whole world.

    • Addicted 2 The Grind

      Dec 29, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Hey Peter, Good point.

      Its all about what you feel and what your want to be known for.( not a general thing) If you want to impact people without the fame thats fine. But I also believe you can impact way more people if you have a bigger audience or platform.

      At the end of the day impacting anyone to do positive things is great.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      Peter thanks for leaving your view and I appreciate where you are coming from. My viewpoint was more about having a positive impact than fame. I agree though that you need to remain true to yourself.

  7. Toño

    Dec 29, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Impactful story of your life, a dream for many and reality for so little. Packing my things now and moving into new place, I cannot help but think how I want and enjoy to travel and love to see different environment as often as possible. Going through isolation at my job has helped me to see and better inderstand my faults and work on them, transform them. I love that point about vulnerability, as in the past I usually wanted to avoid it at any cost and show everyone how strong I can be mentally. But again, was I living my own life or someone else’s ?

    Oh, and emotions. I am quite curious about them as well. Recently my emotional attitude lead me to big mistake. Fortunately, I took my time to relax and meditate and then ‘sleep with it’ thus in the morning I realized the solution I knew was the right one, and by taking the immediate action, that puzzle was solved. It was a good lesson your emotions may cost you big deal and that clear mind and confidence is your better ally.

    I understand the power of emotional story but I think you should find a balance. Right now I still have some emotions over my head and not sure what to with them. But I’ll get there one day.

    Once again, thank you so much Tim for you time and attitude for providing great food for our minds. I’ve rarely comment on somenthing but your articles gives me the drive to communicate and give back some feedback. Also, your response means a lot for me and gives me additional motivation to keep going. I appreciate it!

    Have a wonderful day and stay well!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 6:46 am

      Toño you always share great insights and take the time to be bold and share your story. I would love to connect with you on Facebook to hear more.

      Your feedback is very much appreciated!

    • Reuben

      Jan 4, 2016 at 2:56 am

      Toño can I send you a message and chat sometime? The way you just portrayed yourself in this comment above is really well illustrated, quite similar to my own pursuit of success and I was hoping we could share stories sometime and maybe help each other?

  8. Rhonda

    Dec 29, 2015 at 4:25 am

    Awesome!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Thanks Rhonda 🙂

  9. Fred

    Dec 29, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Having traveled the world, worked in the outdoors, and now am able to work from my laptop from anywhere I choose , I can say that I have an impactful story. Now, I just have to tell it! 😛

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 29, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Would love to hear your story Fred. Thanks for taking the time to read the article.

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Life

This 5 Minute Test Will Instantly Change Your Life

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Twelve months is too small for a life plan. The moment you understand this, the new year celebrations become a cliché. Success in life is always a build-up of several years of consistent “little” progress. The new year celebration is for gratitude, not for life planning.

People often overestimate what they can achieve in a year. But they greatly underestimate what they can achieve in 10 years. I discovered a whole new way of making progress in life quite recently. It was from the story of how a friend of mine made her most profound life progress yet. It began with a simple test that can change your life.

My friend was working in a small non-governmental organization that year. She was unsure of how to go forward in life. Life was looking scary and she was getting confused. Then, she attended a conference and took a simple test that helped her change her life.

Here are the 5 questions you must answer in the next 5 minutes:

1. What do you want to be doing (as work) 10 years from now?

Forget about today. Forget about next year. Let us go a bit further into the future. This question is not asking what you think you will be doing in 10 years. The question is asking what you would like to be doing in 10 years.

Saying that you want to be traveling around the world doesn’t count. Even if you plan to retire by then, you still have to be doing something to be responsible. To be doing nothing is to have no reason to be alive. Other people must feel your impact in some way. So, add 10 to your age and write down what you would like to be doing then.

My friend wanted to be working with top international organizations like the UN. She wants to be winning grants and handling big projects in her field. What is yours?

“Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

2. Who is doing what you want to be doing in 10 years?

Believe it or not, there are people that are already living at least a similar version of your dream today. Do you know them? If you think there aren’t any, I challenge you to get on the internet and find out now.

Try as much as possible to find at least five names. Write only people whose life conforms to your answer in question 1. For my friend, she realized most of those she knew who had this life were in professors in academia. Go out and find your potential mentors today!

3. Identify (from the people you listed) who you need to become to get to your dream

It became clear to my friend that she ought to aim at becoming a university professor. Interestingly, she had always wanted this but never gave it attention. There is a person you’ll need to become to make your dream a reality. Until you identify who you need to be to have the life you want, your life will be without focus or direction. Who have you identified you need to be?

4. What job, work or responsibility will put you on a straight path to becoming who you’ve identified in question 3?

For my friend, she instantly knew she should be seeking a job opportunity at a University. It was the straight path to rise through the ranks to become the person she desired to be. Now, it is not about money or the pressure of getting something worthwhile to do. She had a clear target.

Becoming who you need to be will require that you have some experience credentials. You will get that experience by working somewhere. This is about handling a particular responsibility where you grow and develop. You need that job or responsibility that will put you in line to become who you need to become. So, what is that job for you?

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah

5. What is the training that will qualify you for the job in question 4?

My friend already had the training and qualifications she needed, so she took off with finding the job she had identified. It took about 3 months of researching job opportunities and taking very bold steps prior to landing the job she wanted at a university.

Most people need some amount of training to land the job they have identified. Work training has become easy today because of the internet. There are myriads of training opportunities that exist in any field you can think of. If you can’t afford the ones you are seeking, I can assure you that there is a free one somewhere that can get you started.

In the professional line, many schools around the world now offer online degrees. In the gig economy also, there are lots of training by experts in various spheres. There is no way you won’t find an online course that is right for you.

Is a particular training coming to mind right now? Take action on it immediately! The training gets you the job. The job makes you into the expert. Search out the training you need and take action immediately!

Conclusion

Once you identify the training and start it, you begin working your way from question number 5 to question 1. From the training, you get the job. From the job, you grow to become an expert or authority in the field. From becoming an expert, you will be free to live the way you want.

For some people, this can indeed take 10 years. But for most, it takes less than that to get to question 1.

My friend is now transitioning from the job to the expert. She made new changes after reevaluating her goals with another test. She recently quit her job at the university to get a more ambitious job in a bigger city. And yes, it is with an international organization.

Now you know what to do, what are you waiting for? Share with us your dream job you’d like to have!

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Life

How 8 Minutes of Meditation Can Give You the Productivity Boost You Need

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Of all the productivity hacks I’ve tried over the years, none has had as much of a positive impact relative to the time I put in than meditation. Just 8 minutes per day to be precise. Meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries. Once primarily used by practitioners of Buddhism to reach a higher level of consciousness, science has since shown it has a lot of more earthly benefits as well.

As Healthline reports, meditation improves concentration, reduces fatigue and stress, brings a sense of relaxation and improves sleep patterns, among other benefits. All the above reasons explain why some of the most successful people rely on meditation to thrive in their professions. Jeff Weiner, former Yahoo executive and the current CEO of Linkedin says that meditation has made a huge positive impact on his productivity. Similarly,  Ray Dalio, who is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, attributes a big part of his success to meditation.

5 Ways Meditation Helps with Productivity

Before I get to my own meditation routine that takes just 8 minutes of my time daily, let me first go over in general how meditation can give you a huge leg up in your career and business, backed by studies.

1. Improves Your Attention Span

There are tons of factors that improve productivity, but one that plays a very important role is the ability to focus. Being attentive enough to complete the task at hand means you’ll finish your work with higher accuracy and better efficiency.

According to Pubmed, several studies have shown the efficacy of meditation in reversing parts of the brain that cause mind wandering and the inability to concentrate. Russell Simmons, the CEO of Rush Communications, says that meditation is one of the things that has helped him focus the most.

2. Increases Neuroplasticity

For a long time, scientists believed that brain development only happened during childhood and then ceased. But recent discovery regarding the neuroplastic nature of the brain concludes that our brains actually continue to change and adapt through experiences. In other words, the brain is continually reorganizing itself by creating new neurons and new connections.

Meditation is one practice capable of changing your brain’s structure and functions. In fact, Harvard Researchers at MGH have shown that meditation increases grey matter volume in your brain. What this means is that it causes more neurons to accumulate in one space.

Another theory that explains how meditation boosts neuroplasticity is that it increases cerebral blood flow (CBF). By placing you in a state of relaxation, blood is able to flow more freely leading to better oxygenation and nourishment in your brain. With increased neuroplasticity, your ability to acquire new skills and positive habits increase.

3. Sharpens Your Memory

A major benefit of mediation is that it boosts one’s working memory capacity. The working memory determines how much information the central nervous system can hold and process at any time. It’s like the Random Access Memory in a computer.

A study was done to investigate the effect of active meditation on individuals’ working memory capacities. Researchers had the participants take part in a 45-minute meditation exercise twice per week. After a couple of weeks, they recorded the results and discovered that the respondents’ working memory capacities had increased by more than 30%. Put simply; they could hold and process 30% more information than the average person.

The study proved that meditating increases the working memory capacity. With a larger working memory, you can take on more sophisticated tasks and handle them efficiently.

4. Improves Cognitive Thinking

As you age, your cognitive functioning deteriorates gradually. The resulting deficit weakens your ability to reason, remember and process information. All these are factors that can make you less productive at work and in other areas of your life. Good news is, practising meditation and mindfulness can help with that.

To examine the impact of meditation on cognitive function, researchers from the University of California at Santa Barbara conducted a study. They asked 48 undergraduate students to attend one of two classes: a nutrition class or a mindfulness class. The result? Those who attended the mindfulness class saw marked improvements in their exams afterwards, while the nutrition group saw no statistically significant improvements.

One factor that can explain this outcome is that meditation improves the balance of the left and right sides of the brain. Synchronizing both brain hemispheres allows for greater processing power and neural communication.

5. Reduces Stress

Stress is something that people experience on a daily basis, and more so at work. According to the American Institute of Stress, work-induced stress is the most common form of stress. Based on a recent survey they did, at least 80% of Americans experienced stress at work, hampering productivity and leading to mistakes.

Thankfully, having a meditation practice as part of your routine can lower stress and make you more productive. It goes beyond just stress reduction, however. According to the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, meditation has been shown to reduce the symptoms of social anxiety, paranoid thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and panic attacks.

How 8 Minutes of Meditation Daily Has Changed My Life

My personal journey with meditation has been nothing short of life changing. What if I told you there was a productivity hack that only required 8 minutes of your day, and as a consequence, will double your attention span, mental stamina, and ability to function under stress? What if I told you, thanks to just 8 minutes a day, a once self diagnosed ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) sufferer now frequently loses track of time as he ticks off one item after the next on his daily to-do lists? Yes, that’s what meditation has done for me, and I believe it can do that for anyone.

The meditation routine I follow is based on the best selling book “8 Minute Meditation” by Victor Davich. As a meditation guru, Victor sought out to devise a meditation program that fits in with the ultra busy lifestyles of Westerners while still delivering the main benefits the practice at its fullest provides.

Here is the gist of the “8 minute meditation” that I practice every day right before I go to bed:

  • Set a timer for 8 minutes.
  • Find a comfortable sitting pose. This could be in a cozy meditation chair or sitting with your legs crossed on a yoga mat
  • Close your eyes slowly as if you were planning to sleep. Avoid squeezing them or shutting them involuntarily.
  • Next, start taking slow, deep breaths.
  • With every inhale, envision that you are breathing in light. Follow the light as it enters your body.
  • With every exhale, imagine breathing out all the tension and negativity that you have been harbouring. Relax every muscle from those on your face, chest, back, legs all the way to the tips of your toes.
  • As you breathe in and out, your mind will most likely start to wonder. Do not get upset. Just slowly bring your awareness back to your breathing. Imagine catching a fish and just letting it go.
  • Continue this until the timer goes off. Then, slowly open your eyes again..

A big part of the magic happens in meditation when you do it consistently. For me, with every day of practice, my ability to stay focused on my breathing and stay present increased during those critical 8 minutes. And as my ability to do those seemingly simple things improved, that’s when I started to notice all the tangible benefits of meditation I mentioned earlier.

Meditation is not a new concept. And it doesn’t require you to invest anything that you don’t already have. This is one of the greatest benefits of meditating; it doesn’t require any special equipment or registration for training. Essentially, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain. To me, meditation dare i say is the greatest productivity hack of all time.

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Life

5 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Hitting Rock Bottom

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At one time, the term rock bottom was completely foreign to me. I can remember feeling really bad for anyone who claimed to have ‘hit rock bottom.’ What devastation they must feel. Their whole world must have just collapsed. How will they go on? I was soon to find out.

My journey to rock bottom

I’m not gonna say I had it all but for the most part, my world was pretty good. It wasn’t perfect and I’ll admit, I was sailing through on a song and a prayer. I lived in a nice house in a posh neighbourhood with my partner and in 2010 I purchased my first business, a hair salon.

I belonged to an amazing networking group of successful women. I was well respected in the community and had lots of friends. You could say my life was pretty good. However, this didn’t last for long.

Three years after the purchase of the salon I closed the doors and declared bankruptcy. Six months after bankruptcy, I walked out of my abusive relationship with nothing to my name.

I was a shell of a person. I had nothing and in my eyes, I was a complete and utter failure. At 52 years old, my whole world came crashing down on me and I for the first time in my life, was absolutely terrified.

I walked around in a daze for months. I was completely empty inside, both emotionally and mentally. I had no desire to rebuild my life. There was little life left in me to work on. I secured my old job at the salon I was at prior to my business purchase. Every day I had to face people who I’m sure were disappointed in me and most likely laughing at me behind my back.

I was a loser. They knew it and so did I. When you hit rock bottom, any and all self respect and self confidence you ever had goes right out the window. You’re constantly embarrassed and feel worthless all the time. However, one day something snaps when you look in the mirror and can’t stand to look at the person looking back at you. This is without a shadow of a doubt the moment some confidence and hope arises to change.

I looked in the mirror one day and I didn’t recognize the person staring back. She was sad, empty, blank and lifeless. This wasn’t Iva and I so desperately wanted her back. I missed the optimistic, bubbly and outgoing girl that used to stare back at me in the mirror. And I was determined to get her back.

I had reached a point where I was tired of crying and feeling sorry for myself. I was tired of telling myself I was a loser and a failure and that I would never amount to anything. But I was mostly tired of just existing with no purpose or passion.

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling

The climb out of rock bottom

I started devouring self help books and reading any and all blogs I could on how to get your life back on track and how to find self love and self worth again. I read inspirational quotes and listened to motivational YouTube videos day in and day out. I journaled and cried and prayed and meditated. All the things I have never done in my life, I was doing daily without fail.

Slowly, Iva was emerging but she was so much different this time around. She had hope, faith and determination and nothing was going to stop her or stand in her way of rebuilding her life. My journey out of rock bottom took almost a full year to complete but in that time, I learned so much about myself, people and life.

Here are the 5 life lessons I learned from hitting rock bottom:

1. Failure isn’t real

There’s no such thing as failure. I’m not even sure why this word exists. You had an idea or a plan, tried it, and it didn’t work. You learn lessons from this and you move on. Always remember one very important thing: you tried. Most people don’t even bother. Believe in yourself.

2. You’re not stuck anywhere

If something isn’t working or isn’t good for you, leave it. I was terrified to leave my abusive relationship because I knew it meant I would lose everything. And I did. When I finally took the plunge and left, everything in my life changed for the better. Have faith!

3. Change is fun and scary, but do it anyway

Although change is terrifying, it’s necessary. We don’t grow in our comfort zone or in our misery. Sometimes you have to do things that will scare the daylights out of you..do them anyway. This is where you learn and grow. You meet people and you experience things you never would have if you stayed in your comfort zone. Take the leap.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

4. Everything is temporary

The good and the bad. Nothing is forever. No matter how horrible your situation is, it won’t last. It will eventually go away or maybe even turn out great! Embrace all the good life has to offer you and learn the lessons the bad will give you. Have patience.

5. You have great power over your life

I was determined to change my life any way I had to. I did whatever I had to do to turn my life around. Was it easy? No. Is it impossible? No. I knew I had the power to change and it was up to me, and only me, to do that. No one could do it for me.

No matter where you are in your life right now, if things aren’t working out the way you expected, don’t worry. Things will always get better if you try to make them better. You can do anything you want. All you have to do is find the power that’s in you and unleash it.

Have you ever hit rock bottom? What advice do you have for someone who’s there? Share your ideas and advice below!

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Life

9 Personal Growth Lessons I Learned From Being Bullied

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what you can learn from being bullied
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Wherever I went, bullying seemed to follow me. Whether it was school, work or even family, I could never seem to find any kind of escape. For years, I was stuck in the victim mindset, constantly asking myself what I did to deserve this kind of behaviour towards me. I decided to turn my struggle into a personal growth strategy to help others who might be silently struggling with what I did.

Here are some of the key personal growth lessons I learnt from my harrowing experiences:

1. Be the victim

Be the victim but put an early as possible expiration date on this. Realise that it is okay to feel sorry for yourself; it is okay to validate yourself by reinforcing the fact that you didn’t deserve what happened to you. This will help you give yourself the compassion that you need in that moment. Recognition of the hurt and validation are the first steps towards starting the healing process, but the key is not to hang around there for too long otherwise you will be stuck with a victim mentality.

2. Why?

This is a question that is often asked – why did this happen to me? Were the stars misaligned or is this karma for sneaking the last doughnut from the party? Rather than getting bogged down analysing why you went through the harrowing experience, focus on what you learnt from the experience. Sometimes, it can be something as simple as finding your voice and setting boundaries. Every difficult situation offers an opportunity to learn.

3. Focus on the lesson, not on the pain

Whenever faced with a tough situation, ask yourself, “What am I learning from this?” Often, when drowning in dire circumstances, we cannot see light and we fear that any light might be an oncoming train. The best way to deal with this fear and overwhelm is to refocus your thoughts. Oftentimes, the lesson falls under one of the following categories: perseverance, patience, consistency and my personal favourite – staying true to who you are.

4. Control the controllable

Within every difficult situation, there are always factors you can control: your responses, your disposition and your actions. Using what you can control, redirect your energy on what you CAN do instead of what you can’t do. Sometimes, what you can do is simply getting through your day and giving everything you can. This helps in building self-confidence and self-esteem.

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” – Steve Maraboli

5. You do you

It is a normal human desire to be liked by those around us. Avoid trying to change who you are based on what others say about you. It is very tempting to do this because we all want to feel accepted and want to feel that we belong. The more you do you, the more you will attract people who love you for the “real” you.

6. It is not about you

When people criticize you incessantly, recognise that they are battling their own demons and they are easily triggered. You are not the real reason for their hurtful behaviour, they are filled with fear, anger and hurt which they vent out to others. You can only give what you have and if fear, anger and hurt is all you have, it is the only place from which you will function.

7. You have the power to choose

It is easy to forget that we always have the power of our choices and decisions, while our circumstances may be overwhelming, we can still make wise choices so as not to become victims of our circumstances. We should never forget this power as this is what keeps us afloat and breathing when caught in a flood of difficulties.

8. Revenge is not the answer

While it is perfectly normal and human to wish revenge on those who have hurt us, it is crucial to note that what we wish upon others, mirrors back to us. Wishing your culprits to battle incessant sneezing while stuck in traffic controlling explosive diarrhea might give a moment of satisfaction, but is this something you are willing to risk mirroring back to you? I certainly am not. Put quite simply – negativity breeds negativity while positivity breeds positivity. Remember, you have the power to choose.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

9. Forgive

Don’t gasp so loudly. Yes, forgive those who have hurt you. Why? It definitely doesn’t absolve them of the hurt they caused you, but it releases you from the chains of negativity that are binding and rooting you in place preventing you from moving on. How do you forgive? Ask whatever higher power you believe in to filter those who have hurt you out of your life, sending them blessings and healing wherever they may need it in their lives while also blessing over positive outcomes for all of you.

I have used this technique personally and I swear by it. Sending blessings and healing while asking for positive outcomes, results in all these wonderful things happening to you as well. Giving what you have mirrors back to you. You have the power to forgive, let go and move on. This is a choice that you also happen to have the power to choose.

The next time you feel stuck and overwhelmed by your circumstances, revisit these personal growth lessons and apply them to your unique situation. You will be glad that you did.


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