By the year 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services projects 157 million peoplewill live with a chronic illness. Forecasts concerning the chronically ill, both in terms of the numbers affected and the severity of symptoms, are staggering.
This suggests one hell of an overlap quite a few of us entrepreneurs will fall into.
A peek into the state of sick self-starters, reveals a slew of us do indeed battle relentless physical and mental disorders. That we are entrepreneurs, who live and work with chronic afflictions as ever-present as unwelcome coworkers.
Which leads me to my point.
Yesterday, I stumbled across a meme stating in stark type that in order to run a business, you must first possess perfect physical health.
Many entrepreneurs aren’t blessed with flawless vitality. I’d contend that there are far more of us who are actually striving to survive myriad illnesses, evident or invisible than might be apparent through observation or statistics. Disabilities and challenges run the gamut from physical to emotional to learning disorders to those ailments still undiagnosed. These hurdles are real and restraining, even if they aren’t understood. Diabetes, Loeys-Dietz syndrome, Epstein-Barr, depression, or the disease I contend with: transverse myelitis.
So many handed a life sentence, yet scores of entrepreneurs continue to conquer in the midst of misery.
It might be more accurate to assert that ill self-made men and women actually count on the rewards given when they plow through impasses. That we may even require such “distractions” to take our minds off sustained suffering.
Medications prescribed to halt tremors, to strengthen balance and still vertigo are not 100 percent effective. Chemo drugs may tarnish a patient’s longing to work for themselves, but they don’t erase it. How well a person succeeds has everything to do with their mindset over their (perceived) sense of physical control. Which is not to acknowledge that certain diseases aren’t more challenging to manage and that sometimes, even the most glorious optimism may not quiet physical agony.
Your health doesn’t need to be impeccable before you launch your business, neither does it need to be spotless in order to successfully grow and sustain it.
While struggling mightily with mine—some days I would lie down and type because I didn’t have the energy to sit up—I refused to be held back as I used the transformative power of positive thought to embark on a journey of reinvention even when my body called in sick. After I lost my job due to my illness, I launched into entrepreneurship out of necessity. Networked, self-taught, offered, asked and bartered. My bar was low: achieve one goal per day. No less laudable than landing a six-figure signed contract.
When I obtained my personal definition of victory, it was fuel to climb onto the next step.
Because the power of the mind improves the state of our life. Especially if you are an entrepreneur.
But none of us will ever reach perfection in anything we do. Even if our physique qualifies us as the Eighth Wonder of the World.
Isn’t that why entrepreneurs keep reaching anyway? Because that’s what we are programmed to do? To slam a cap on our excitement and potential, on our very DNA, is devastating. So many of us are propelled to forge ahead, we may not have any control over stopping. The drive that resides in any one person to overcome, innovate and create is no less intense when housed in a physically-challenged body.
Recently, I partnered with several, ingenious fertile minds and I did it in less-than-ideal health. Because chronically-ill entrepreneurs are the poster children for: “Work smarter, not harder.” I needed capable and strong team members to help me be my best in business. I needed to identify workarounds that would permit me to thrive.
To keep moving forward even as we grapple with contentious illness, we have to carefully assess the sources from which we draw advice.
It may serve us better to consider epiphanies from a person who has been in similar shoes, instead of one insisting we must achieve the impossible before we can even get started! It is dangerous to paint with the broad-brush notion that you must first accomplish pristine physical health instead of embarking on what makes your heart sing. Plying your passions heals you! As your pulse beats bolder, as you receive reinforcements for progress made, you will believe it is possible to surmount the seemingly insurmountable.
Precisely the fuel you need to scale your next mountain…or business!
And an excellent reason to tap into your purpose of service.
Everyone is fighting a battle. Some are better at hiding it due to the nature of their illness. Others do not have a choice but must wear their condition like a kind of twisted badge.
You are not your disease. You have a disease. This is the singular most important truth you will read as a wounded member of working society.
It may require untapped innovation to keep producing. But as legions before us have proven, it is possible. And when our unique brand of victory is attained, it’s breathtakingly rewarding.
Original Article from: “The Good Men Project”
It was 2002, and I was in Hollywood at Paramount Pictures, ready to read for a new sitcom on NBC.
My marriage was on the rocks. I had been flown out by my agents on their dime and set up in a hotel on Sunset Boulevard. I lived with my great aunt for six weeks shortly after, drove the 2.5 hours to LA as often as I needed, committed to landing this role and any other acting jobs I could snap up that summer. I took the infamous improv Groundlings class and was shuttled into the remedial comedy sector, which I find highly amusing now. I snagged a Hollywood agent and things were blossoming for me.
Then I bombed the audition. I played it too Midwestern and even writing that makes me cringe. LOL. But instead of tucking my tail between my legs, I learned about myself.
I liked being a mom more than I liked pursuing fame.
I loved writing more than acting in ridiculous scenarios.
I forgave myself for my nerves and the subsequent rejection of the producer.
No, I’m not famous, but that experience put to rest a quest to want to be more, to be loved for reasons I didn’t understand. I wanted adoration from anywhere, since I sure as shit didn’t subscribe to any form of self-love and I didn’t believe anyone else could love me either.
I wanted validation, attention, to feel like I had found my purpose. I endured finding out the opposite and it has shaped me into who I am now.
I can take rejection. I can turn it around and pluck out the lessons I am supposed to use. Turn here. Follow this path. Unpack this suitcase.
That rejection helped me to succeed in my purpose.
I do what I love to do every single day. Write. Help people share their messages and their missions and I am constantly in the company of the most inspiring and resilient people on the planet.
That rejection was my reboot and it has brought me tremendous fulfillment. I had no idea what would come; I just tried to remain open to incoming knowledge.
So, is failure worse than rejection, in that situation, in any situation?
I realize this is a layered question because failure can come as a result of rejection.
You don’t fail unless you accept failure. Failure means stopping progress; it doesn’t mean changing your plans to achieve the same sought-after, original goal. It means reassessing if the original goal is best for you after all. Sitting in the moment when what you had dreamed about shucks instead of jives. And after all that, deciding to bag it.
Failure is a moment in time when it all comes crashing around you; it is a milestone of ceasing. Rejection is the return serve of your brainstorming, of your pitch, your proposal, your efforts. It is the sound answer that this is not the path for you and the invitation to try again. Think of rejection like a detour sign, that there is a smoother path awaiting you. And when you experience that event, then you receive invaluable information. Even if that information only winds up being the fact of what not to do. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a little insider information.
But rejection hurts because it means you are not heard or taken seriously. As you are letting the “bad” news wash over you it feels like you have been shunned. You might feel foolish and gun shy all at the same time; this is not fertile ground for new ideas to prosper. You must accept the rejection, but in a way that doesn’t cripple you. In a way that benefits you in the future, and even in the present. How can you let the new information change you for the better? My Hollywood rejection answered the questions I had about my career.
I used it to get clear. You can use your rejections, too.
We must remember rejection originates from external forces.
Failure’s roots take hold on the inside.
Failure thrives from the messages we tell ourselves. That we can’t do it. That we are silly, untalented, wasting time. Failure is the brakes applied as you careen through a stop sign. It is the screeching sound of momentum grinding to an immediate halt. And the the aftermath of hopelessness.
Failure occurs because we let it. Because we believe in the nonsensical bullying we dream up in our heads. Because abandoning the dream is safer. Hurts less. Nothing is wagered and so nothing can be lost. Whew! That was close. Right?
Failure is easier to embrace than trying again.
Because we can pepper all sorts of validation over failure. We can bury it in platitudes and excuses not to give it another shot…using different tactics…that might just work.
The road to self-sustained businesses is littered with potholes. And this is a fact you need to absorb and learn to live with like any eventuality. You will not advance down that rutted street if you stay frozen to the pavement, if you listen to your self-limiting voice. If you want to grow, stretch and scale, prepare for your blueprints to be rewritten a few times. Armor up emotionally to get past the vulnerable patches and forge ahead primed to defend the blows.
Maybe we should rehearse receiving rejection.
Maybe we should vow to never fail whenever we can. Because to fail or not is in our control.
If we adopted these mindsets, we could look back on our accelerated progress in awe of our own power and our abilities to evolve to reach our loftiest goals.
I see it happen every day. There’s no reason it can’t happen for you, too.
Original Article From: “The Good Men Project”
In writing, a particular saying is passed around, “Don’t read the comments.”
It refers to the remarks written by people who have read your work usually online. Comments can range from feedback that fills you up to input expressly designed to tear you down (it would seem.) And so the phrase was born to shun the comments in favor of preserving your sanity and the shreds of your self-esteem both about yourself and your creative strength.
But lately it seems the trolls are everywhere. Not just on media sites.
They are in your social media feed masquerading as your friends. They email you, assuming you asked for their opinion. And HOLY GOD, they are stacked 12 high in politics.
Maybe we should use that statement to blanket other areas of our lives where we don’t want insight (thinly veiled as critique or otherwise.) As a friend of mine reminded me today, “Sometimes it’s better to smile than to shout,” and we do have options other than engaging with the icky sticky trolls hellbent on stealing your soul and motivation. And as I am fond of spouting, “Doing nothing is a choice, too.”
It really is.
Not sure how to respond in a tête-à-tête? Do nothing while you noodle it over. Not getting your point across or are being shouted down in the middle of relationship sparring? Disengage and check your tongue. Tired of drama cropping up like an enthusiastic spring weed? Tamp it down and zip your lip.
Sit and allow yourself to be in the moment. And as I wrote about on my FB page a couple of weeks ago, realize when you are in the midst of conflict or unsavory energy that robs more than it builds, you are safe. Conflict will never kill you. Even if your heart races, or your stomach sinks, the likelihood of you dying from distress is pretty nil.
Try to take your emotions out of responding, out of determining how you feel about something. If you do decide to read the “trolls’ comments” compartmentalize them.
This negative suck emanating from their words is not for you anyway. It is not about you. It has nothing to do with you.
We think what people have to say targets us because of ego. We have to look out for signs that might affect us when outside forces help to make up inside resilience. In other words, when you don’t believe you are all that. When we seek validation, even in the form of negativity, it reminds us that we are still important for another person to consider, even poisonously. But we don’t really need that level of engagement. We need self love and to know, no matter what anyone else has to say about us, unless it is delivered in a helpful fashion, it is not for us. Your ego should be pliant enough to resist contradictory thinking levied on your true intentions.
Snarky posts are about the poster.
When you are the recipient of such a trash mouth, go ahead and refuse to interact with them. As another popular saying goes, “How other people think about you is none of your business.”
Taking yourself out of the line of fire is difficult. It is easy to react, to get angry, to feel affronted. But this is our ego. How dare anyone feel this way about me? Well, why shouldn’t they? Are you untouchable? A deity? You, too, have feet of clay. So recognize where the response comes from and be still with it for a minute. Realize that people are going to disagree with you and even insult you throughout your life. Control your emotions when and if you respond, and when you err on the side of reacting conservatively you will be surprised at how the trash talker takes itself out.
The peace that follows is lovely and leads to unshakeable self-awareness and pride. Exactly where you want to be.
The transformation in your life is also nothing short of magical. When you hold onto your boundaries in every capacity, people quickly learn you will not tolerate anything less. You will not be verbally brutalized. You will not be taken down a notch for someone who hasn’t received your permission to steal your energy. You are the guardian of YOU. As long as you set out in the world to be the best person you can, accept how awesome you are. Because you are. And the trolls?
They will never take that away from you.
Stand firm. Ignore the haters and the players and everyone else who is searching and scrambling for their own self-worth (hence, the bullseye on your head) and you will come striding out of the fire without a singe mark in sight.
One last thing, as a good person…stand in your truth. It will always be revealed anyway, and when you own you and everything you represent, say and do, you will never have a worry in the world. But don’t you dare take on the responsibility of another. That’s not your lane.
Be present with that thought for a moment.
Original Article from: “The Good Men Project”
Every morning, shortly after waking up, I scroll through my newsfeed and read about what my peeps are up to…just the same as you.
There is laughing, absorption of sad news, and the usual suspects: cat and dog vids, smiling selfies, Live virgins sloughing off their fears to stand resplendent and virtually naked.
But my newsfeed is also a little different.
Within three hours’ time, I might read about a life coach’s innovative approach to growth, celebrate the expansion of soul through a series of memes offered by an A-Player entrepreneur. I will devour hundreds of more memes telling me I am capable, to seize the opportunities in front of me, and after I am done reading these I feel like a superhero.
The interaction is even better. If I am trying out an experiment and need suggestions, high producers comments flood in. These are people who have been where I am trying to go. The interaction is invaluable.
Positivity and self-belief is cultivated numerous times per day and when you are inundated with such energy, you can only go on and apply it to yourself, and then spread it around. You will locate within you, the ability to boost people up and cheer them on to their goals.
It wasn’t always this way. Before I opened the door to people who make it their business to rewrite success, I endured the college friend trashing their relatives, the “poor me” people who labeled themselves as unlucky. The snarky comebacks from peeps who thrive on drama.
Without question, this exposure to the brighter side of life, to the refusal to engage in the negative shapes my attitude every single day.
When you are surrounded by people who are mentally unstoppable, who every minute are trying to be better than they were yesterday, more receptive, more curious, more tenacious in their pursuit of living life, you can’t help but to adapt that thought process as well.
I don’t complain anymore, don’t engage in needless drama, refuse to be gaslit, verbally abused; I will not feed any nasty mechanics.
If you can’t bring yourself to unfriend the people on your page, there is a reason for the unfollow button. Be responsible for the information you take in. This is another method of self-care, when you defend your right to encourage more peace.
Some real-life examples taken from this past week:
- A friend wanting an answer about the most influential thing you’ve ever learned.
- Team collaboration to generate leads for a group.
- A year of leveling-up update with a handful of new glossy selfies from a friend.
- The invitation to add a mental health ambassador badge to your profile.
- Social media experimentation and all-in-fun challenges in the name of discovering insight every participant can leverage.
- A request to tag favorite mom inventors.
- The value in knowing your purpose.
- The importance of building up family on social media.
- “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates
- One man returning to his mission better informed and sharing lessons after scaling his team.
- The passionate outpouring of love from a yoga business owner.
- “On the road to success there are no shortcuts.” ~ Unknown
- The encouragement to enjoy the moment and eschew the “what if.”
- Rooting peeps on to step into the spotlight.
- The support to expose your heart, both its vulnerable parts and the powerful.
Take a minute and assess your feed. What do you notice? Are there people you have wanted less interaction with? What has been holding you back? You are the only person who can set the boundaries you need.
Ask yourself if you are like the flow of a river, going along with whatever the consensus is. If you are this way, and there is nothing wrong with that, this is an exercise to simply identify a tendency, then you need to be careful that you tacitly do not endorse your ingestion of this kind of content.
No one else is going to customize what you consume. It’s all up to you. What would you like to see and read each day?
Ignoring toxic content as you read it has limitations because you still take in these conflicting and negative messages.
If you want to feel like a superhero, start unfriending and unfollowing and then take note of the changes that happen within you as well as the lightening of your attitude.
Don’t forget to post about the differences that improve your outlook.
Original Article from: “The Good Men Project”
Let’s just put it out there already. Triggers are scary.
We are taught to run from pain and not toward it. The mere word “trigger” is ahem…triggering.
A couple of weeks ago, I was paging through Spacebook, thanks, Mat Bodhi Bryan, and I came across a meme my friend, the aforementioned Mat, had shared:
“Let the triggers be your guide.”
It was a bolt into my heart and head. I have both gravitated toward triggers and run shrieking from them. Haunted, as we all are, by their very signature meaning for us. Afraid that what we come closer to, will be true. I will learn I am disposable. I will learn I am not unique or memorable. I will learn my footprint on this earth means nothing, that everyone who has ever wronged me was right. I will learn I am worthy of abuse. And on it goes, the inanity filling up your core, whispering vicious secrets about you that aren’t true.
Instead, what happens when we venture forward, when we poke that stick into the hole where the bees live, is that we start to understand how wrong our misperceptions are. We begin to unfurl the hurt part of ourselves, the limb we have curled into our chests, that we favor tenderly. Blood starts to flow to that part of the body, yes, altered forever, but in some ways stronger.
Triggers are obstacles we can desensitize ourselves to on the way to growth.
Over and over again, we can talk about them, share the benefit of acceptance in our hearts as the agony of experience loses strength. It flows out of us, diluted and as it does we find our power.
We can live in harmony with our pasts, aware of what it was, without overwhelming pain. We can talk about it without crying, and recite specific stories almost as if they belong to someone else. We can recognize that path to pain is as strong as we make it. We can even turn it into a twig that snaps when we put our boot on it.
Mat tells me this is a common quote used when people are healing, that triggers can equal pain and contention until they are addressed. When we do this, when we confront and sit with the agony of our triggers we can reach pinnacles in recovery, we can turn our exposure to them from pain management to pain awareness and then into a true healing journey.
The great news about triggers? They can launch you into new awakenings if you let them.
And when you propel yourself smack into that phase, miraculous things happen.
We make different choices that have nothing to do with our past and pain.
We stop identifying ourselves as evolving out of anguish and victimization.
We become who we are supposed to be.
We are not:
- Incapable of working for ourselves in our passions
- Black sheeps of our families
- A source of shame
- Hopeless in our relationships
- A waste of time
- High maintenance
- Doomed to repeat history
- A head case
- A drama king or queen
We are our every potential. We are limitless and fascinating. We are brave enough to confront the lies that have made up the suffering in our lives. We are in control of how much we stand in misery.
Triggers are the keys we have been seeking to unlock every door that has ever slammed shut in our faces. When you wince at reading the word, you know you are there. Acknowledge the first thought that rises from it and dig your heels in as the pain sweeps through you. What is it telling you?
First the falsehoods. They’ll wash over you like acid. Then the cleansing, the reliving of the pain. Feel the hurt. Try not to judge yourself for feeling it. Own your part if you have any. Forgive yourself if you need to.
Let it go…
- The lies about living a worthy life. You are.
- The lies about success. You will be when you believe you will be.
- The lies about your capabilities and intelligence. You can become anything.
- The lies about your not deserving love because of someone else’s treatment. You deserve all the love in the world despite your past abuse or neglect.
- The lies about attaining a financial, stress-free life. You are not pre-programmed to fail.
Every block concerning every topic that affects us can be traced back to triggers, back to the fear of re-experiencing the darkest memories and so we run. We run from opportunity because to confront it and engage, with the potential of not meeting our aims would validate our lies. It’s too big a risk. But we go there…again and again. We seek the pain, our eyes wide, hearts hammering, our bodies unable to resist the pull. We want to understand the cause, to assign a reason for it. To learn what we did to deserve it so we can validate it and make it normal. But it will never be resolved. Not fully. And deliberate pain received from another makes them abnormal, not you!
Greater resolution comes from release. Mourn your attachment to pain. You will feel it as you stride into the new you. It’s a scary, irreplaceable sensation. You will be okay.
Greater resolution comes from acceptance that sometimes it had nothing to do with you. That sometimes, people are bastards who think they can exploit your emotions and heart…until they can’t anymore. Because you stop them. Because you put their every action and word back on THEM.
One meme stopped me. I gave myself over to it 13 days ago, so curious and having been in the trenches with my deep pain for decades, I was able to surrender. I was in practice of walking toward it with my arms outstretched. One meme, a few minutes to reach out to my friend and have a discussion about triggers, to learn what he is doing in his life to serve others so their memories won’t turn into a personalized torture chamber anymore.
Mat Bodhi Bryan is a healer who leads from his heart source, “helping men reconnect with the divine/sacred masculine energy, healing them through creating brotherhood and setting them on the path to stepping out of society’s paths, and forward into the Loving masculine energy that is needed right now.”
His life’s work is understanding pain and moving past management into rehabilitation. Pain, that is a river flowing into each nook and cranny of scar tissue we clench onto in our bodies. Let’s make peace with that pain and move into prosperity in our relationships, our parenting, our businesses, our finances, our confidence.
The next time you encounter a trigger, try to resist your visceral response.
Take a moment to understand your own feelings as if you were a hiker who happened to stumble across a rock with sharp edges. Regard it as much as you can without the attachment to your personal history…let it simply live in your space as you breath through its close proximity. Then purposefully push it from your mind as powerless, let your healing begin as your path to emotional wealth appears, as your path to everything you have ever hoped for finds you.
After decades of pain, I am living this. I am not a counselor, not a speaker. I am none of those things. I am just trying to live an unobtrusive existence as we all are. This is what worked for me. My own healing and my own heart-centered resurgence of my goodness is why I share it with you.
You CAN heal. You can remove triggers, habits and untruths about yourself to find a new path that has been simply overgrown by the pain of your past.
I hope you do. I am rooting for you.
Article Originally from: “The Good Men Project”