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Where there is darkness, there is light

Overcoming struggle, trauma, darkness, this is what we’re talking about this week.

On Tuesday, I invited guest expert Linzi Helen to come and speak to us about Triumph Over Trauma, a movement she has started to help women overcome trauma and live their true path.

As soon as we connected, I knew we were going to be great friends, and wanted her to share her struggles and lessons learned.

The recording will be available below, but first, let’s explore all the different ways to work through and think about struggle so that we can face anything that gets thrown at us.

The Struggle is Real

When you choose to go after a life of freedom and joy, whatever that looks like for you, and you start a business on your own, you are not prepared for just what happens next.

There are an incredible amount of women getting into the entrepreneurial space it’s incredible, and rightfully so, because there has never been a better time in this digital and information age!

The thing is that it happens almost 98% of the time where our business, just as our work, starts to consumes our lives and we forget to put ourselves first.

I find this is more common for overachieving entrepreneurial woman because she typically suffers from one, if not a combination or all types of Imposter Syndrome.

We’re generally more sensitive and are hard on ourselves when things don’t go right.

These are the challenges, those times when you feel lost and have no idea how to keep moving forward, or like you want to just give up and go back.

Perhaps it was in a relationship or a business or maybe even a life and death situation.

How would you like to develop a strong mindset that could help you in overcoming challenges with anything that comes your way?

The reality is that we all go through struggle at some points in our lives, and it’s usually when we’re about to uplevel our life or business that the struggle is fiercest.

We get to choose how we respond to it. We have the power to build an unstoppable mindset. Any successful person alive today is a testament to that infinite capacity of the human potential.

Like any other muscle in our body though, the ability to overcome challenges needs to be exercised to become stronger.

This ability is, in fact, the most important muscle to build, because it gives you the confidence to face any challenge life throws your way.

Life Strategies that will help you change your mindset about overcoming challenges in your life.

1. Welcome adversity. Accept that struggle is inevitable.

Life happens. It is struggle that builds character and allows us to grow.

Often the moments in our life that we are most proud of are the ones where achieved or overcame something that at one point we thought was impossible!

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, so they say.

Nothing will make you feel more unstoppable than revealing to yourself that you are capable of far more than you ever imagined.

2. Build a team.

Success is a team sport. My first lesson of this was when I was in corporate, leading a team while completing my MBA and CPA part-time.

One of my first mentors taught me to always work myself out of a job and that training and trusting others to perform their duties while challenging them to take on more, is the greatest gift you can give, and the greatest part of being a leader.

No one does it alone, so don’t try and be the first person in the world to do so. You don’t have to struggle alone. Find friends, family or a coach or mentor to work together to drive your life or your business forward.

Get in a mastermind group or get an accountability buddy that you check in with every single day to monitor your progress. Why? Because you become who you surround yourself with.

Being an entrepreneur can feel even lonelier when you don’t have anyone around you following that entrepreneurial path.

Don’t ever stop. Keep going and lean on your mentors and peers when you are not strong.

3. Focus on the positivity and gratitude.

We have a 200 year-old brain – It is trained to keep us safe and out of danger, and is constantly scanning the world around us for threats.

The thing is that the threats today are not like they were back in the stone ages – we don’t have to run from saber-tooth tigers, instead we have to run from negative situations like when we don’t make the sales we need or when we feel like we’re not going to make it.

Psychologists call this phenomenon “The Negativity Bias.” Our brain has a natural inclination to focus on threats and dangers, even perceived ones we create.

To destroy this evolutionary construct, focus on what is positive and right about the world around you. Find reasons to appreciate everything around you or even the baby steps that you took today.

If you struggle to get out of bed, celebrate when you do get out of bed and have a shower. Every little step forward counts and makes you feel a little bit better every time.

4. Learn to label and balance your emotions.

Dr. Robert Plutchik talks about the wheel of emotions as a way to learn how to label your emotions and therefore learn to balance and control them as well.

When I looked at how to balance emotions using your five senses, I talked about this wheel of emotions. The simple act of labeling our emotions reduces activity in the emotional brain and increases activity in the areas of the brain associated with focus and awareness.

The next time you are stuck in an emotional pattern that isn’t serving you, label the emotion and look to the wheel to see what the opposite is so that you can focus on that. This will allow you to then consciously choose a new one.

Essential oils can be very effective when balancing emotions because our limbic system, the part of our brain responsible for emotion is also the part of our brain that is responsible for our sense of smell and physiological responses, among other things.

To get started using essential oils, download my free ebook below or get your membership by ordering your very own starter kit HERE. Be sure to reach out so that I can help you along the way.

5. Choose new stories.

We all tell ourselves stories about who we are, how the world works and what people are like – it’s how we choose to see the world based on our experiences and also people we surround ourselves with.

More often than not, as a result of the negativity bias at play, those stories are dis-empowering or negative – things like ‘I will never get over my fear of public speaking’ or ‘I always make this mistake’.

Even when the economy is bad, many people are still making money. So you can choose to believe the story that the economy is bad, or you can write a new story that the world is ripe for the picking, and get resourceful!

If we are going to tell stories, we might as well tell ones that empower and inspire us to keep moving forward.

6. Start a journal.

Every time you find yourself stuck or facing a challenge, write down your thoughts in a journal.

I like to even go as far as to say do a brain dump. This is especially helpful when you feel overwhelmed or anxious.

Doing a brain dump is simple and takes as much time as you have thoughts in your head. I do this at least once a week.

These practices allow you to create a dialogue with yourself and help you clear your mind of noise. It helps you to get out of your head and separate yourself from the impact of the experience.

Journaling brings the conscious brain into play while reducing the effects of the unconscious, emotional brain, where are of your patterns and behaviours live.

7. Go Exercise.

Richard Branson was asked about his secret to productivity, and do you know what his response was: working out.

Tony Robbins says the same thing. For at least three days a week, do some sort of exercise. This has been shown to improve habits in all areas of your life and improve your overall self-confidence.

It will also give you the energy to overcome the challenges you might be facing in any area of your life.

8. Get out in nature.

Psychologist Marc Berman has shown that being in nature improves the quality of a person’s life and their brain functioning as well.

Natalia Edelmann

This is especially important when you live in a big city or where there aren’t many green spaces. Every day, or at least once a week, get out in nature and spend some time in the serenity of the great outdoors.

9. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small.

You are going to have days where you’re celebrating HUGE wins like your first client or first Facebook Live or your first child…

… and then you’re going to have days where you just need to celebrate the smallest wins, like getting out of bed and making yourself a decent breakfast.

Moving forward, any time you experience a win, stop and celebrate it. This will drive your brain to keep taking the actions that led to the pleasurable emotion.

10. Be you, and only you.

When you feel that feeling in your gut that says nooooooooo, listen to it.

Learn to trust yourself, trust the universe or God, whatever higher power there is that you know has your back.

It is none of your business what others think of you. The more true you are to yourself, the more like-minded people you will attract.

Be confident and know that life happens for you and not to you.

11. Stand tall.

Strike a pose – that power pose. Hold your head high and stand tall.

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy has found that a strong body language actually changes the inner workings of your brain.

Practice standing tall and embodying a posture of unbreakable confidence everywhere you go. This will ingrain it deep into your mind and your being.

12. Use confident and positive language.

This goes hand in hand with #5 – choose new stories.

There is so much research out there that shows how positive thinking can have a direct correlation to your health. If every day you use the word “depressed,” you will become so.

If you are constantly down on yourself, how do you think that will help you?

Use words like powerful, unstoppable and confident as a regular part of your daily vocabulary.

women talking, overcoming challeneges

13. Be curious; Ask new questions.

I truly believe that each and every one of us has the answers within us. It’s just a matter of asking the right question to bring it to the surface.

All thoughts are questions or answers to questions. Most people ask questions like, “What’s wrong with me?” Or “Why can’t I do this?” If you ask questions like that, your brain will find an answer.

Instead, ask yourself questions like, “What is good about this situation?” “How can I make this work?” The questions you ask yourself will shape your experience of life.

14. Schedule confidence.

Tony Robbins says “If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.”

I can tell a lot by looking at someone’s planner or calendar. People who don’t get the results they want tend to have a sparse calendar because they either keep it in their head or because they’re not actually clear on what they want to the point where there is a clear action plan.

Whatever you want to get done in your life, whatever challenges you want to overcome, make a plan, put it in a calendar and schedule it.

15. Be still and slow down.

Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is stop.

When you’re overwhelmed or stressed, your body is not in the right state of being to do anything well, let alone productive.

To keep going with no rest or reflection, is a recipe for disaster – you are going to burn yourself out, focus on the wrong things and start to hate or resent your business or your life.

Try doing this for ten minutes a day – sit in silence without distractions and just be with your thoughts. If you need to put on some meditation music, that is totally fine.

This will improve your ability to focus on finding solutions to challenges and creating the life you want to live — as opposed to being at the mercy of circumstances and negative thoughts or feelings.

16. Make your desired actions automatic – build good habits.

The key to mastering self-control and willpower in the face of a challenge is learning how to build positive habits.

Keep practicing a desired action for at least 30 days to make your new habit automatic and something you no longer have to think about.

Practice building one desired habit a month to help you feel more accomplished and in control of your life.

Life Strategies with Nat for the Entrepreneurial Woman

If you missed this week’s episode with guest expert Linzi Helen, Founder of Triumph over Trauma, click the button below to access the recording.

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Natalia Edelmann

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