midlife, personal growth

Live Your Best Life Despite Challenges

Image of woman with arms up in joy and victory for live your best life despite challenges

Think about how you want to live your life. Whether you want to shrink and fade beneath the weight of fear and uncertainty…

Or face the challenges and find a way to rise up and live your best life.

You may think you have no choice. But you do. You have all the choice.

Just when you think things are going horribly wrong and you feel yourself stuck dwelling on your misfortune, remind yourself that it could actually be far worse.

Yes, I know that doesn’t seem like much comfort, but it circles us back to gratitude as a way to find perspective and clarity. And it can be the catalyst that pushes us beyond our circumstances to keep our heads up.

This is rising up.

I heard a story this week which inspired me so deeply (during a moment I wanted to cry in my own pity-party). I want to share a bit of it with you here.

It’s about a young woman, a competitive athlete. Her name is Amy Purdy. When she was only nineteen years old, she was unexpectedly struck with an infection so devastating and serious that she nearly died within days of becoming sick. She had only a two percent chance of surviving.

I’m fast-forwarding her story to make my point. She ultimately survived but ended up having both of her legs amputated below the knee. Amy also suffered hearing loss and kidney failure, requiring a kidney transplant. She later underwent numerous surgeries and as you might imagine, a long, difficult recovery.

Here’s where her resilience and desire to triumph over her challenges gets even more amazing…

Within the first year of her illness, she not only went back to her sport, but she went on to lead the way in fighting for it to be included in the Paralympics.

And not only did she pioneer for inclusion, but she eventually medaled three times in the sport! She has since led a full, rewarding and productive life, inspiring and helping so many people, accomplishing so much more than she ever would have imagined pre-illness.

My point is this – she could have chosen to sit at home, defeated. Hiding from the painful stares of strangers, crying over the loss of her legs, her athleticism, her identity. Allowing her circumstances to stop her from pursuing the fullness of her life, the potential of her future. But she didn’t.

She refused to allow the challenges to stop her from living her best life.

Think about it for a minute. Maybe your best life isn’t what you envisioned, and your expectations aren’t being met. Don’t let that derail you from living fully right now.

Despite the immense challenges you may be facing, there is always a way to choose to keep going. To move forward. To heal and recover, to adapt, to grow, to shift, to be mindful and to feel gratitude.

“Don’t waste your life feeling sorry for yourself.” – Amy Purdy, 3x Paralympic Medalist

Yes, we may need some time to lick our wounds and work through pain and disappointment. But we can’t get stuck there.

Your pity party isn’t going to isn’t going to make the shift forward happen.

It isn’t going to help you pay your bills, or raise your children, or move the needle toward fulfillment, purpose and joy.

Notice when you’re making excuses.

Don’t allow yourself to hide or to run away from your dreams and goals because you’ve taken a hit. Don’t allow your passion and joy be stomped on because things are going so, so wrong right now. It doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of helping things turn around and taking actions to help things go so, so right.

From the most draining and painful experiences rises hope. And it’s up to you and you alone to move from negativity into hope and then action. Even the tiniest step forward is an action that counts.

You never know how much time you have left on this earth. The longer you dwell and deliberate on the reasons why you think you can’t, the longer you postpone your own expansion.

It’s not enough to think you will someday. It’s execution that matters.

No one is going to drag you out of difficult challenges and push you to love yourself enough to do hard things, but yourself. Start to care enough about yourself to respect the value you represent and the opportunities for growth around you.

You have value and you deserve to live your best life. Even now. Even when life is hard. There are ways to unfold your shaky wings and expand into who you know deep inside you can be.

When you push through adversity, it not only helps you live your best life, but it inspires others around you.

I know it’s easy to sit down with the gallon of ice cream on your lap and give up. It’s so much harder to stop yourself. It takes enormous courage and strength to pull yourself together and think optimistically and more importantly, take positive actions. You have that strength.

Easy doesn’t serve you my friend. You deserve more. You deserve to live your best life!

Think big. Play big. It’s never too late to think differently. It’s going to be hard, but you’ve done hard before. Pick yourself up and get going.

Cheers to the power of the human spirit. To learning from others.

To being inspired by amazing humans like Amy. To pushing yourself (at least on most days) to live your best life. – Marlene

 

[To read more about Amy Purdy’s amazing story of triumph and of fighting to live her best life – visit amypurdy.com]

 


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