Montag, 1. Juni 2015

5 things you didn’t learn in school: The Power of Overcoming.

You learn many important things for life in school, which is very nice. 
And you also learn very many unimportant things for life there. 

But you don’t learn the MOST IMPORTANT ONES. 

(If you’re lucky your parents will teach them to you, or you laboriously learn them through personal, partly painful experiences. If you’re really unlucky you will never learn them and you’ll have to die ignorant. And nobody wants that.) 

But it’s not all that bad, as you can catch up on anything – at any age! 

No matter whether you are 14 or 64 years old, I will tell you something today that will really help you out in life. 
I have mentioned this subject countless times on the blog already, but it doesn’t matter: just like in school, repetition is the most important thing! 

Today’s subject is: 
How to deal with difficulties. 

I am happy for anyone who has no challenges or problems to deal with whatsoever in their lives; usually these are people who are already deceased.

Truth is: 
Anyone who is alive will run into challenges sooner or later. 
And I don’t mean situations such as when someone ignores your right of way at the intersection or you had a bad day – I mean real problems that rob you of your sleep at night and of your joie de vivre during the day. 
Things that are seemingly irresolvable and a well-intentioned “It’ll all work out” won’t cut it. 

As my secret is not having no challenges at all, it is how I deal with them. 
And I don’t mind sharing it, because it will help you significantly in your life. 

Let’s assume you are in the middle of a truly challenging situation, what now? 


The first thing that happens when a negative situation or negative news hit: 
More paaaaniiiic!
Even more draaaamaaaa!

It is so common that it’s almost boring; matching any situation there is a whole bundle of dramatic thoughts and emotions in the vein of: 
"Everything is so, so bad and it will get only worse and we will all die unhappily while the world is going down the drain.” 

Well, not exactly LIKE THAT, but exactly fitting your circumstances. 

If you are handed an unexpected notice, the accompanying drama sounds like this: 
"The employment situation is very bad right now, I will not find another job, won’t be able to pay the rent, will end up as a social outcast and will starve to death.”  

If your partner dumps you, we get: 
"He was the best thing that ever happened to me, I will never again love anyone the way I loved him or I won’t find anyone else in the first place, I will stay lonely and by myself, will suffer every Sunday and vacation times until the day I die and nobody looooves meee!” 

If you have problems with your kids over an extended period of time, the scenario sounds like so: 
"I am a horrible mother/I do everything wrong/I do too much/too little/too often/too rarely/in any case not enough. My children will grow up to be asocial brats, unsuccessful and unhappy people and it’s all my fault!” 

Sound familiar?
Of course, it is always the same anyway, for thousands of years nothing new in this sector! 

So here is my advice:
Don’t panic.
Everything’s fine.
Stay calm.
Don’t run riot, don’t call umpteen people, don’t make any rash decisions or get ahead of yourself. 
First just calm down.

"But Joanna, how am I supposed to do this? It all just washes over me, I am at its mercy, powerless!”   

No, you’re not. 
You only thought you were until now – but the truth is that you can simply refuse to participate.


If I find myself in terrible circumstances I forbid myself to ponder on it. 
I simply forbid it myself.
I’m not going to let myself be tortured (and believe me, these thoughts can actually be torturous, sometimes nearly worse than physical pain!), I do not engage, I won’t let myself be a slave of fear. 
I value myself too highly for this. 

My freedom came at a high price – free from having to worry. 
I am quite consistent in this and as soon as I notice that my thoughts start circling around stuff like that I say “Stop!”. 
Or quit it already, I don’t have a set system here. 

"But Joanna, I need a solution for the problem! I do have to think about it!” 

Now listen closely: 
The solution never, ever, EVER comes through pondering. 
Don’t allow yourself to be screwed over, pondering sounds so logical and necessary, but it is torture, nothing more! 

Although you might neither know the solution to your problem in this very moment, nor is it becoming apparent, but you don’t even have to see it right now. 
Time will bring the solution. 
It is already in existence, only you don’t know of it yet– which is even quite a good thing, I will explain it to you in my last point! 

Don’t panic.
Don’t fear.
And don’t allow pondering.

I purposefully write: REFUSE, because sometimes you should handle these things quite decisively and without compromise. 
All these worrisome thoughts don’t want to come and play. 
They want to destroy you, rob you of your joie de vivre, want to belittle you, rob you of your inspiration and creativity and never let your personality shine. 
(People suffering from depression know very well what I mean.) 

So nip it in the bud. 
Be watchful like a fox, don’t engage.

"Oh, Joanna, but it is so hard for me!” 

In the beginning you’re not used to it, I admit it! 
But if you can manage only 2 minutes in the beginning, that’s awesome! 

What will help you greatly is: 


You can be sure of one thing: 
The more important the matter is to you, the worse you will feel. 
Your feelings will be on a roller coaster ride, up and unfortunately mostly down, round and around, wanting to whine to anybody, etc., etc. 
Right now you CANNOT rely on them at all. 

Look, all they do is react to your circumstances! 
They have no say, so you might as well ignore them. 

If your thoughts think they should throw a tantrum like a 3-year-old in the candy aisle or a 13-year-old when confronted with a Nintendo ban, whatever. 
I won’t play along.

You get it:
I don’t wait until I “feel good” – I don’t wait until I feel I’m not afraid anymore – I don’t wait for the emotions and then follow them.  
Who is the master and who is the dog? 

So if the emotions happen to be quite terrible, I personally do simply one thing:
I don’t believe them.
I don’t take them seriously.
I don’t attach any greater importance to them.
Rather I think: "Oh well. Drama is on offer again, because you didn’t get any m&m’s? Just keep on bawling, I’m going to continue in the mean time.” 

"But Joanna, one shouldn’t suppress one’s emotions like that!” 

Oh, really?
It’s as if you said, when training your dog: “I don’t want to set any boundaries for my dog, as I will suppress his personality!”.
Sure, and the dog will do his thing, with his oh-so-liberated personality he will pee everywhere, jump up at other people and pull on his leash the whole time. 

So if you want to always “act out” your emotions and not “suppress” them, you have to expect that they will take you for a ride all your life and you have to live with the consequences:   
Your floors will be peed on. Shoes will be chewed on and everything will be somewhat unpredictable. 

A dog loves to have boundaries, believe me! 
But someone has to say it: “OK. So far and no further.” 

I am quite relaxed about it: if I want to cry or I feel like it, I cry. 
I also would never say I feel great, if I feel lousy – that would be a strange restraint in my opinion. 
But in principle I won’t be lived by some weird emotions, for goodness sake!  
Be they fears, guilt, worries, undefined stomach aches or other disgusting things: not for me. 

"But Joanna, how am I going to achieve this?"

Well, just like with a dog!
At first a puppy won’t understand either that he is not allowed to do everything. 
But by and by it’ll work, and then he really likes to obey and is even happy about it! 

YOU ARE CAPABLE to set boundaries for your emotions. 
You can tell them: “OK, it’s enough now. Everything’s fine, you can relax now.” 
And if they don’t relax instantly, doesn’t matter. 
It will work, maybe the third or the fifteenth time. 
Just keep at it.

"But Joanna, this still doesn’t solve my problem!” 

Oh, right, I forgot. 
Sorry, I had forgotten all about THE PROBLEM. 
And it is SO TERRIBLE! 
(see, this is what happens to me all the time in my everyday life. I completely forget how terrible my problems are. I even forget they exist! What disrespect towards the problems…). 

OK, so here is the solution:


Your attitude has enormous power, you underestimate it constantly. 

You can’t remember right now what your attitude is? 
It happens when the circumstances bawl so loudly over m&m’s; I will gladly remind you: 

You are always the exception.
You trust love and naturally assume that you are privileged and showered with gifts, anywhere. 
Only the most beautiful and the best awaits you, completely undeservedly, NO MATTER HOW THINGS SEEM TO BE RIGHT NOW. 
Absolutely brazenly blessed, NO MATTER HOW MANY SAID IT WAS DIFFERENT.
You don’t look at other people’s (negative) experiences and why should you, when you are the exception? 
You don’t even regard your own negative experiences (since there are also a few to choose from.) 
You never loose, but always gain. 
Your nights are reserved for peace and regeneration, your days for pleasure – you have no time for worries. 

You don’t believe the circumstances, you believe love. 
You know it is the strongest force and therefore overcomes everything else and at the same time is so endlessly good for everyone around you. 

I decided for myself that this is exactly my attitude. 
And this is what I trust in, stubbornly. Like a mule. 
And if the world stops existing – and if nobody except me can see it that way – and if everything points to the exact opposite – I don’t care at all. 

My attitude won’t change. 
It is the attitude of an ambassador of love, and if you want, it can be yours, too. 

And finally the best:


Every time you decide to mentally stand up and not believe in the bad, when in the midst of bad circumstances, YOU WILL GROW STRONGER. 

Every time you decide to trust love more than the drama around you, when facing loudly yelling challenges, YOU WILL GROW STRONGER.

Every time you refuse to wallow in self pity due to the situation, or to give up or to change your attitude, YOU WILL GROW STRONGER.

Every time you decide to forgive people and not become bitter and hard, although you are being treated very badly, YOU WILL GROW STRONGER.

Every time you decide for yourself to be happy, although the circumstances don’t show any reason at the moment to be happy, YOU WILL GROW STRONGER.

Every time you refuse to ponder, to worry or when you simply decide "I don't give an f***.", although everything on the outside screams for your attention, YOU WILL GROW STRONGER.

This means: overcoming.
Not: "Oh, the problem is solved, I finally feel better again.” 
But to stand strong in the eye of the storm and like a little kid be curious which great thing it will turn into next.  
Although it doesn’t look great at all and it also isn’t on the horizon yet either. 

Truth is:
There is hardly a quicker and simpler way to become strong, beautiful and radiant than to overcome circumstances. 
So this is why it is a gift when the time that elapses between the emergence of the problem and the actual solution is a little longer: you will have lots of chances to get strong! 

I know you might not really like to read it, but: 

THIS is the path to real, strong personalities. 
Those who simply grow stronger with every challenge, who blossom, inspire others and lead the way. 
True leaders.



Part I HERE.


Translated by Ginnell Studio.

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