One of my core teachings is that growth is a personal choice.
Each one of us is stronger than any circumstance, condition or situation that we find ourselves in.
As we reflect on our lives, if we determine that we are unhappy with some aspect of it, the area that we experience longing or discontent in is an area that’s ripe for growth.
I recently received a letter from a client named Lisa that illustrates this point so beautifully.
In the face of an extremely unfavorable situation, instead of allowing her circumstances to dictate what she was going to do, Lisa chose to shift her thinking instead.
She chose to believe that there were opportunities for growth in this area that she simply couldn’t see yet, and as she began taking action that was in alignment with this belief, her circumstances and her results shifted as a result!
Here’s what Lisa wrote, in her own words:
I had a powerful experience that allowed me to see exactly what you were talking about in terms of shifting our thinking patterns in order to create different results in our lives.
My husband and I found ourselves in an unfortunate financial situation that I had gotten us into.
The exact details are irrelevant, except to say that we were both out of work, in debt, and increasingly unable to pay our bills.
I had always paid my bills on time. My credit rating was excellent. I called our creditors and explained our situation, and told them that I’d gone through all of our savings in order to keep the good credit rating. I also explained that even though we’d been unemployed for 2 years, I had never fallen behind on my credit card payments.
I asked if they would allow us to not pay our minimums for 3 months to give us some time to catch up, but the credit card companies refused.
I was feeling more and more desperate, so I reached out to debt consolidators to see if they could help, but they charged enormous fees to negotiate on our behalf, so that wasn’t an option either.
I felt as though I was drowning in debt without any chance of getting out of it. I also felt A LOT of shame because my mother had taught me not to take on credit card debt and to always have a great credit rating. I was failing her, I was failing my husband and I was failing myself. I was definitely operating from a place of scarcity, shame and guilt. But I decided not to give up.
I spoke to a bankruptcy expert as a desperate, last-ditch effort to stave off our creditors, but rather than suggesting I file for bankruptcy, the person advised me to negotiate with my creditors myself.
So, when the first of the month came, I did what the expert said to do in my case. I DIDN’T pay my credit cards. Then, 3 days later, the credit card companies started calling me to let me know my payments were late.
I politely said to each and every person who called, “I have spent the last 3 months trying to negotiate with you in good faith, but you refused to work with me, so now I’m unable to work with you.”
They told me I’d lose my great credit rating.
They told me that it would be a “very bad thing” for me to start being late.
They told me that I’d have trouble buying a house in the future (that’s okay, I already own one).
I politely replied, “My credit rating is important to me, but I’m willing to let that go now, because you weren’t willing to work with me. When you are, please do call me back so that we can work out how I can pay you, because I very much want to. Thank you.”
After each one of these calls, I felt like my entire world had shifted. And here’s the greatest part of all…
The CIRCUMSTANCES were exactly the same, but what had shifted was my PATTERN of thinking. I went from being scared, “broke,” and fearful, to a woman with power.
I had the power to determine my future.
I had the power to control my finances.
And, I had the power to make decisions that were in the best interests of me and my husband.
It felt great!
Just 2 days later, still without jobs, my husband and I were granted an equity loan on our house that allowed us to pay off ALL of our credit cards before we were 30 days late on any of them. Because of this, our credit rating was never affected.
Once I started vibrating on the level of abundance, the Universe stepped right in and provided everything I needed to STAY on that level.
My growth opportunity is to find happiness where I am in the moment. My stretch opportunity is to believe I’m worthy (AND CAPABLE) of better circumstances.
Mary, you have been a guiding light. Thank you so much for your inspiration and wisdom. I really did experience an actual PARADIGM SHIFT!
I love this letter from Lisa, because it goes to show that the areas of your life that may seem like they’re just not working are the areas where you are most ripe for growth.
As Mick Ukleja on LeadershipTraq.com points out, when we choose to embrace growth and see growth as a personal choice, several extraordinary things happen:
- We realize a success we would not have had in any other way
- We understand that development and growth are a personal choice
- We know that growth is an essential practice that will bring out the best in us and others
Rather than see no way through her financial difficulties, Lisa had a strong belief that there was a way through to the other side and on to bigger and better things, even if she didn’t know what that end result looked like!
She kept having possibility-driven conversations with others to expand her thinking on how to break through her challenge, and a solution to overcome her challenge eventually presented itself.
What are the areas in your life that you feel are not working
as well as they could be right now? How could you embrace growth?
Is it your love life, your health, your career or perhaps your finances?
Rather than give up and resign yourself to allowing your circumstances to control you, consider that this area of longing and discontent may be a gift from the Universe designed to help you grow and develop in new, more expansive ways.
Then, find others you can talk to who have expertise in this area, and ask them for their guidance.
Chances are, you’ll discover unforeseen ways to use your challenge to propel yourself further than you ever dreamed possible!
Choose to look for the gift in the experience and take action on what you’ve learned, you will quickly begin using your setbacks as fuel for future growth and set a great goal for yourself!
If you’d like complimentary training on how to create a clear vision for a life you would truly love to live, and how to transform that vision into your reality with speed and ease, click here for the details on my upcoming FREE DreamBuilder Webinar!