3 Ways to Turn Negative Experiences Around

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Do you feel that you struggle with the negative experiences that have occurred up to this point in your life? Maybe you got fired from your job, failed at achieving an important goal or even could be battling something in your personal life that has been difficult for you to come to grips with.

Whatever that negative experience may be for you, there is hope beyond your current state of mind. If there is one thing that I continually see that completely wipes out aspiring business owners, athletes or anyone for that matter, is the inability to turn negative experiences into positive ones.

This kind of turnaround is a vital prerequisite if you aspire to become all that you can be and achieve unlimited amounts of success. Here are three ways that have made a tremendous difference in my personal and professional life when it comes to turning the negative into a positive.

1. Value the negative experiences.

The first mistake that most people make when viewing their negative experiences is they neglect to value them. They think of everything negative that has happened up to this point in their lives as something that wasn’t supposed to happen. This is a mighty, major mistake. The reason why is because this not only instantly puts you in a bad mood with a negative outlook, but it prevents you from growing through the experience.

There are two types of people: those who grow and those who go through the negatives in their lives. In order to grow through it all, it’s imperative that you value all of the negative experiences that occur from here on out and understand that it’s an opportunity to get better.

2. Don’t rush judgment.

This is one of my personal downfalls when it comes to turning the negative into a positive. When a negative experience occurs, one of the first things that tends to happen is your mind instantly begins to create a scenario that is completely different than what’s really going on. It takes work on your part to put a positive twist to whatever it is that you are facing — it doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. The decisions that are rushed in the face of a negative experience usually don’t end well.

The next time you face a negative experience, don’t be so quick to judge or go along with the story that your mind was so fast to come up with. Start to look for the message that lies within that negative experience, as every single negative experience in our lives carries a seed of a growth lesson.

3. Take complete responsibility for your life.

It really saddens me when I see that someone has let their outside circumstances define them. It doesn’t have to be that way. As individuals, regardless of how much or how little we have, we ultimately determine our destinies. That’s why you will see men and women who grew up poor go on create an extraordinary amount of wealth and success for themselves.

On the other side of the spectrum, you have the men and women who grew up with loving parents and what would seem like a fabulous childhood go on to live beneath their full potential. No matter how tough your life has been, you have the opportunity right now to change your direction and create the life of your dreams. And that all starts with taking full responsibility for where you are and everything that has happened up to this point.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

The Best Thing to Do When You Get Knocked Down Flat on Your Face

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Imagine reaching the top of your profession after dreaming about it since you were a child, then all of a sudden have it completely taken away from you in an instant.

That’s exactly what happened to me when I got hurt in my first game as an NFL player for the Chicago Bears. I was depressed and didn’t talk to any friends or family members for at least two weeks. My life changed forever though when I reluctantly agreed to speak at a leadership event after I received the news that I was going to be out for nine months and reached an injury settlement with the Bears.

That night, I learned a valuable lesson. When failure knocks you down and you are depressed and feeling unworthy, as if there is no way out, you absolutely must get up and get moving! Throughout the years I have had the great privilege to train and work with some of the most amazing sales organizations in the world, and to me, sales is one of the best examples of the importance of increasing action when adversity strikes.

As a salesperson, you are going to get told “no” more than you are going to get told “yes.” For most people, this is tough to deal with. Let’s face it, nobody likes rejection. The average salesperson hates how they feel when they are told “no” so they end up making less calls, visiting less prospects and doing enough to just get by and keep their jobs.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t just apply to salespeople, as ordinary folks from all walks of life have adopted that philosophy for when the going gets tough.

On the other side of the spectrum you have the salesperson who continues to make more and more money regardless of how bad the economy is. The value they bring to both the marketplace and their companies is astonishing. Everyone asks them how they do it, looking for some magical answer or secret, but in reality they aren’t doing anything else except constantly taking massive action, even when the going gets tough.

The best salespeople understand that if they made 30 calls the previous day and received 30 no’s, then they have to make 60 calls the following day to possibly get that one yes. Increasing your action when adversity hits can be a complete game changer for you. It will bring far more results than taking the easy way out. What happens when you increase action is you increase the chance of opportunities coming your way.

It’s nearly impossible to defeat the person who is willing to get back up and keep fighting. Regardless of how devastating your failure is or how much it has you in the gutter, if you are willing to promise to never get complacent and settle, failure and the hard times of life will never be able to place you in the box of mediocrity that paralyzes so many people and prevents them from tapping their inner greatness.

Some of the world’s greatest achievers weren’t necessarily more talented, they just never gave up when they got knocked down on their faces. Whatever it is, just get moving. The whole moral behind increasing your action is to take complete charge of what’s to come.

Most of the time when someone experiences a major failure, they just sit back and wait for life to happen. Over time you will quickly learn that this way of living serves no purpose.

I didn’t know that speaking at the leadership event after I got injured would introduce me to my purpose or help me look at failure in a different light, but it did. It’s all because I made the decision to get out of bed, stop feeling sorry for myself and get moving.

One thing that you need more of when failure knocks you down is self-confidence. Taking massive action does exactly that. Failure in itself becomes a graveyard for so many. The fear of failure grows so strong that any chance of getting started is beyond a long shot. The likelihood of pursuing a dream or passion in life is slim to none.

Failure combined with inaction is extremely deadly and will completely rob you of doing any meaningful work. One of the best things you can do for yourself right now is to decide that you won’t wait for things to be perfect, because things will never be perfect. One of the most surefire ways to change how you feel is to get moving!

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

When Faced With Adversity, Focus on Solutions, Not More Problems

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All too often, the first thing we do when adversity appears is focus on the negatives and all of the problems in our lives. Failure and adversity are only present in our lives to help us, not hurt us. It’s extremely important to never lose sight of this truth.

To turn failure into a gift and grow through the tough times instead of just casually going through them, you must begin to start focusing on ways to actually resolve the situation. Many people let their minds wander toward the negative, which then prompts them to focus on more problems instead of searching for ways to resolve the situation and grow from it.

The individuals and companies that are able to get through tremendous setbacks and actually grow because of them are the ones who focus on solutions, not more problems. Look at Thomas Edison for a quick example. His persistence in continually searching for solutions after facing one failure after another is a prime example of the utter importance of focusing on ways to advance.

Failure is never a final end result unless you make it so. Edison used every experience to get one step closer to where he was trying to go all along. This is the same type of mindset that we need to apply to our own lives and businesses when failure and adversity strikes.

Taking the time to fully analyze your situation in solitude, while focusing on solutions instead of problems, can revitalize your mind and help you focus on where you are headed, how you feel, and more important, how you view failure from that moment on.

If you do what’s easy, your life will be hard. If you do what’s hard, your life will be easy.

This applies to basically everything that we do. What’s easy is to focus on the negative when tough times occur. What’s easy is to focus on the problems in our lives instead of directing every bit of our energy towards the solutions.

We have to remember that what we focus on expands. If we focus on problems, we will get more problems. If we focus on solutions, we will get more solutions.

The next time failure, adversity or a setback knocks you down, make a list of possible solutions for the problem at hand. You don’t have to know the ins and outs of every single thing, but right when a solution of some sort comes to mind, immediately write it down.

The essence of capturing solutions and then putting them to paper activates our brains. We start to think of more ways to overcome our current hardships and how we can grow from the situation at hand. Once we have a list of 20 to 30 solutions, the next objective is to decide which solution is best and getting to work on putting that solution into play.

If you think long and hard enough, regardless of how bad your situation may be, the solutions are there. This type of thinking can be a total game changer for you and your business.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Don’t Wish to Be Successful. Expect to Be.

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We all hope to be successful, but most people don’t expect themselves to reach a level of extraordinary achievement. Rather, they hope and wish for that to be the case someday. Hoping and wishing will never be enough to get you to where you want to go. Going into business for yourself and hoping and wishing will never build a thriving business.

There is a major difference between hoping to be successful and expecting to be successful. When we hope to be successful, we are basically saying we are unsure if it will ever happen. To an extent, this attitude dictates our level of belief in ourselves and the way we work. When we expect to be successful, that means we know deep down that regardless of how hard times will get throughout our journey, that we will eventually get to where we want to go.

There are a lot of reasons why most people just hope for great things from themselves or to reach a certain level of success. One of the main reasons is because they have let where they are at right now in life dictate their ways of thinking. Just because you aren’t where you want to be in life doesn’t mean you can’t expect greatness from yourself. Just because you don’t have the resources and money to back your idea doesn’t mean you can’t expect yourself to build and start an incredibly successful business.

You must stop this way of thinking. Don’t let all of your misfortunes prevent you from expecting great and wonderful things from yourself.

I know you want to be great and somewhere deep within you have the desire to achieve extraordinary things in your lifetime. You read Entrepreneur searching for ways to grow and learn. Or maybe you already are a major success and just love reading ways you can enhance your game. Whatever it may be for you, start expecting greatness in every area of your life instead of just hoping and wishing one day it will all come together for you.

Moving forward, increase your expectations in every area of your life. Don’t wish to be great — expect to be great. Don’t wish to become a successful entrepreneur — expect to be one. Don’t wish to change the world — expect to.

Ultimately, the difference between being average and being extraordinary will all come down to you executing your expectations.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

When Failure Strikes, Protect Yourself By Being Positive in These 3 Areas

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Being positive, especially in the face of a crisis, is no easy task. The moment something goes wrong, negativity of all sorts begins to take over our thoughts, which eventually goes on to affect many other areas of our lives if we aren’t intentional about increasing positive energy.

This is something that I have struggled with for quite some time. It really took a while for me to be positive, think positive and expect positive when everything seemed to be falling apart in my life.

We have a choice whether we direct our focus on the negative or positive, and whichever one we decide to focus on greatly determines where we are headed. A key point that we can never lose sight of is what we focus on expands. If we give in and decide to play the victim card, negativity will eat us up and provide us with virtually no choice to move forward.

The absolute worst thing that we can do to hinder our ability to perform at a high level and be successful is to be negative, or worse, be negative in the middle of adversity or failure.

Being positive extends how long people live on this earth. Being positive creates thriving relationships. Being positive can turn very dark times into incredible blessings.

Here are three areas where you should be more positive.

1. In your thinking

Being a former athlete, I know firsthand just how powerful the mind truly is. Everything we are and everything we are not is a direct correlation to the quality of our thoughts. You can’t be great without thinking that you are great. You must already be in your mind before you become that in reality.

The same goes for when adversity strikes. The quality of our thoughts matter, and not only do they matter but they will lead us to victory or continual defeat over and over again. Start today to increase your thought patterns. Constantly talk to yourself in a positive and uplifting way. Direct your attention towards the good in your life, not the bad. Do everything in your power to make sure your thoughts are building you up instead of tearing you down.

One of the main reasons why positive thinking has caught a bad rap over the years is because some people will tell you to just think positive and stop there. But that’s foolishness. However, when the positive thinking is paired with massive action, phenomenal things begin to happen. Don’t just think positive, be and act positive as well.

2. In your relationships

We all currently have or know of those certain individuals that completely strip us of any little bit of positive energy that we may have had left in the tank. These individuals must be shown the exit immediately.

When you look to increase the positive relationships in your life, it serves as a springboard to thinking positively. It benefits you in more ways than just one. Don’t wait any longer to get rid of the energy drainers that make it nearly impossible to envision a brighter future for yourself or a way to overcome this hardship that you are experiencing.

3. In your expectations

Failure brings out the negative that ultimately changes our expectations. It’s hard to expect anything good to come out of a situation when all you know is struggle. It’s hard to expect the best when you have been knocked to the ground so hard that you don’t even know how you are going to get back up.

For some, they even decide to give up and quit completely by taking their own life. That’s what the tough times of life can do. That’s what failure can do.

Nothing is ever that serious to make you give up on yourself. Your destiny is a whole lot bigger than what you are currently going through. I have seen time and time again what happens to the people that let their problems and the unfortunate twists and turns of life define them — it’s not a pretty sight.

Every bad situation, failure or adversity is only present in your life to help you, not hurt you. Remember that!

When you increase the positive thinking, relationships and expectations that you have for your life and your business when all seems lost, failure will not get the best of you. As a matter of fact, you will actually get the best of it as you have decided to grow through challenges, not just go through them.

It’s certainly not an easy task to be positive in bad times, but is there anything worthwhile that is easy?

Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Things We Can All Learn from Stuart Scott

One of the more moving speeches I have seen in quite some time was Stuart Scott’s speech at the 2014 ESPYs when he was presented with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award.

There are a million reasons as to why this speech was so spectacular, but what touched me the most was that he was speaking solely from the heart. He meant every word that came out of his mouth and actually lived it every single day of his life.

Stuart Scott wasn’t just a legendary sportscaster. He was a legend of a human being that brightened everyone’s world around him.

Of course everyone is sad and grieving when someone passes away, but to see the reaction of some of the world’s biggest stars when Scott officially passed away was a clear testament to the way he lived his life. Stuart Scott was the real star.

Here are 3 things we can all learn from Stuart Scott.

1.) Never give up.

One of the most incredible things that Stuart Scott lived and breathed for every single day was to demonstrate to never give up. Whether it’s fighting for what you want in life or continuing to come back time and time again after getting knocked down to your knees, never give up. Stuart Scott was a champion where it mattered most, in the game of life.

2.) Love your family now.

It deeply touched my heart the love and affection Stuart Scott had for his family, especially his daughters. You could tell by the way he went about his everyday life how much his family meant to him. We don’t know how much time we have left here on earth. Life in itself is one of the most extraordinary gifts we will ever receive. Love those closest to you now. Stop what you are doing right this second and tell someone that you love how much they mean to you.

3.) Be YOU!

If there is one quality that I absolutely love about Stuart Scott it would be his ability to be himself and not worry about what others thought or said about him. When he first got into being a sportscaster and on TV, he brought his own persona. He wasn’t like everyone else. He brought a whole new dimension to being a sportscaster. People praised him, people bashed him, and people doubted him, but one thing that never changed was Stuart Scott being himself.

I strongly believe that Stuart Scott was as successful as he was and was loved by so many from all over the world because of his authenticity while on camera. We can all learn to be more authentic and true to ourselves every waking moment of every day.

I was deeply saddened by the passing of this courageous man who made such a tremendous difference in the world. I never personally met Stuart Scott, but I sure did learn a lot from him and his courageous battle.

“When you die, that does not mean that you lost to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live. So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.” -Stuart Scott

That Little Thing That Makes All the Difference

There are many factors that determine success throughout life, however, I strongly believe that having the right attitude towards life, yourself and others is one of the greatest factors of all.

“Obviously, there is something more than facilities and competence that makes for accomplishment,” says Erwin Schell, one of America’s most respected authorities on leadership. “I have come to believe that this linkage factor, this catalyst if you will, can be defined in a single word: attitude. When our attitude is right, our abilities reach a maximum of effectiveness and good results inevitably follow.”

The right attitude can take you to the top of your profession. The right attitude can create extraordinary businesses. The right attitude can build an everlasting legacy. The right attitude can bring out the best in others. The right attitude can spark hope in those who are in need.

Some of the biggest achievements in history were made by men and women who understood the importance of attitude. A good portion of the population will look at these accomplishments and think, “Wow, how in the world did they do that?” We tend to believe these men and women have been blessed with a special gift over the rest of us, that there is no way we could ever do something that remarkable.

It’s that type of mental attitude that will leave you searching and wishing for more in life, never creating and leaving a legacy of your own.

You have ultimate control over your attitude. You aren’t any different from the next person. You have the ability to live your dream and create whatever it is you desire. It all comes down to your attitude.

Why is it that some can earn an extraordinary amount of money with very little education? Why can some defeat such odds and go on to be some of the world’s greatest achievers? Simple. The attitude they chose.

You have two options: Choose a positive and resilient attitude despite any hardship you encounter along the way, or to allow life’s minor mishaps negatively shape your attitude. What you choose will greatly determine the quality of your life.

When you choose a positive attitude, no goal or dream is out of reach. If it has been done before, then you darn well know you can do the same. Someone with a negative attitude loves to play the blame game. The economy limits their financial goals. Circumstances limit their vision for what they can accomplish.

As an ambitious entrepreneur, tough times will come head on with you at some point or another, if they haven’t already. To thrive and create everlasting success when most businesses struggle, it’s imperative that you have a great attitude. Take advantage of your power and the ability to choose whatever attitude it is you desire.

But just know that such a little thing makes such a major difference!

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Do This One Thing During Tough Times

We have all had the bad seasons; the tough and discouraging times in our lives. During those times, it’s very easy to be tempted to talk about how unlucky we are or how bad things really are.

Maybe you just got out of a really long relationship.

Maybe you visited the doctor for a routine checkup to find out you have cancer.

Maybe a loved one recently passed away.

Maybe you’re in financial trouble.

Whatever it is you are facing right now, please understand this: The more you talk about something, the bigger it becomes in your mind. The bigger it becomes in your mind, the more it takes over your whole entire life.

Instead of focusing on the negative and telling ourselves how bad things are, we have to make a strong stand and say, “No, this challenging situation is not going to bring me down. I am not going to let fear override all of the beauty that surrounds me. I am blessed and highly favored. I am a victor, not a victim.”

Even if we can’t see how things will play out, we have to start speaking victory over our lives, not defeat.

Talk To Yourself Like a Champion

We all fall victim to negative self-talk from time to time, saying things about ourselves such as, “I never do anything right.  I look terrible.  I’m not smart enough.  I don’t have the right resources.”

As Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  In other words, the way we talk to ourselves will most definitely affect our lives.  Start talking to yourself like a champion.  Repeat over and over again to yourself, “There is nothing average about me.  I wasn’t put here to be just ordinary.  I am special and I have greatness within me.”

When you switch the negative self-talk with positive and uplifting words, the quality of your life will start to change.  One of the biggest misconceptions is that we need materialistic things or to reach a certain level of success before we can be fully happy and live a great life.

We create our own happiness and one thing you have to understand is that no amount of success will replace negative or self diminishing self-talk.

Next time you find yourself downplaying your ability or second guessing a situation, talk to yourself like a champion.  No one will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself!

Action tip to help talk to yourself like a champion throughout the day:

Write powerful statements and uplifting quotes on a notecard.  This exercise has helped me tremendously with battling negative thoughts or situations during my day.

The key is to keep your notecard in your purse, wallet, or pocket so you can easily access it.  Look at this card and repeat the words with conviction.  If you make this a habit, you will begin to see increased motivation and boosted confidence levels.

You Are Not Average

You Are Not AverageToday, many people will walk around and operate not knowing who they really are.  Having no aim in life and just “hoping” things work out for the best.  Instead of wandering around not knowing who you are or what you really want out of life, connect with your inner-self.

What makes you happy?  If you could achieve one goal this year that would change the course of your entire life, what would it be?  What are your values?

You’re not average so don’t wander around with average habits.  Only the average don’t know who they are or what they want out of life.  You have the opportunity to make today a masterpiece, but that can only happen if you know exactly what you want out of this day.

Set a purpose for today, and then do everything in your power to fulfill that purpose.  Little daily victories might seem like not much, but over time they accumulate into big achievements.  For the people and tasks that don’t align with who you are as a person, pay them no attention.

Every single one of us has a deep burning desire planted within us.  Your job is to find out what that deep burning desire is and then work day and night towards making that desire a reality.

That’s where true happiness lies. Look out through the eyes of faith today and see your dreams coming to pass.  See yourself walking in abundance in every area of your life!

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