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STOP Struggling and START Living

03 August 2011

Recently I received this beautiful thank you note:

‘I just wanted to say a very big thank you for inspiring my 13-year-old daughter.  Your presentation had a profound impact on her.  When I asked her what she learnt on the weekend she said “to accept my disability and be proud of who I am”.  I was blown away as I hadn’t realised that she wasn’t… There are defining moments in all our lives and for my daughter this was one of them.’

What an amazing job I have when I receive thank you notes like this. It makes me realize I am working in the right industry. One in which I have passion and absolute dedication in helping and inspiring individuals to recognize and accept what could be holding them back from achieving their dreams.

Take a moment to think if there is something in your life that you hide and struggle with. Something that maybe you do not want others finding out because you are worried what they might think. Something that causes you anxiety, guilt, stress or pain and that uses a lot of your energy.

For the first nineteen years of my life I hide the fact that I had a mild case of cerebral palsy. The amount of energy I wasted struggling with my personal pain was incredible. Firstly struggling with the why me thoughts and then also making sure no one would recognize my difference physically.

Fifteen years later I can say that I have learnt to accept my disability and now love the fact that I have a difference. It did not happen over night, but by becoming a Paralympic Gold Medalist and sharing my feelings as keynote speaker, I learnt ways to accept my disability.

However I still have not eliminated my feelings and thoughts of pain, guilt and other negative emotions in different areas of my life, simply because I am human!

Does your mind ever say things to you like, I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy enough, I’m not cut out for this sort of work, I’m not a good mum or I’m so stupid?

I know mine certainly does at times.

Instead of getting caught up in our thoughts or being pushed around by them, we can learn to let them come and go if they were just a music playing in the background.
We can learn to step back and watch our thinking instead of getting caught up in it. We can see our thoughts for what they are- nothing more or less than words or images. We can learn to live with our painful thoughts, feelings and emotions by not struggling with them, by giving them some breathing space and allowing them just to be.

To find out more ,read The Happiness Trap by Dr Russ Harris. It is an amazing and life changing book. It’s focus is a process called ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) and it’s aim is to help us to create rich, full and meaningful lives while accepting the pain that life inevitably brings.

A must read!

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2 comments

  • Katrina Webb OAM

    Katrina Webb OAM 8 years ago

    Thank you!

  • Violet Bouggas

    Violet Bouggas 8 years ago

    This was a very interesting read. I will be buying the book you suggested I think it may help my daughter build her confidence and self estem. Thank you Violet