Life – the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual. Most of these experiences are good, some are bad. But how we handle them both will determine the level of joy and happiness in our lives. Our attitude always determines our altitude. So, how do we rise above when misfortune blows our way?
How To Rise Above Misfortune
1. CHOOSE to rise above.
It is NOT what happens to you that determines your outcome – it is how you handle what happens to you.
I was a single mom, living on $10,000 a year with $200,000 in debt. I know that I’m not the only one who has found themselves in that situation. However, my decision to change my life, attack my issues, and become a better person and role model for my daughter is what determined my outcome.
I am now a happily married woman with a successful career – and debt-free. I also have a beautiful, confident daughter who is a junior in college and kicking butt. I CHOSE to rise above.
I know a lady whose story mimics mine in so many ways. She was in an unhappy marriage and one day, her husband left her. She only had a part-time job to support herself and she had no savings. However, instead of choosing to rise above, she decided to play the victim.
She decided to wallow in everything that had happened to her and throw a pity party every chance she had. She decided to live in her misfortune and NOT rise above it. Now, 14 years later, she is in exactly the same place she was back then.
Everyone can rise above misfortune. We see it everyday. But you must first make the choice to do so. Without that choice, you will stay exactly where you are. You are the author of your own story. I decided to author a bestseller, my friend did not.
What kind of story are you going to write?
2. LEAVE the past in the past.
We have all made decisions that we wish we didn’t. But the great thing about the past is that it doesn’t have to define us. The only way to truly rise above your misfortune is to look at your past, learn from it, fix what you can, and let it go.
If I was still focusing on how I got into debt and the fact that I had so much, I would still be there. If I was still focusing on my broken marriage, I wouldn’t be able to have a successful one now. We all have baggage. We all have a past. But we also all have the ability through God’s grace and love to let it go.
Letting go may involve forgiving someone who doesn’t even know that they need to be forgiven. But if you are holding something inside regarding that person, you need to forgive them – not for them, but for you.
Letting go may involve learning to not be offended all the time. Many people won’t grow with you. They may keep bringing up your past even when you have let it go. Choose to not let their opinion get you down. This is about you and making a better YOU. Not everyone is equipped to make the journey with you.
Let it go!
3. RENEW your mind.
We need to do this constantly – and for good reason. If you make changes in your life, but don’t get your mind in alignment, you will end up right back where you were. 20 years later, I still have moments pop up regarding my relationships, money habits, and more. I have to, on purpose, say out loud:
“That is in the past and that is where it is going to stay. I may not be where I want to be, but I am definitely not where I used to be.”
Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself. Remind yourself of what God thinks of you and what a wonderful person you are. Acknowledge your weaknesses and work on strengthening them. You will never rise above your misfortune without a constant renewing of your mind and your thoughts.
Focus on your strengths.
4. BELIEVE that you are a victor.
You are awesome! You are not a victim – you are a victor! But you have to believe you are. You have to shake off the victim mentality when it rears its ugly head. The only way to rise above your misfortune is to have a positive attitude.
If you look at everything in a negative way, you will never believe great things are coming, which means they might not. Would you rather be around a negative or a positive person?
I have gotten to the point that when I am around negative people for very long, I have to walk away. I have ended many conversations on the phone early when I’m talking to negative people. It’s just too much. I may not be able to change them, but I can set an example and I can walk away from the negativity.
You get to decide what you are going to allow into your life. You may work with someone who is super negative. I’m not saying quit your job; I’m simply saying NOT to allow that person’s words get to inside of you. Be respectful, walk away when you can, and put positive thoughts in their mind.
In doing so, you will be victorious.
We all have to deal with misfortune. It is a part of life. Some, we bring on ourselves. Other times, things just happen. Everyone has something. But it is how we deal with our “something” that determines our success.
Today, I have shared four ways to rise above your misfortune. It can all be summed up into one word – DECIDE. You have to decide to rise above. You have to decide to not let it get you down. You have to decide that it is just a page – or at the most a chapter – in the awesome bestseller that you are writing.
You and you alone will get to decide how you will handle any misfortune that life throws you.