I know I’m not the only person who’s lived through tough times. I know that you, like me, have experienced your fair share of dreams, hopes, and disappointments. But I also know—because you are reading this—that you are committed to creating your best life. And I can help. I’ll share with you how I pushed the reset button on my life and take you through the steps so that you can too. I want you to know that you can start fresh no matter where you’re at today.
Why should you trust me to help you? Well, like you, I’ve been in some pretty tough spots in the past. I grew up with a bipolar father, and I endured physical and verbal abuse, which resulted in extreme shyness, limited belief in myself, and poor choices. I also went through a number of ups and downs. I was the victim of an attempted abduction, and then later I went through a painful divorce and debilitating depression.
Where There Is A Will, There’s A Way
Growing up in an abusive home was no doubt detrimental to my well-being. But it taught me unwavering drive and the tenacity to create a better life for myself. I believe that where there is a will there is a way, no matter what your background or circumstances.
I worked hard through high school and college, putting myself through school by working two jobs. I earned my undergrad degree in sports marketing and exercise physiology and then went on to earn my MBA. I knocked on a lot of doors to break into the world of business those first couple years out of college. I think my toughness growing up helped me to be fearless as I ventured out to begin my career. That drive and hard work got me into some pretty great places.
I’ve been to every major city in the United States and watched most major sporting events from the field—all-star games, playoff games—and I’ve been to twenty-seven Indy 500 races. I’ve attended the Grammys, the Emmys, the Academy Awards, and the Cannes Film Festival. I’ve been to Australia, where I biked wine country, saw my first kangaroo, and went paddleboarding at Bondi Beach. The executives of Harrods of London gave me an insider’s tour of London. Oh, and I rappelled off a thirty-two-story hotel in LA for charity.
I’ve been where you’ve been, and that includes some pretty tough spots. But I’ve also been where you want to go—some pretty cool places! And I know that if I can do it, you can too.
Having a Plan
Of course a lot of people have hope for a better life, but they don’t have a plan to make it a reality, and without a plan it’s easy to fall back into old habits and limiting beliefs. The process I call Resetting Your Life is kind of like creating a roadmap to fulfill your dreams. It doesn’t matter what kind of life you dream of—business owner, yoga teacher, race car driver, or just the ability to be happy every day—all you need is hope and hard work! Oh yes, and a strategy.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
I will share with you my five-step strategy that can work for anyone who is willing to apply it. By following these simple steps, you can let go of your past stories, overcome challenges, and go forward to create your best life.
To begin, I’m going to ask you a series of questions. And here’s the important part: to receive the full benefit of this exercise, I need you to write down your answers. These answers are for your eyes only, but please trust me on this point, as I can assure you that part of the magic occurs when you put these answers on paper. By writing these things down, you will be able to see patterns in your life that you may otherwise miss, and you will be signaling to yourself and the universe that you are serious about change.
Tapping In to Your Creative Energy and Potential
Now let’s dig in by tapping in to your creative energy, your inner spirit, and your unique potential.
1. Set the foundation.
Consider your past. What were the biggest challenges in your life that you have had to overcome? What accomplishments or events are you most proud of? It is important to take an honest look at where you are in your life, and how you got there.
2. Find the gold.
What were the gifts that came because of those major challenges? Ironically, I believe that our biggest challenges in life often produce the greatest gifts. We have to go through these events in order to learn things about ourselves, or to be able to help others going through similar situations. What did you gain or learn as a result of your major challenges? And let’s not forget about your accomplishments and positive events too—what did you gain or learn from them?
3. Write out your dream life.
Dream big here! Now that you know where you have been, let’s see where you want to go! What would your perfect life consist of? I use a system of “the 8 Fs” to help me account for all of the important categories in my life.
- Faith: What would your spiritual life be? Are you religious? Are you spiritual? Are you taking time to connect to your higher power or to your spiritual guides? Does this involve more prayer or meditation? Or a trip to the great outdoors? How can you further enhance this connection? Be specific.
- Family: What would the relationships be like with your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings, and other relatives? Take time and write down each person and what your dream life would be like as it relates to them and how you want to feel around them.
- Friends: What would your friendships be like? Would you have more quality friendships and fewer friends of convenience? How would you feel around your friends? List the things you would have in common with your ideal friends, as well as the qualities they would posses, like honesty, self respect, etc. What types of people do you want to surround yourself with?
- Fitness: Would you like to have more energy and vitality throughout your day? What can help you get there? Yoga? Exercise? What type of physical activities would you like to do? What types of foods would fuel your body and help it be the healthiest it can be?
- Fun: What do you consider fun? This is just you—what makes you smile and laugh? What are your secret pleasures? What fun things would be involved in your perfect life? Remember not to judge here, just list what sounds fun to you!
- Firm: What would your ideal career be? If you could get paid for doing something you love, what would you do all day? And don’t forget, running a household is one of the most difficult jobs of all. How would your household run in this ideal scenario?
- Finances: What would your financial situation look like? How much would you have in savings? How much would you make each month? How much would you have for fun money each month?
- Feelings: How would you feel? List the feeling words that describe how you want to feel in your life: peaceful, happy, grateful, energized, etc.
4. Create your strategy.
What are a few steps that you could take in each of your 8 Fs to get you closer to your goal in each of those areas? Be specific here. Write down just one or two steps that would move the needle in each area. Be sure to keep these ideas focused on things that you have control of—your actions, your attitude, things that you can physically do to move things forward.
5. Make a plan for action and execute.
Now that you’ve written down where you have been, what you gained from it, where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there, it’s time to create a specific plan for when and how you will take action on the steps listed in your strategy.Make an action plan for this week, this month, and even this year, listing the specific actions you will take and when you will take them. Keep this list and check the items off as you go. If you have to change a date or alter a plan, that’s OK, just remember to keep your eye on the prize of resetting your life.
OK, I know this sounds like a lot all at once. But remember you don’t have to do it all at once. The key here is to remember that getting where you want to go takes effort and consistency. Baby steps are okay. Just remember to stick to your plan and move forward.
You Can Make Your World Better
Now you are ready to begin walking—or maybe running—down the path to your own successful future. You can make your world better. It just takes a new perspective. You are the one in control of your life. You are the one who takes the action steps to create new outcomes.
There was a time when if you had told me I’d one day be scuba diving in the Caribbean on a private yacht, or that I’d meet Richard Branson, I would have told you no way. But who knows where I’d be today if I’d had a cakewalk of an upbringing. The challenges I dealt with growing up actually allowed me to envision a future where I wouldn’t be burdened with hardship and pain. And once I had the ability to actually do something about it, I made sure to seize the opportunity to do as much as I can in this short life.
Bad luck, bad circumstances, even bad people, are not in our lives permanently. There is very little that is permanent, actually. And you have the power to contribute positively to the world around you, create the life you want to live, and be who you are meant to be.
I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Howard Thurman:
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
You have the responsibility, and the opportunity, to overcome challenges and change your life, and create for yourself and your family the life you desire. Before you know it, you will be doing what you are meant to do, loving your life, and making a difference for yourself, your family, and the planet! The world is waiting for you to come alive.
©2013. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hierophant Publishing. www.hierophantpublishing.com
No Mistakes!: How You Can Change Adversity into Abundance
by Madisyn Taylor, Sunny Dawn Johnston, HeatherAsh Amara, et al.
About the Author of this excerpt
Vicki Higgins is the CEO of Vicki Higgins Consulting and the Executive Vice President of Icon Builder Media. She was recently executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Newport Beach & Co., the official marketing organization for the City of Newport Beach, California. Vicki is passionate about professional and personal growth. She is a sought-after speaker, sharing her story of overcoming challenge to inspire people to create their best life.
Watch a video: Live Your Passion (with Vicki Higgins)