Let’s Have a Little Talk About Adversity

There’s a little race that takes place inside our heads. This is where we wonder. This is where we battle with ourselves. This is where the struggles to overcome exist more than ever. It’s here in the mind because after all, this is where we do one of two things; either we overcome or we give in. 

We talk a lot about the thought machine. We talk about the struggles with adversity and what it takes to overcome it. Yet, most people are unaware of their true abilities.

For example, there was a time when I gave into the proposed labels of my so-called learning disabilities. I gave into the ideas that somehow, this made me less-than. This meant I was stupid. Right?

I believed that somewhere, somehow, my brain was malformed and that I was slow and simple. I never asked for these terms. I never wanted to struggle in the classroom nor did I ask to stutter when I’d read in front of the class. No one asks for adversity. This just comes like an unwanted guest who refuses to leave and refuses to stop whispering in your ear.

I can recall the classes when the students had to take turns reading paragraphs. I used to count the heads of the kids who would read before me. Then I would count the number of paragraphs and see which paragraph was mine. Meanwhile, the class read aloud and the other students were following along. But me?
I was trying to rehearse my paragraph so that I could fit in and read smoothly. This way I could read my turn without a hiccup. But no. The problem was I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t read and understand at the same time. By the time it was my turn, I was so busy rehearsing to keep from sounding stupid, the class would either laugh at me and someone would always shout my name and say, “It’s your turn!” Of course, this made me more nervous; and therefore, I stuttered even more and struggled even harder to get through the paragraph. 

I can remember wanting to disappear. I remember the shame and the humiliation, which, perhaps no one else was able to pick up on this. But me? I felt this, through and through. Therefore, I believed in my limitations. I believed wholeheartedly.
I believed in my adversity more than I believed in my ability to overcome. I had no idea about my secrets of endurance nor was I aware that I had talents. I had skills. I had the ability to do more than I ever considered, but yet, I surrendered my rights to these ideas because of the different labels that were placed on me. 

I think, therefore, I am. I believe, therefore, what I believe must be true; in which case, since I believed in my limitations, I never dared to confront them nor would I try to overcome them.
And here’s why…

There is a chemical phenomenon that takes place. We call this emotion. We feel this, deep down and directly at our core. Therefore, when we experience a similarity or a connection to a past problem or unresolved tension, we experience the same chemical changes in our body as when the past experience took place.
We connect this with shame, blame, regret and other rejective ideas, such as guilt and internal judgment. This is what keeps us from stepping forward.

We experience this and store this away with a collection of other subconscious programs and biases that create a mapping of belief systems and misperceptions, interpretations and trained assumptions. 

These are the programs that hold us back, and yet, we hardly recognize this. We offer no input into new personal studies so therefore, we assume, we predict or jump to conclusions. Therefore, we allow ourselves to be held in the same judgments. We keep ourselves stuck in the same predicaments and live with the same chemical nuances that do nothing else but delay us from reaching our potential.

The mind is the trick. It’s the thought machine. It’s the lessons we learned and the internal monologue that keeps us in the same chemical loop with no hope and no belief in improvement.

The chemical reaction of emotion is simple to understand. Consider what happens when we think about an old, unresolved argument that didn’t go our way. Think about the times we rehearse these old conversations and reword them to re-litigate the past and create a new outcome. However, the mind does not recognize the past or present. The mind only recognizes the status of emotion and therefore, we experience the same energies and chemical changes as if the lost argument was happening all over again.
And yes, it is possible to think ourselves sick. It is possible to die from a broken heart. It is certainly possible to die from high anxiety and deep depression. The mental is certainly interconnected with the physical. 

We are a machine. And think about this; think about any machine we own. Think about a car or think about anything with a motor. Nothing can run at full tilt forever. Nothing can go at full speed. Everything needs rest and recovery. All machines need maintenance and care. And so do we.

I don’t know about anyone else’s adversity. I only know what people tell me. And yet, I still do not know what their adversity feels like, which means this is personal. Our chemical makeup might be similar but yet we are all so perfectly and uniquely built.
So what does this mean?

This means adversity to me is not the same as it is to anyone else. To some, my adversity is simple and child-like. To others, my achievements are unthinkable. And to me, I might not relate or agree with someone else, which is fine, so long as I am respectful and understanding.
My life is mine, your life is yours, and we don’t have to see things the same way. Our fights might not be the same and nor is the struggle. Either way, we all have something to overcome – so relax with the judgment, stay clear of educational, intellectual and social snobbery. Be nice. Stay kind. Everyone has a race in their minds. Everyone has their own fight to contend with. So again, be patient and beware of judgment. Cheer for someone. Do not patronize.

Hey, do you know what I hear every time someone says “Good job” to me?
I am reminded of being in special ed classes as a boy. I am reminded of shame-based ideas and thinking. And certainly, the words “Good job” are not an insult. However, the old records from my past needed to be cleared.
I had this thing when I used to read out loud. I called this an emotional flinch; as if I were about to be hurt or feel the old pains of a classroom laughing at me.

I was. I am. I have become.

I say this now because I had to learn how to rewire my thinking so that I could free myself of the old chemical responses and emotional catastrophes. 

The change has to start with the belief system.
Start here and work your way up. 
Trust me on this one.

How do I know?
I give college lectures now. I am about to release my fourth book within one year’s time. I am someone who is used in motivational and empowerment seminars. If I never dared or tried and stayed as I was, none of this would ever be possible.
Know why? 

It’s because I didn’t believe in it.
But I do now.

Do you?

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