Last thing you want to hear is that having challenges is a good thing. Especially, when you’re right in the middle of it. It does make sense though when I think about it, if everything was super easy, then you couldn’t feel a sense of reward or satisfaction when you achieve something. I studied a lot during my time as a practicing Buddhist on the nature of suffering. In Buddhism, suffering is very much part of being a human being. Buddhists believe that it’s part of being human, we come into this world through suffering in birth and we die suffering. The idea is that when you make friends with suffering and stop resisting or fighting it, you can let go of your need to change and fix the suffering and by accepting it, you won’t suffer from suffering – by my observation.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it’s not going to change you.
So where does that leave us with how adversity brings success into our life. When I talk about personal branding, I do a process that is about looking at the parts of our self that we don’t like. And for me, there’s a real gold in those areas because they are signals of your life purpose, I call it your program. That’s my new thing these days, I feel that we all have a program within us, perhaps I’ve just been watching the Matrix too many times, but I love it because I think it’s true. I have an objective, my objective is to make a difference and to help people and it’s not me trying to be a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ person, it’s my purpose, it’s just what drives me. It almost has its own kind of entity. If you really tune into what drives you, there are signals of what your program is. AND one of the signals is what we don’t like about ourselves, our challenges on our path is truly telling of that program of what we need to learn and we’re looking at and what is our gift in the end.
I have often mentioned about how Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, was never accepted into clubs so he created Facebook. Interestingly enough, when I looked at the Matrix, I thought about the directors, the Wachowski brothers – who are now the Wachowski sisters. They expressed their difficulty of living in a false world by not being able to express themselves fully – that pain and suffering led to creating an iconic series of films. So, examining those parts of us that we don’t give way to opportunities for us to reach our goal, and life purpose. The parts that show up all the time to challenge us like money, relationship or health issues, they are usually trying to heal that part of ourselves we don’t like. And when we can recognize that, we can integrate and process a new and important part of you creating transformation.
Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
Below I have created my 7 STEPS on how to use adversity, to be your friend, in fact your path to success.
(Full brief & instructions in Podcast)
Name What You Don’t Like.
Examine those parts of yourself you don’t like, write them down, the parts that truly bother you. Write 1 or 10, don’t stress about finding something, just what comes to mind. The key here is to ‘name it’.
Name the Benefits.
Now look at the list and see the benefits they have provided. For example, I always hated that I didn’t feel smart enough because I didn’t finish school, how did that serve me? I became a super hard worker. There is always something that has been helping you be who you are today.
What are your challenges right now, today. Write down 3.
(Don’t read any further – just go and write 3 down).
Connect your obstacles to your dislikes.
Then see if you can find a connection, if it doesn’t come straight away, it needs time to process. There is ALWAYS a connection, the challenges are always wanting to heal the parts you don’t like about yourself. And it mightn’t come straight away or at all – that’s okay, It’s the conscious meeting the unconscious. So, there’ll be a shift that happens just from the process.
What are You Attached to?
I want you to name what you’re really attached to.
What are the things in your life, that if you didn’t have, believe that everything would fall apart and name three. After you find what they are, think about what it would mean if you didn’t have them and if anxiety comes up, don’t be attached to the anxiety. It’s always so beneficial to take that step back and be the observer because sometimes, what you think you are attached to, is actually CAUSING the anxiety, not the other way around (ie. smoking).
As Good As It Gets.
What if you were able to accept that life is full of challenges and that’s never going to change. What if you were able to accept that this is as good as it gets – the great line out of Jack Nicholson’s film. How would that make you feel? I ask this because with the same light as Buddhism sheds on suffering, if we can lose our attachment to having things be in a certain way, we will stop being constantly disappointed. We might be able to find a place where suddenly, we’re not thinking about ‘how do I get that’ or ‘be this’ all the time but actually being in the moment and not creating concepts around how it should be. I truly believe that everything happens in our life for a reason, it impacts and drives us to be where we are now and where we’re going because we often can’t see the big picture. It’s not for us to know that big picture and funnily enough, even though when desperate to find out ‘where we are going’, we get lost. Our job is to listen and tune into our program and purpose and see where it takes us. We always have to have a goal or intention, but keep open to be able to receive the signs and let go of what doesn’t happen when we think it should.
Ask, what is allowing yourself to look at what would it mean for you to be in that space of non-attachment – what would you have to give up? Ooo and you know what would happen – the space for magic!
Be in the Flow.
You know, it’s funny I’ve always had a true vision about Mrs V Brand and what I’ve been doing, and nothing has struck me so hard in the last few weeks as to how my journey has been very challenging, but taught me so much I’m grateful for. And now as I step into a great sense of ease and a clear path, I know it’s because I let go of controlling where I was to go. I sat in a sense of creative expression and listening to where the universe/spirit/God wanted me to go. So, not trying to make things happen but to sit back in, and be in the moment and be in the flow.
And I think when I think about adversity, what it really brings up is that ability to heal, fear, and the fear of fear. I think vulnerability is such an issue for a lot of people now because when you feel vulnerable you feel out of control and you feel unsafe. And I think that’s really coming back to basics about security, safety happens inside us. And it’s not an external thing, it goes beyond even the articulation of that it is just ‘being’ in the end.
In this fourth industrial revolution we are experiencing, we are in a place of access now rather than ownership. So that means that our sense of security has to come from within ourselves. Always looking to be present and conscious. And so therefore, when a challenge happens, it’s opportunity is to work that new muscle. I believe a lot of people are going through challenges at the moment because the universal energy is forcing people to show up and do the work on themselves to build trust and strength. This last step is to think about what it would mean for you to sit in flow, and to be fearless. And to trust that you’re going in the right direction and for the right reasons. If you are too tight around your vision and fearing about not getting it and the challenges emerging, you could be missing something. The resistance is like the hand of spirit telling you to let go. Our challenges are part of our soul’s journey to make us who we are. Our adversities and challenges are shared with our community to voice our stories to help others and let go of any victim attitudes that remove your power. Taking responsibility of your life’s journey will empower you and others to be a light. I believe Tony Robbins, talks about that in his vision, that his adversity brought him to great success, and he wouldn’t be here it was today without that.
My vision of hope is always sitting beside my heart.
Lightning strikes and dark days make it harder to see the light.
I cry inside and hold my breath to not feel the pain.
I know change will always come.
I get reminded and something unexpected catches my attention.
Relief is welcomed and yet it’s fleeting.
Immediate gratitude unlocks my heart and I breath out.
There is only the moment and my experiences.
Who judges my journey, only me.
Who judges my pain, only me.
To feel, is to be alive and I embrace the pain
that makes me feel my body, my heart, my sense of self.
My strength flowers through the pulsing forest,
life is evergreen.
The power has led me to reach the other side,
appreciating the sun,
the space and this journey I’m on.
I have no answer and that’s okay,
I won’t think too hard anymore
and only open my eyes
when I have to take a step forward
on my path.
A Song by Mrs V – ”That’s Life’
MRS V: Scarlett Vespa
Scarlett’s passion is branding and how to help people shape their personal or business brand to be future-proof. Her 25 year+ experience in advertising and branding working as Head of Broadcast for CBA and creating work for businesses such as Westfield, Westpac, David Jones, AMP, White Ribbon, Bonds and many more, gives her a vast knowledge on how to help individuals and businesses face an ever-changing landscape.
Scarlett’s other passion is to empower women at work and holds a yearly event called the ‘Mrs V Shift’ at the Langham Sydney, with over 25 speakers on how build your best self. She also loves to create videos, blogs, podcasts on all things educational, innovative and inspirational. See more about her here: Profile Website.