People often ask me if feel sad for all the suffering I went through. They are struggling with things themselves, asking questions like:
“How do I get unstuck?”
“I’m always finding myself overtired.”
“I’ve been working a long time, long days, and I don’t know what to do.”
“I feel confused, and I’m not sure where to turn.”
It’s a common problem to feel so lost and uncertain. We’ve all been there at different times, and it’s absolutely challenging to figure out where to go and where the next step is.
The biggest thing, I think, is to start finding a way to change your perspective on how suffering actually helps you vs defeat you.
Number one: Understand failure is part of the process
As I’ve been building my business, the Sledge Hockey Experience, there’s no way that I could have gotten to where I’m at without having to go through several moments where I felt like I totally wasn’t getting it right.
That goes for everything such as sending out the wrong documents, to wording things the wrong way, to showing up late for a meeting, or figuring out 48 hours before the event I don’t have everything that I need.
Maybe I couldn’t deliver on something, but I knew that I had to fix it for the next time.
Almost always, if I didn’t go through those failures, there’s no way that I would’ve gotten to the point where we are now delivering a polished event every single time we arrive at the arena.
Randy Pausch once said,
“The walls that are put up in front of us are put there for a reason, and that reason is to keep those people who don’t want something bad enough out.”
When I hear that, it made me really think about a lot of the obstacles that are in front of us. They are there for a reason, and so decide in my mind that I’m going to break through that barrier and find my way to make my suffering become part of my success.
Number two: Take things one step at a time
When I was in the hospital learning how to walk again, people always asked me the question, “How did you learn how to walk?”
And I wish I could just say something as simple as I took a pill.
Sometimes I throw it as a joke, and it always flops.
The truth is is that it wasn’t easy. It required me going through several weeks of seeing zero results, trying to wiggle my toe just by me sending the brain signal down and looking at my toes.
But when I finally got it to work, it was one toe after six weeks, and then one more week til I got my second toe, and then another week until I got three toes, and then three toe, and then an ankle, and an ankle.
Then I was learning gravity, and a walker, and a wheelchair, and then walking holding on to walls, and then learning to walk every day.
And it was such a remarkable lesson because I just literally learned that the process of learning how to walk at the age of 23, not when I was a child, was one step at a time.
Remember that no matter what it is you’re going through, an obstacle or getting yourself out of a bad position where you’re struggling might seem impossible or super far away, but just recognize that it takes several small baby steps, one step at a time.
Number Three: It’s okay to ask for help
When you’re struggling, whether you’re consciously aware of this, trying to build a business, going through some form of therapy, or if you’re in depression for example, is to recognize that it’s okay to ask for help.
There’s several times where I’ve had people come to me and say, “Kev, what do you think about this or what do you think about that? What should I do?”
Sometimes people have been suicidal.
In so many of those cases, my recommendation is to talk to someone. Call a professional, and get the help you need.
However, know that “If You Attempt Suicide, You Haven’t Got This.”
So many of us are suffering in silence and it doesn’t need to be that way. Nobody knows you are struggling unless you say something.
When you find yourself questioning the struggle, remember that failure is part of the process. Nothing great happens overnight, and that if you need help along the way, it’s ok to ask for that help.
If it weren’t for my struggles, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I know that whatever you are going through, it will be worth it in the end as well.
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About Kevin Rempel:
Paralympian, keynote speaker, and founder of the corporate team building program, The Sledge Hockey Experience, I help people change their perspective about life and people with disabilities. Visit www.kevinrempel.com for more information.