Article Written By Paige Vidrine
Are you stuck in a rut? You cant catch a break, your relationships aren’t working out and life just
keeps sending you curve balls. I used to ask myself, “Why me?” when things would go wrong. I
felt unappreciated at work, couldn’t make my own business successful and was raising two kids
all while going through a divorce. “I am doing everything I can to have a good life and nothing is
working out in my favor.” This was my reaction to any problem I would face until I learned the
most valuable lesson in my life. As I was trying to claw my way out of depression, I watched a
Tony Robbins video explaining that the way we frame events in our lives completely changes
who we become as individuals.
Imagine this, there is an entrepreneur trying to make a living selling a milk shake mixer.
Sales weren’t all that bad, but they weren’t all that good either. This entrepreneur had big
dreams but each endeavor he took on would come to a screeching halt. His relationships never
lasted and something always seemed to go wrong for him. If he would have framed his
circumstances by thinking, “Why me?”, he would have thrown in the towel or just given minimal
effort in his jobs. Instead, he was always looking at every failure as an opportunity for growth.
He thought, “What can I learn from this?” and kept on moving. Because of his determination to
keep going, he opened himself up to the entrepreneurship endeavor of a lifetime. He became
the co-founder of McDonalds, making hundreds of millions in his career. Ray Kroc and other
successful men and women find ways to frame their thoughts so that instead of sabotaging their
lives, they create something beautiful.
I have been inspired by stories like this, probably because my mom has a pretty cool
one herself. Listening to her rags to riches story always inspired me to study other successful
people and figure out what it is that makes them keep going in the face of adversity. I have
learned a lot in my studies and I can honestly say that I am a stronger person because I put into
practice the idea of thought framing. Here are a few pointers so you can help yourself start living life on your own terms:
1. Realize that you might just be sabotaging your own life. I want to start with this idea,
because so often people will find themselves in terrible situations over and over again and
then question why life just doesn’t work out for them. Eventually, the let downs and the pain
lead many people to just not really care enough anymore to try to make life any better. “It
never works out anyway so why try.”
For these type of people who have recurring heart ache, I want you to look at the
circumstance and think about whether or not you play any role in sabotaging your own life. I
like to think of an example of a young girl whose father was in and out of her life. She didn’t
realize it, but his irresponsible behavior taught her early on that she wasn’t really worth it. She
felt like if he cant stick around then she didn’t matter all that much. As she got older, she took
easy jobs that offered quick money because that was instant validation. She became a
compulsive spender because that too made her feel good in the moment. With every
opportunity or stroke of luck she received in life, she could never find a way to maximize her
potential. She associated with people who stayed in ruts themselves, always thinking that the
underdogs deserved love. These poor relationships with people who couldn’t catch a break,
pushed her further and further into her irresponsible lifestyle. Never once did she think that she
might need to make a change in the way she acts, handles money, deals with people, does
business. This story is one of ultimate sabotage. It is true that bad circumstances are not always
your fault, but what you do with those circumstances and the choices you make because of
them can either wrap you up into more of a mess or allow you to pull yourself out.
So stop for a moment and be honest with yourself. Think about whether or not your
choices and mindsets could possibly be sabotaging your success.
2. You have time. I was talking to a friend of mine who had lost her baby boy. I found that she
has such potential to be successful in life, but in the moments that mattered most, she would
make decisions that didn’t benefit her all too much. This led me to question her deep beliefs.
She explained to me that she believes that time just isn’t on your side. Hearing this made
me sad, because the way she framed her loss was in a way that couldn’t benefit her long
term. When you are always feeling like you’re running out of time, you will try to short cut
your way to results and that never builds a solid foundation for a successful life.
I used to do this myself. In my mid twenties I would think that I should have it all
together. I felt terrible for not even knowing what my passion actually was. This led me to feeling
constantly frustrated with life, causing me to focus on what I am not accomplishing. I finally
realized that time was on my side, that I could accomplish a lot in twenty years if I started now,
that I could make up for 5 years of unknowing in one year of intense focus and hard work.
Because I changed the way I viewed my time, I make the most out of every second of every
day. I try to make the best choices based on what I have decided that I want. I reach out to
people who I admire and let them teach me. Framing my mind this way has eased so much
anxiety and helps me to really focus on what matters most.
3. We all make mistakes. Own up to it. I used to hate when people would call me out for the
mistakes I would make. It was like a jab to my ego every time someone would mention my
shortcomings. I hated being wrong and messing up so badly that I would even lie to myself
when things wouldn’t go right. I would blame other people instead of owning up to my mistakes.
When things go wrong or situations turn out badly, it’s not beneficial to look at what role
others played in the situation before truly evaluating your role in the problem. My relationships
really took a turn for the better when I started disagreements off by simply saying, “I may be
wrong, but this is where I was coming from.” It has been amazing to see the benefits of simply
owning up to the mistakes I make in my life. I used to believe that admitting my shortcomings
would make me less of a person, but in reality it has made me more secure in myself and given
me the strength I need to move past problems quickly, not allowing them to get out of control.
4. Stop expecting not to struggle.
If comfort is your goal, then you will always be chasing something that is very elusive. I see
people every day on social media complaining every time something goes wrong in their lives.
Is it such a monumental event every time multiple things go awry in a day, that they feel the
need to share with their internet friend groups? It seems as though facing issues is an unusual
thing for these people. I cannot say I was never like this. Granted, I never used social media as
a tool to vent my frustrations, but I did at some point call friends to do just that. After I started
working towards a more positive life though, I realized that this was not beneficial. I also started
to see how griping when things went wrong could become an every day ordeal, because things
always go wrong. So instead of expecting them not to, I just made up in my mind that when they
did I would be ready for it. I would not expect a perfect life. I decided that life would be wonderful
even if I had a flat tire. I would change it and move on. I decided that I would be happy. Even
when my brother died, I found a way to use the grief and pain to fuel my passions. At the end of
the day, the rain will fall. I have found more joy in dancing in it than seeking shelter.
All in all, the greatest asset in my life has been the way that I have trained myself to think. At
one point my mindsets where chaining me down to a miserable existence. When I learned to
frame my thoughts properly, I stopped sabotaging my life, realized I had enough time to build
something significant, learned to build better relationships and how to enjoy the struggles life
brings. Life isn’t perfect now, but it is much more enjoyable. I have a new found hope and that is
all that I need to build life on my own terms.
Much Love & Gratitude