Growing up in a rural area, going to a small college, and moving into the fast-paced business world, I felt at a disadvantage on many levels. Little did I know that these same disadvantages would give me the scrappiness I’d need to succeed.
It takes mental toughness to develop the healthy habits we need to overcome the disadvantages we face in life. I quickly learned that while surviving in my circumstances may be considered success; thriving in them is massive success.
Check out this list to see how how your disadvantages in life have prepared you for massive success:
1. NEVER ENOUGH MONEY
When you don’t have money, you are forced to use your imagination. Innovation becomes a way of life at a very early age—I discovered that sticks are excellent rifles and swords, and dried cow pies can be amazing frizbees.
Buying what I wanted or needed was not an option for me as a kid, so creativity was the way I compensated. My early training to be creative and resourceful has served me well throughout life.
Lesson Learned: If you want something, find a way to make it happen.
2. NO CODDLING BY PARENTS AND FAMILY
There were many times as a child when I felt very sorry for myself—I didn’t come from one of those warm and fuzzy families that coddled their offspring.
My grandmother had ammo on her Christmas list! There are three things you never say to a grandmother who is a crack shot with a shotgun: “You do it.” “It’s your fault.” “I quit.”
But in the process, I learned how to fend for myself. If I found myself in a tough situation, I had to rely on myself to get out of it.
Lesson Learned: Take responsibility—stop whining, blaming others, and pointing fingers if you don’t get what you want.
3. THE CONSTANT REMINDER OF MISTAKES
I spent the better part of my early life as a hillbilly. I didn’t have the polish of a sophisticated upbringing and so I made a lot of mistakes, both social and professional.
I learned from each one because I knew one thing: I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. It hurt too much the first time to not take the experience seriously and glean as much knowledge as I could from it.
As I look back and see the path I’ve traveled, I understand now that the past is nothing but training. It doesn’t define me.
Lesson Learned: Mistakes are only stupid if you don’t take the time to learn from them.
4. SURROUNDED BY LOSER FRIENDS
Since our cattle ranch was in a remote part of Wyoming, it was hard growing up without many friends. I was on a constant search to find other kids like me, but there just weren’t that many. At first, I wasn’t picky about with whom I chummed up but that was worse than having no friends at all.
I learned to be content with making friends and spending time with people who were very different from me. They stretched my thinking because they were so diverse.
We tend to spend time with people who are just like us, but when we do, we lack the feedback we need to force us out of our comfort zones and challenge us to question our beliefs.
Lesson Learned: Dump the loser friends and learn to be adept at picking the right strangers with ties to what you hope to accomplish and then ask them the right questions.
5. NEVER AN EASY WAY OUT
I had to work really hard to get good grades—they didn’t come easy. As a result, I knew I would need to develop other traits if I wanted massive success. In excavating those talents and abilities, I learned to tolerate discomfort, frustration, anger, failure, and rejection.
Mental toughness requires you to become acutely aware of all emotions so you can make the best choice about how to respond when the pop up. Mental strength is about accepting your feelings without being controlled by them.
Lesson Learned: Stop expecting a handout; instead, develop the right attitude to make your own breaks in life.
6. HARD-WON BREAKTHROUGHS
I took several wrong turns in life during my early years. Hoping for a breakthrough, I picked myself and started down another road, and I continued until I finally found the right path for me.
Our breakthroughs come from stress. We place a great deal of pressure on ourselves to see how much we can take and how well we respond. It’s a form of training for life—we practice over and over again until we have a breakthrough and become someone we had no idea we could become.
Lesson Learned: All the magic happens outside the comfort zone.
7. A CONSTANT HUNT FOR THE GOOD STUFF
I spent several years trying to find the right job and the right relationship. During these gloomy times, I had to hunt to find the good stuff in my life. There wasn’t a lot, and yet I made a concerted effort to identify at least 3 positive experiences every day.
Catch your negative thoughts before they spiral out of control and influence your behavior. Replace your negative thoughts with productive ones and reflect on your progress daily.
Lesson Learned: Stop being a bore—instead, be grateful for your blessings.
Ironically, the disadvantages we’ve faced in the past were the ones that helped us develop the mental toughness we need to be a massive success.
© 2014 LaRaeQuy. All rights reserved.
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