What a load of bull 💩!
At least, that is what I used to think before I started on my personal development and entrepreneurship journey. 🤷
Back when I blamed the circumstances of my life for the results I was seeing ... for the parts of my life I didn't like. Back before I really understood what 💯 ownership over all parts of your life meant.
When my first coaches told me that my struggles were my gift, all I heard was "blah, blah, blah." Yeah, easy for you to say, jerk. Your life is easy, mine is hard.
Oh, to be young and silly, and to identify yourself as a victim of your own story. But we do the best that we can at the time with the tools that we have access to.
I look back to those earlier days with love and compassion, and you should too for your own younger days and your most trying moments. 🙏
So yes, your struggles ARE your biggest gift, and it's in your personal battles that your inner strength, your inner warrior is forged. 🔥
Let me tell you a story, a story that when I first heard it stopped me dead in my tracks. I have loved this story ever since. I heard it from a friend but haven't been able to find it anywhere else, so hold on to your hearts and hats because it just might leave an imprint on your life forever as it did mine, and you'll never see turtles quite the same way...
Storytime: The Old Man and the Sea Turtles 🐢
Once upon a time, there was an old man who lived by the sea. We'll call him Oscar for this story. 👴
Oscar loved walking by the ocean, feeling the warm sand underneath his toes, and breathing in the fresh breeze of the sea. 🏖
Oscar had been living in this small sea-side town for years, and his favorite time of the year was when the momma turtles would come out to sea, lay their eggs, and then he'd get to experience the miracle of life when the baby turtle hatchlings would slowly make their way to the sea.
This year, it was hatching time, again and Oscar was sitting in his usual spot watching as the baby turtles popped out of the sand and then slowly, and often with difficulty, made it to the sea. 🐢
On this occasion, a couple, Abdul and Sarah were visiting this quaint sea-side village and they were intrigued when they noticed Oscar sitting on the beach. They walked up to him and asked, "Sir, what are you looking at?"
With a warm feeling in his heart, 💛 Oscar explained that he was witnessing the miracle of life, a journey that he loved to witness every year. The couple smiled and looked on as they noticed the baby turtles slowly making their way to the sea.
Oscar got up and said that he had to go. They said goodbye, and Oscar was on his way and excited to come back tomorrow.
When Oscar arrived the next day, his heart was broken. 💔
There were dead baby sea turtles sprinkled life confetti all over the sand. Oscar's stomach turned, he felt weak in the knees, he found it hard to breathe. What had happened here? Oscar was not able to help himself and he started to weep. Big hot tears streamed down his face. 😪
As he cried, he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. It was Sarah.
"Sir," she asked, "what happened?"
Oscar said, in a broken voice "I don't know, I've never seen anything like this."
Sarah then said, "After you left, Abdul and I helped the baby turtles into the ocean so they would survive. They were struggling so much and we couldn't just stand there and not do anything."
Oscar started crying harder than ever. "Oh no, what have you done, what have you done?" he said as he put his head in his hands and wept. 😪
"What you don't understand is that these baby turtles need to struggle, they only gain their strength to thrive in their life through struggling and making their way with difficulty from their nest to the sea on their own. By taking them straight to the sea, they had no chance. They had no chance to build the strength necessary to thrive in their lives." And Oscar wept even harder.
Just like with baby turtles, we need to understand that our hardest struggles, our challenges, our hardest moments are our warrior training ground. They are not trying to destroy you, they are trying to forge you. Your struggle is your gift.
Challenges, hardships, and struggles are our training to become all that we are meant to-and can- become. Without struggle, effort, and challenge you can't discover what you're made of. And let me tell you you are powerful beyond measure. You are a freaking warrior and you can withstand so much more than you can imagine. 🔥
It is only by allowing yourself to be forged, to grow and learn through the struggle, that you can learn the extent of your might, your strength, your abilities. With each time that you stand strong and persevere you will gain more and more confidence, build up momentum, and know that you really can handle anything that comes your way.
And you can't discover the extent of your strength or even build this strength if you don't have challenges, obstacles, and struggles.
So next time something hard comes up, rather than hanging your head low and feeling defeated, lift your chin, breathe in deep, and know that this is your training ground. This is how you gain your strength. This is how you take your life and business to the next level. It's not testing you, it's making you. 🔥
And remember that you can withstand it all. Just don't ever give up. Believe in yourself, and keep showing up, again, and again, and again. I believe in you, but most importantly, you need to believe in yourself and know that you will not be defeated. You need to know that this is your gift and you will come out stronger on the other side. 🙌
Sending much love,
Working to radically improve the lives of a billion++ people via tech & mindset