by Cheryl Hunter, Life Coach Los Angeles and New York —
Are you stuck? Does it seem like you’re in a rut?
Do you feel frustrated knowing that there is so much more you could be doing with your life? Do you ever find yourself asking, “How did I get here?” or even, “Is this as good as it gets?” Have you ever found yourself watching on as others with less talent and ability seem to get all the lucky breaks and succeed when you don’t?
If any of this sounds familiar, you’re in the right place. And you’re not alone. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. I’m here to help.
Let’s face it …
Sometimes life knocks you down, and it’s hard to get up.
In coaching over a quarter million people over the past couple of decades I’ve learned that is the number one thing that gets people stuck: we get knocked down and don’t get back up again. The crazy thing? Often times we don’t even see it as it’s happening! One day we just wake up and feel like we’ve lost our mojo; we’ve lost our passion; we’ve lost ourselves.
Can you relate?
Occasionally, even if you consider yourself a positive person, you can get overcome with remorse, regret, sadness, upset, anger, and depression over the things which have happened to you in the past. From time to time, we all deal with more than we think we can handle. When that happens, it’s not uncommon to feel helpless and overwhelmed.
If you’ve ever felt that way, you’re not alone. I’ve gone through hell, too.
When I was a teenager, I was abducted by two criminals who held me captive, then eventually left me for dead. Afterward, once I was free, I became frustrated and confused. I thought to myself, “I should be happy! I’m free and safe now, and I can do whatever I want with my life from here on out.” Unfortunately, happiness was the furthest thing from what I was experiencing. As a matter of fact, I felt more captive than ever.
That insight was the turning point for me, so I set out to find true freedom – freedom that no one and nothing could take away. What I learned in the process is that I wasn’t feeling stuck and captive just because I had once been held against my will; no, I learned that captivity is a part of the human condition.
I made a U-turn with my life, and found freedom at last. In the process, I realized I was not alone—each of us faces circumstances we would never have chosen for ourselves, and most of us are unprepared to recover when that happens. We get knocked down, and often don’t ever get back up again. I had to figure out a way to help others become resilient and break free using what I had learned, so I set out to crack the code.
After years of research, analysis, and leading personal and professional development programs to over a quarter million people, I designed an educational model that can help anyone overcome adversity. In this book, I’m sharing some of the most important points of that education with you, so that you can get back up when life knocks you down.
So if you’ve gotten stuck by anything that’s ever happened to you, it’s time to take back the reins, wave goodbye to all of that BS, and learn to bounce.
Are you ready?
Good. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Enough settling. Enough “getting by”. Enough remembering your glory days like they’re a thing of the past.
Now is your time. This is your turn. Fulfilling your destiny truly is a now or never proposition.
I want to discuss with you about a radical new way to look at challenges.
Generally we look at challenges, change, and adversity from this mindset: we hope that when we face them, we can muster enough willpower and internal fortitude to bounce back, and not be worse for having undergone the struggle.
I assert that is a worn-out old relationship to problems … one that we should leave in the past.
Bouncing BACK flies in the face of all I’ve learned over the past twenty years: namely that those who dedicate themselves in the midst of challenges can emerge even better on the other side.
The whole notion of “bouncing back” is centered around getting back to normal as soon as possible, but once you’ve undergone a challenge it changes you, so there really is no going back. So why focus on bouncing back when we can bounce forward instead?
Bouncing forward is about emerging on the other side of challenges on an even better path, and as an even better person than you were before facing the challenge.
In my book GET UNSTUCK, I break down seven surefire steps to help you break free when you are stuck in the thick of it. As my gift to you, you can download GET UNSTUCK for free at the bottom of this blog post.
Today I want to give one more step to get unstuck, using the radical concept of bouncing forward.
Here’s how. In order to do this exercise, you’ll need to choose a challenge that you’re facing right now. Right down a description of the challenge at the top of a piece of paper, or a new document on your computer, tablet, or phone.
(I’m not kidding; seriously, go grab yourself a pen and paper and do the exercise as it’s designed. Don’t just skim through it; that’ll make no difference. Invest your time and energy in yourself for a few minutes.)
Now imagine that there was a way that going through this challenge could benefit you. I fully understand that you may never have looked at it from this perspective before. I also understand that you might be going through something horrendous or tragic where it seems like no good could ever come out of the situation. I am sensitive to that, and I don’t take it for granted.
This is not easy work, but if you’re willing to dig in for a moment and be with the discomfort, I can promise you that it can open up your eyes to see things in a new way.
Even if there seems like there could be nothing good that could come of this, just spitball for a moment and make a list of things … no matter how far-fetched they might seem.
One of my clients was a senior executive of a large multinational tech company. After the company was acquired by a larger corporation, my client was let go. She was shocked and felt betrayed; she’d been one of the executives who had orchestrated the take over, and she thought her time in the sun was just starting.
I gave her this assignment, and she just shook her head, saying, “There’s absolutely nothing good that could come out of this situation.” I asked her to try the assignment anyway.
Two weeks later she breezed into our next session looking like a new woman. “I’m going to do it!” she exclaimed proudly, “I am finally going to start my own consulting firm.” She’d spoken about wanting to do that for the entire year we’d been working together, but she’d never been able to take the leap because she was so maxed out with her previous career. The best part of all was that she and her son had “the deepest conversation ever” and the two of them had re-connected in a way she had feared would never happen. “I thought I’d lost him, but really, he’d lost me,” she said. “Thank God I was fired. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Are you starting to see that there may be more than meets the eye? That this exercise may have something for you? Look again, and list something new … something you may not have thought of yet.
You may not have known my story before today. I grew up in the remote mountains of Colorado. As a girl, I had longed to move to the city, meet fascinating people from different backgrounds, and make some difference with my life. I traveled overseas on vacation as a teenager, then I was abducted by two criminals as I mentioned earlier. After that happened, I felt like my life was over … and my dreams had gone down the toilet along with it.
In the process of trying to get my life back, I read inspiring stories of people who became stronger and better for having endured challenges—people like Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Viktor Frankl—and I started to realize that I could be better for having endured what I endured.
Today I have a life I love; I split my time between Colorado and the big city; I meet fascinating people from different backgrounds, and I blessed to make difference for people.
None of that ever would have happened if I hadn’t endured the challenge I endured.
What about you? How can you bounce forward because of the challenge you’re facing?
Bring to mind someone you know who faced a challenge and bounced forward. It can be someone big like Martin Luther King, Jr., or it can be a neighbor or a family member. Just bring someone to mind.
Now imagine yourself doing the same thing. See yourself on the other side of the challenge, and see your life taking this huge swing upward because of facing the challenge you faced.
Now emblazon that on your mind, so that vision is what you think of when you think of the challenge you’re facing right now.
If there’s one thing I know for certain, it’s that you can get unstuck. I’ve helped thousands upon thousands of people do just that.
So download GET UNSTUCK right here as my gift to you, and get out there and live the life you were born to live!
Go get ‘em!
Cheryl Hunter — bestselling author and founder of The Hunter Group, a high-performance coaching and consulting company which helps people and organizations be their most potent and resilient. News sources such as CNN and Headline News call upon Cheryl to provide expert commentary on resilience for their audience. Cheryl never set out to be an expert in resilience, but while traveling abroad as a teenager, she was abducted and eventually left for dead by two criminals who promised to make her a model. Once she was free, Cheryl became a model anyway. By the time she was 23, she had lived in seven countries, had been featured in every major magazine franchise, and she was the world-wide Coca-Cola girl. In response to adversity, Cheryl learned how to rise. She codified the process, creating an educational framework that anyone can use to do the same. Her framework, which is at the core of the work that The Hunter Group offers, has been profiled by Forbes Magazine, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, and is highlighted in her four TED talks. Cheryl’s training has helped over a quarter million people learn to be successful, self-confident, and happy, no matter what comes their way. Forbes Magazine named Cheryl one of their top four “favorite TED speakers,” adding that Cheryl has, “something very important to teach – about life, love, empathy and reaching your fullest potential on this planet.”