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Some Of The Best Gifts In Life Come Wrapped In Sh*t

confidence disability mindset
photo of wrapped gifts black wrapping paper and gold ribbons

At the age of 22, I sustained a permanent hand/arm disability (read the full story in part 4 of my book Confident As Fu*k) and then 10 years later I suffered from debilitating, mistreated hypothyroidism. Ooooo I was mad! Getting hit with two debilitating physical issues in my life before the age of 35 was not my idea of good luck. I felt cursed. I even wondered if I did something to deserve it. I felt defeated. 

Despite the challenges of my physical issues, they have ultimately led me down a path that I would never want to change. As a result of my experiences, I have become a #1 bestselling author, an award-winning documentary writer, and a world-renowned thyroid expert, helping thousands of people all over the world.

These "tragedies" have also allowed me to live out some of my wildest dreams. I swam with dolphins in Palau, flew in helicopters over Africa with National Geographic filmmakers, and attended the star-studded yacht parties of the Cannes film festival. Through these incredible experiences, I have come to realize that the seemingly "bad" things that happened to me have actually been blessings in disguise and gave me an amazing life.

If I had the choice, I wouldn't change a thing. I would choose the same path again, without hesitation. These experiences have given me a newfound appreciation for life and the resilience to overcome any challenge that comes my way.

One reason why some people can turn major physical challenges into positive experiences is resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult situations, adapt to change, and overcome obstacles. Resilient people can find meaning in their struggles, maintain a positive outlook, and focus on solutions rather than problems.

Another factor that contributes to turning physical challenges into positive experiences is a growth mindset. People with a growth mindset believe that they can learn, grow, and improve, even in the face of adversity. They view challenges as opportunities for learning and development and can see the positive aspects of difficult situations.

Check out some real-world examples of people who have turned physical challenges into positive experiences:

  • Nick Vujicic - Nick was born without arms and legs, but he has turned his physical difference into a platform for motivational speaking and inspiring others. He is the author of several books, a motivational speaker, and the founder of a non-profit organization called Life Without Limbs.
  • Amy Purdy - Amy lost both of her legs below the knee due to meningitis, but she has gone on to become a Paralympic snowboarder, a motivational speaker, and a model. She has also appeared on Dancing with the Stars and is the author of a memoir called On My Own Two Feet.
  • Anthony Robles - Anthony was born with only one leg, but he went on to become an NCAA wrestling champion and motivational speaker. He is the author of a memoir called Unstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated.
  • Stephen Hawking - Stephen was diagnosed with motor neuron disease at the age of 21 and was given only a few years to live, and ultimately lost his ability to speak. He went on to become one of the most renowned physicists of all time, making groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of the universe...using a computerized voice synthesizer that was operated by a device called a "speech-generating computer" or "speech-generating device" (SGD). The SGD was controlled by a switch mounted on Hawking's glasses, which he could move with his cheek muscle. This allowed him to select words and phrases on a screen and then have them spoken aloud by the voice synthesizer. WHAT A BADASS.

These individuals all faced significant physical challenges, but they refused to let those challenges define them. Instead, they have used their experiences to inspire others, achieve their goals, and make a positive impact in the world. And that is exactly what happened to me.

I have seen so many tragedies become the greatest gifts in people’s lives, including my own. We are so quick to judge and define life’s challenges without being open to a different interpretation. In my experience, those answers come much later sometimes.

Give it a damn minute. Be open. Even the seemingly worst scenarios can offer gifts if you are open to it. Or, you can wallow in self-pity and victimhood. Your choice.

About the author:  Elle Russ is a #1 bestselling author, world-renowned thyroid health expert, and master coach. Take her Ultimate Confidence Course HERE

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