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Take Ownership of your life: 10 ways to have more Grace in the Face of Adversity

As transcribed from our EMPOWERED RX PODCAST Episode 23. Please pardon any typos that may have occurred with the conversion of our audio track to text!

Welcome back to Empowered RX! We are the mentorship program that helps women and girls to turn their struggles into strength. Today I'm here to talk to you about grace, resiliency, intuition and tenacity, a compilation of what we at Empowered like to call GRIT.

If we're not the leaders in our own lives, we are not following our authentic path. And we're straying further and further from who we are and who we hope to be. Being a leader in your own life is about staying in integrity with your vision and values. No matter what challenges you face. With self awareness and accountability, you can share the deeper, most authentic parts of yourself with the world. You can stop being fearful of stepping outside of your comfort zone, and you can learn to take risks.

Most women who come to us at Empowered show up burnt-out, exhausted, fearful, and with a low self-esteem. They struggle with past trauma experiences, haunting their every move today. Their body image is low, and they struggle to just know who they are as a person, and how to show up in the world and interact so that they are able to give all their gifts to the world around them.

When most people think of the word "leader," they think about CEOs and bosses. They assume that if they don't have one of these titles, they are followers by default. What we need to do is realize that if we all take ownership of being a leader in our own life, we are capable of fulfilling any role that we wish and fulfilling any dreams that we have. The problem is when we are stuck in a state of disempowerment, we can't even realize or actualize our dreams. Only thing we see in front of us is the self-limiting beliefs that really restricts our ability to think outside the box, and to grow outside of our comfort zone. And that's where the magic happens.

We become leaders in our lives when we remain true to ourselves. And by staying in integrity with our vision, no matter how oppressive our circumstances might get, we have one life to live. And it's our responsibility to make it as meaningful as possible. You can tap into your inner leader any time by taking charge of your life and making choices that support your growth. Any small choice is a step in the right direction. Now, when I went through the traumas that I endured, which I'm not going to talk about in detail today, I felt disempowered, I felt lost. I lost touch of who I was, and I felt like I was too weak to carry on, let alone to take risks or to reach for my dreams. In fact, at some point, I got to the point where I didn't even know what my dreams were anymore.

I spent a decade stuck in a state of disempowerment. I felt like I was wandering around, ricocheting from one thing to the next, trying to make pieces of a puzzle fit that simply wouldn't. It wasn't until I started to take ownership of my own life, I was able to start putting the pieces back together again. Through trial and error, and lots and lots of soul searching, I was able to fight my way out of the dark pit that I was in. And now I'm lucky enough to be able to have a career that I'm passionate about in owning a business that helps you to turn your struggles into strength, and to find the leadership qualities deep within so that you can have everything that you've ever dreamed of and more.

It's no surprise that along with disempowerment often comes mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and other adverse consequences of facing trauma. All of these things contribute to a state of declined health. How are we able to make innovative thinking a priority when we are so tired and exhausted? How are we able to tackle difficult situations and think outside of the box with problem solution and solving if we are so drained from all the stress that we're experiencing as a result of our nervous system being out of control? How are we able to even have the energy to attack our goals if we aren't feeling ourselves?

One of the most important things that any woman can do for her life is to establish healthy living practices and routines that allow her to flourish. One of the first things we'll help you with is establishing a nourishing diet - and I don't mean "diet" as in a restrictive fad program. We teach you about diet culture, so you can break free of the chains that keep you from living your most energized and satisfied life. And so that you can make peace with your body and clear up your mind and your energy to be able to take on more complex ideas.

We live in a society that will make you think that this growth should come easy, or that we should be super productive, or that change can happen overnight. And sadly, it's not going to. When you evolve as a person, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, even health wise, it takes time. It takes two steps forward and sometimes one step back. Sometimes it takes failing altogether to learn a lesson, or to be rerouted on the path we were always meant to walk.

One of the things that we really need to understand is that we have to have a clear vision for our life. To become a true leader of our own life, we have to have a purpose for our being. The vision will guide you towards making the right choices. And your purpose will give you a reason why it's important to chase that vision. They go hand in hand and are equally important when giving your life a deeper meaning. Without a clear vision, you won't have deep meaning or enjoyment or satisfaction in your life. You'll be more easily manipulated by other people, and you will stray further from your true self. Before we know it, we wake up with a job that we hate. We only hope for the weekends. We stop living life because we're so tired, and we don't see a way out we feel stuck.

We also want to learn to become solution oriented. Many of us who are on this path have the superpowers of empathy. But by leading with our emotions all the time, we end up in situations based on fleeting moments of feelings. And we often find that we are not where we want to be. When we become solution oriented, we acknowledge our role in creating the results of our life. We don't waste time on the blame game. We don't indulge in the victim mentality. We're quick to reorient ourselves, we're quick to find a solution. And we're quick to take steps for damage control before we move further. But most importantly, we have a plan in place. We've practiced this plan before with small life changes so that when bigger life changes comes, we are strong and reinforced with the belief that we can make it through anything.

We also take responsibility for every choice that we make every moment of the day. We have the ability to change our minds or to move in a different direction. These decisions will be made from a place of deep self awareness and conscious intention rather than fear. It will be based on mutual respect and equality. And it will be also considerate of what our needs are and our main goals are within the bigger picture.

It's also important to have something that you stand for. If we are rallying for things we don't even believe in, our voice gets lost. Every leader has something that they passionately believe in which they express to the world. It's easy to share ideas with others, but if we are living out of fear, we are not going to be able to do that. And the next big thing is getting a mentor, or support. Becoming a leader in your life does not mean you completely shut yourself off from getting advice from others. Retaining a sense of humility and openness will allow you to experience more; to get more perspective and to launch forward to places you didn't even think imaginable. Without these things, we're going to float aimlessly through life. If we have good intentions, our skills will act as a sail we need to catch the winds of opportunities that will take us towards our vision.

Take a second year reflect. Do you think that you are currently being a leader in your own life? What could you do to reclaim it if you aren't? Our Empower program consists of two phases: the Empower phase and the GRIT Growth phase. When you first enter, we strive to help you come to a state of awareness that allows you to break free from self-limiting beliefs and fears so that you can stabilize your health, heal from trauma and find happiness and stabilization again. After that, you launch into the GRIT Growth Group, which not gonna lie, it can be uncomfortable. So we want to make sure that you're ready to do the dark work, because sometimes it's not always pleasant, and that's okay. That's how we become stronger. When we talk about GRIT, it represents four different words: grace, resilience, intuition and tenacity.

"Grace" basically means a courteous goodwill to do honor, or to credit by one's presence, or simple elegance of refinement with movement. We might have hard times - in fact that's inevitable. We are going to face adversity. We can do so with a bad attitude. We can show up and be defeated and stand in our own way with a victim mentality. Or we can show up to every situation with grace, seeking to understand, to learn and to grow into the best version of ourselves possible, despite what the situation and environment might be at the time, and focus on building resiliency.

"Resiliency" is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, and it's the ability of something to spring back with vigor. Are you resilient? Or are you always exhausted? When stress comes, do you face it? Or do you kind of develop these coping mechanisms that take you further from dealing with whatever you need to deal with to push forward?

We live in a society that diminishes our intuition. We are constantly inundated with ads, media messaging, and influence from people around us. Our "intuition," which is basically the ability to understand something immediately without need for reasoning - it's that deep knowing that washes over us. Without that intuition, we end up making choices based on other people's opinions, motives, that just don't align with our values. And this will lead to discontentment every single time. If we're living in a state of fear, or our nervous system is activated and our window of tolerance is low, then our intuition will be stifled. What exactly is intuition? Well, it's the ability to acquire knowledge without recourse to conscious reasoning. And so the way that I think about this is when people say that they think with their gut, or they just have a feeling that came over, then they just they got a message. They knew something, it was a calm, feeling that washed over them. That's what I'm talking about with intuition. When we live out of fear and anxiety, intuition cannot coexist.

Lastly, we have "tenacity", which is the quality of being able to grip something firmly, or of being very determined. It is the idea of being persistent in the face of adversity. And it means not letting go of who we are as a person, as we face the world. This is one of those things that we can't develop until we've worked through fear and our self-limiting beliefs. If you're interested in understanding yourself and getting to know yourself better, so that you can break through these chains, please reach out to us - that is what we are here for.

I want to go over the word grace, because let me tell you, my idea of what being graceful is has totally evolved and changed over time. When I was little, I tried ballet for a short period of time, and I quickly identified with not being quote unquote, graceful. All the girls around me were moving fluidly across the floor, and floating, and I was tripping over my two left feet. I thought I had no grace. I'm often referred to as "clumsy" - I spill things, I trip, I get injured frequently. But I've learned that there's so much more to grace than how we carry ourselves. Grace, gracious, saying grace, gratitude, giving thanks, all these things are part of finding grace. But they have nothing to do with floating effortlessly across the floor. The biggest thing that I've learned about grace, is that it's what you do with the mess. How do you handle everything when things are falling apart? How do you act towards people? How do you treat people? How do you show your gratitude in the midst of life's challenges? So a lot of people say, "Well, I'm definitely not graceful, I have things go wrong, and I spin like a top. I crash and I burn, or I burn out."

So I want to leave you with

10 ways to find grace in spite of adversity.

The first one is to let others in, let others shine. We don't have to dim our own light, to shine a light on others. When people need or deserve help, or the spotlight shining on them, it can feel so good to help other people realize their own potential.

The second one: owning our mistakes. If we're not able to take a look at ourselves and reflect, we're not going to be able to evolve into the best version of ourselves. We need to be able to look at what we could have done differently or better so that we can refocus. And we can change and move forward in a way that aligns with what we really want and who we really are.

Third: showing gratitude. When you look around, take a notice of the people around you. Be grateful for them in the role that they play in your life. And then notice all the small things that you have on a daily basis that others are not so fortunate to have. When we're able to realize everything that we do have, those small challenges become something positive and helpful for us to grow, rather than inconveniences or barriers.

This one is a big one. Now our fourth way to embrace grace. Oops, that rhymes. To accept imperfection - not only in other people, but in ourselves. In fact, if we can't embrace imperfection in ourselves first, we likely will not truly be able to accept it or embrace it in others. And I'm telling you, this is the key to all relationships: to embrace imperfection.

Number five is self care. Physical, emotional health, well being; if we do not have self care or a high state of health, we will have nothing to be able to give to others. We will be pouring from an empty cup, we will be constantly trying to play a game of catch up, and we will always be in a state of distress. Without health, grace eludes us.

Number six: knowing our reactions are more important than what happens to us. And I will admit, this is a hard one for me. I am a very reactive person. Lots of people say you can read emotions all over my face. Even though I like to think that that's not true, it probably is. How I react and show up to challenges is going to make or break how my life moves forward. Knowing our reactions is so much more important than what happens to us. Having a temper tantrum will spike our stress levels and blood pressure. And it really won't change the situation. In fact, it probably will make it worse. If we can remain calm in spite of what happens within reason, we will allow ourselves to conserve energy, and have a clear head for making necessary changes instead of futile responses.

Number seven: to have grace, we need to be kind. This includes basic manners, but it also includes leading with your heart. Hold the door for the person behind you, lend a helping hand, help the older woman in the grocery store put away her groceries. It's al basic stuff and it only takes a few extra seconds. But when we are caught up in our own fast paced lives, we are failing to be able to make these connections, and this is a small and simple way to find grace in every day.

Number eight: refrain from blaming others. And this is another one of those victim mentality things. There are times that it's justified; there are some circumstances that are clearly right and wrong, black and white. But it usually takes two to tango. And it's really important to see how we've contributed. In most circumstances, we have truly contributed. Whether it's with a spouse, a friend, a work situation, we need to strive to refrain from blaming others. We need to seek to understand, and we need to be able to take responsibility and ownership for how we show up in the world. Now, I'm not saying that you need to not blame other people for crimes, or for heinous actions that are committed. Those are clearly right and wrong situations. I'm talking about the small nuances of relationships though, that occur on a daily basis.

Number nine, and this is one of the most hard ones for all of our clients. I think maybe maybe the most hard. Most of our clients that come to us at Empowered are selfless. They are kind, they give, they give without thought. And this can actually be to our detriment; it creates codependent qualities that put us last, and they exhaust us. So we encourage you to be selfish, in a humility based way. It's the same concept of putting on your oxygen mask before worrying about someone else's. It might sound counterintuitive, but if we don't take care of ourselves, how can we truly take care of anyone else? It's almost like creating a grace, or space reservoir. By being selfish and prioritizing self care, we create energy to be able to give to other people. And we also come energized, and fully present ourselves.

Number 10: don't sweat the small stuff. Life is messy. Change is inevitable. Failure is imminent. It's how we clean up the mess or how we rebound from that failure that really counts. We can embody grace in the face of adversity in so many different ways. If we can remain graceful in spite of life's challenges, then we can get by with very little. We might be a little clumsy, but we're still graceful. And if we're not we can always find it with practice.

Keep an eye out for the rest of our mini series here about GRIT. Our next mini series episode will be about building resiliency, and it's not going to be what you think it is. So keep an eye out for that podcast, we'll be releasing it in the next week or two. And I'm telling you, you have to start changing the way that you think about bouncing back or approaching situations. It starts with us. It's not about what's going on around us. It's about what's going on within us.

All right, you guys if you have any questions, please reach out to if you're interested in being a part of our Empowered RX community. you can find us on Women's Growth Group in the Facebook world. Or if you want to be part of our mentorship small group program, you can reach out to our website and book a discovery call for free. Don't forget to head on over to our website, and subscribe to our newsletter so you can get free resources and blog posts. Alright guys have an amazing day. And don't forget small daily practices to reinforce grace.

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