Guest blogger Heather O’Brien Walker is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and coach who empowers women by helping them expand all positive things in their life while minimizing perceived challenges. Her book, “Don’t Give Up, Get UP!” has received endorsements from jack Canfield (Chicken Soup For The Soul Series), Les Brown (World’s Greatest Motivational Speaker), Olympic athletes and more. Visit www.heatherobrienwalker.com to learn more about Heather.
You are sitting there reading my words and wherever you are, the beginning, middle or end of your challenge, I want you to know you are not alone. I too have faced frightening words from the mouth of a doctor as he moved to his next patient. I had to let the diagnosis settle in. Believe me, as someone who has had every dream and physical ability stripped from her in the blink of an eye, you are stronger than you think you and you can make it to the other side of your challenge.
You ask, how do I get to that other side and look back on this experience as I go on down the road of life? Let me share with you one of the most valuable lessons I have learned after sustaining two brain injuries in less than 40 days. The injury left me like an infant but in a woman’s body. I was unable to walk, talk, process information or take care of my own basic needs. When you are in a situation where you must be dependent on others, it’s important to respond quickly by calling out to your support network as soon as possible and ask for help! I call this process: “calling on the troops”.
I recognize that some of us are private and don’t want everyone to know what is going on in our lives and especially don’t want others talking about our personal business. Also, I know that asking for help can make you feel weak or incapable of handling life. It’s a normal tendency to feel this way. Is your natural instinct to face these situations like Goliath facing the Giant or crawl in a hole and pull dirt after you? After all, your parents and family always taught you that this is “bootstrap operation” and you need to find the strength to tackle whatever comes your way alone. The other coping mechanism commonly used is to completely shut down and hope that the storm passes quickly.
I can tell you that this line of thinking is the fastest way to have this THING (what you are facing at the moment) completely take over your life. It takes a village to raise a child and it take an army to take down a challenge. You need to reach out and ask for help. Even better is to actually help someone else by being a positive influence on them. Yes, I absolutely mean that- while you are down and out try helping someone else. I know the idea might seems a bit crazy but it may be SO crazy that it actually works.
Think of the last time you held the door for someone, smiled at a stranger or sincerely thanked someone for their service. How did it make you feel? Pretty good, I’ll bet! That is what I refer to as being HELPful, full of Hope, Encouragement, Love and Positivity. There is no better way to get you back on track again when you are overwhelmed with worry and fear. Honestly, I have not found a better way to reconnect with my own power to face challenges. At the point where I was unable to touch my own nose, I was still able to share a smile with my nurse or hold the hand of my friend while listening to her describe what she was going through. Through these small acts of kindness, I began to heal and find strength to face my own challenge
Being HELPful will put you back in touch with your own personal power and better fuel you to face your challenge. In addition, you will continually be building your support network. As a result, when the next challenge comes your way you will have plenty of people to call on to HELP you!
Heather O’Brien Walker