Dysfunction does not have to mean destruction

Dysfunction does not have to mean destruction – in fact it can mean the opposite. We’ve all witnessed the fallout of broken homes, trauma and tragedy – in fact many of you may have experienced some form of this in one way or another yourselves; I know I have.

The struggle that those scars can leave on us can make life that much harder, but it can also make us that much more resilient. For every story of a broken home or tragedy stifling success, there are stories of those very same circumstances producing truly remarkable people, people who overcame their adversities to achieve their dreams, no matter what obstacles were in their way.

What story do you tell yourself? This is the key. Do you dwell on the problems and get mired in the quicksand of regret or do you use your struggles to drive you forward? Our biggest obstacle is not our past, that, after all is been and gone … instead it is ourselves. We all have a story, but it is how we interpret that story that dictates the impact it has on our lives. We can choose to replay the negative parts of our lives until we become so paralysed by fear, that we are unable to move forward, forever trapped. Or we can choose to accept our past and our challenges for what they were and move forwards, recognising that no matter how difficult life has been, we are still here … and today is a new day.

The pent up feelings within you are not invalid – no emotion is ever invalid, but neither is your dream. We all have inner demons, but we can’t let them work us over. Rather, we need to make them work for us. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been big on mantras or affirmations. I’m pretty sure that they work, but I just felt silly saying them, but one got through. In fact, it never left me …

If it’s to be, it’s up to me.

Repeat that. Write it on your hand, do whatever it takes to remember that. Harsh as it sounds, dwelling on things will do you no good in the long run. Your dream, project or goal will not magically work out because you deserve it to, or as some form of poetic justice against those that hurt you – you have to be the one to deliver it. It’s up to you.

Do not belittle or detract from your pain. Rather, try and draw from it. Tell yourself, “I have to get there / do this / write this book because ___.” And there has to be a reason. A dream or goal without a reason will just fade away.

Don’t say your business will never work out, you’ll never make it or that you are better off not trying.

Say it will succeed – because I have put in the time, dedication and research to make it work.

Say I am here – and no matter what happens now, I’ve been through worse and survived.

Say I am going to try even if I fail – I’ve been through too much to not give this my all.

You are not alone in having demons trying to convince you to stay in your comfort zone and do nothing. Everyone has them – in all colours, shapes and sizes.

When you are staring at a blank page, desperately trying to write, and a little voice goes off in your head “You’re never going to make your deadline” just know that almost every best selling author I know, including myself has been there. Many times! It’s moments like those that I think back to challenging times and use that to spur me on, to break down my writers block brick by brick; remembering why this is so important to me.

The best revenge is freedom; financial, emotional, physical and spiritual.

Anger, sadness, loneliness, confusion – can all be demons, but they can also be tools. A canvas, a degree, a badge of honour, the ink to dip your pen. Turn them into the fuel that drives you forward. When you feel as though you are stuck and can’t find a way to move forward, remember those moments in the depths of your despair and remind yourself…

“I’ve got to do this.”

I’d love to know … how have you overcome personal obstacles and turned your inner demons into motivation?