Although everyone experiences challenges and problems in this present world, one has to make a decision whether he or she will allow those challenges and problems to defeat him or her. Life will continue to present one challenge, one problem, after another; this is an unavoidable fact of life. Understanding this reality, it’s unacceptable to perceive every challenge or problem that emerges as a crisis. You can talk about “you don’t know my story” and “you don’t know the things I’ve gone through,” but, at some point, you must be frank with yourself: these statements have become self-defeating crutches. By no means am I lacking empathy and undervaluing “your story” and the “things you’ve gone through.” Here’s my question: when are you going to stop using your past in ways that inhibit your growth?
And I mean true growth.
Growth is not waking up one morning with optimism and the next with pessimism; optimism the following morning and pessimism the next—a truly depressing vicious cycle. Real growth begins when you truly start holding yourself accountable for your part in why you’re not progressing and your part in why you’re breaking or broken. Stop focusing on what others are and aren’t doing to and for you. Just concentrate on what you need to heal and grow. In fact, authentic self-care commences when one discontinues investing time in critiquing others and invests more time in developing an indomitable spirit.
How are you engaging in authentic self-care and you’re worried about everyone else? Worried about what everyone else is or isn’t doing to and for you. That’s not self-care—that’s being undisciplined.
You know you’re on a path to developing an indomitable spirit when you no longer feel it necessary to concern yourself with how others are doing and have done you wrong. One gives himself or herself a chance to operate with an indomitable spirit when he or she takes ownership of what is necessary to own, and when he or she focuses on what is essential to be the best version of himself or herself and what is essential to achieve one’s dreams and aspirations.
If everything defeats you, if every challenge or problem overwhelms you, then you’re going to have to face a harsh truth: you’re going to continue to operate with a defeated spirit until you’ve truly had enough of it.
One of the most effective ways of overcoming a defeated spirit is to first acknowledge that you have one, and then start living a life of real gratitude. Living a life of true gratitude begins by appreciating every moment and finding the goodness in every moment. An indomitable spirit is rooted in gratitude. When certain thoughts arise and when you start to make certain comments, ask yourself a critical question: are these thoughts and/or comments rooted in gratitude?
Liberate yourself from a defeated spirit by resolving to live a life centered on gratitude. When you’re intentional about living a life centered on gratitude, you’re well on your way to an indomitable spirit.
Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison