“It took seven hospitals in four states and my brother’s kidney in order to save my life, plus massive trauma, permanent disability, and having to sell my company because I could no longer do what I was doing before. And yet I’m happier now than I’ve ever been.” — Elisha Hayes
Welcome back to the Steve Show! Choosing gratitude has the power to completely transform our businesses and lives, but it isn’t always easy! Today, Elisha Hayes joins us to prove that we can cultivate gratitude in even the most painful situations and create freedom as a result.
Elisha’s life completely changed after being hit by a semi truck at 65mph…as a pedestrian! In her words, “it took seven hospitals in four states and my brother’s kidney in order to save my life, plus massive trauma, permanent disability, and having to sell my company because I could no longer do what I was doing before. And yet I’m happier now than I’ve ever been.”
Elisha’s ability to choose gratitude helped her turn a traumatic experience into an opportunity to redesign her life, and her tips will help you find the positive in whatever hardships life throws your way..
The First Step: OWN Your Pain To Transform It
Self-pity is like a wound. If you don’t acknowledge or care for it, it will fester. Elisha explains that the common habit of refusing to really look at our own wallowing is what keeps us immobilized by pain. Experiencing negative thoughts in response to a difficult situation is normal. However, refusing to recognize our negative patterns can lead to blaming external factors for our pain instead of owning it . Once we descend into blame and negativity, we lose our gift for gratitude and the freedom of choice it brings us.
Elisha’s solution? Throw a pity party! And not a figurative one – a real party with a cake and all the trimmings. Use that allotted time to totally feel sorry for yourself. Cry, scream, or have a full tantrum if you have to…and do it without self-judgement. The sense of mental clarity and forward momentum gained after a ‘pity purge’ is the fuel you need to move forward with gratitude!
Fix Your Focus Going Forward
What we focus on, we feel. ..and when we’re having a hard time, it takes concentrated effort to focus on the bright side. Elisha suggests this exercise to build your ‘gratitude muscle’: when things feel like they’re falling apart, challenge yourself to see what might be perfectly falling into place . For example, Elisha had been journaling just a few months before her accident about how she couldn’t handle her workload anymore. She wanted that ‘out’, that freedom…but couldn’t figure out how to make an exit. After her accident, she chose to focus on how the traumatic event allowed her to redesign her life, something she truly had been hoping for. By shifting her focus on what had been falling into place, she empowered herself to move forward in gratitude.
Follow Elisha’s tips for growing in gratitude, and you’ll be ready to thrive in any situation life throws your way! Share your favorite gratitude exercises in the comments below or let us what you’re thankful for today. As always, we’re here to show support and answer your questions – we read and respond to every one!
As always, until we meet again…
Choose Gratitude Create Freedom