Every day we wake up we are faced with choices, bombarded with facts and scared witless with predictions. It’s not easy to stay true to our commitments, our vision and our dreams. We have the voices from our past reminding us just how ridiculously we failed or how badly we handled an opportunity or how right our mother was when she said, “it will end in tears.”

However, every morning we wake up, there is ONE thing, which more often than not, we fail to grasp…we have a BLANK CANVAS! Dawn has broken on a day where no one has yet spoken, no right or wrong action has been taken and no dream has yet been shattered. So….what will it be then? How do we win this? How do we stop the slippery slide downwards into continuous gloom, depression, misgivings and that recurring story in our heads?…

We have got to re-write our own story. No one is going to do it for us. We have got to decide that this is a new day (and you are allowed to stop at ANY time in any day…its just easier to do it first thing) before everything else comes crowding in. So, like I said… you STOP. You might have to shout out loud to yourself to make yourself listen because, if you’re not prepared to listen to yourself why should anyone else?

Also, it is a fact that you cannot think a negative thought and speak a positive or uplifting statement at the same time. So here’s the strategy…we are going to drown those negative thoughts with positive words. I suggest you grab an inspirational Book. My first morning book is the Bible and I go to the verses that tell me how amazing I am and all Gods promises for my life. Yours might be a self-help book or a motivational piece. Whatever your go to for inspiration, please GO TO IT FIRST THING!

I suggest you read it out loud to drown out negative thoughts!

The next thing I suggest is that you remind yourself of the past….”what??? I thought that’s the worst thing to do Bernie”, I can hear you say. But…here’s the thing….it’s not remembering the past that is the problem…its HOW we remember it.

What do I mean? Ok so you had a bad experience and you lost everything. Maybe someone was dishonest and betrayed your trust. Now I do not know your particular story and some situations may still be ongoing whilst some are long gone. I’m talking about the long gone situations. The ones gone long enough for you to look back and think, “wow! I remember when I thought I could never get over this loss….now I’m glad its gone as I could not have done x or y or met him or her”. Can anyone relate? Start rewriting your story to yourself HIGHLIGHTING the overcoming bit. Recount how you won in the end. Celebrate your strength and the fact that you are still here!

Another incredible way to feel positive and develop winning attitudes is to be an encourager yourself. Can you effectively cheer up someone else, give them hope and pass on motivational advice and still remain sad yourself? …Impossible! So how about taking the focus off ourselves. Let’s forget for a minute what we want, what we do not have and what they did to us. Then ask yourself, ” I wonder how x or y are doing? He or she did mention they were struggling recently. Let me see if I can introduce them to someone to help their business grow. Maybe I could write them a review on social media or just reach out and say I’m here for a coffee if you need me! I guarantee you that if you practice these ways of being you will be surprised how quickly you start to have a renewed hope and direction.

On another note, a sure fire way to ignite inner strength and a sense of purpose, is to have a clearly defined hope and vision. You encourage yourself by looking at how many challenges you have risen above and then you focus yourself by fixing your sight unwaveringly in the direction of your dreams.

Now, in order to focus your mind, you have got to write the vision down! Get a Vision board going if you’re more visual. Otherwise, get those dreams out of your head and into clear structured written, plan with short term and attainable bite size goals.

And finally…get some tried and tested old friends involved in your journey. Wisely share and set up accountability partners. Offer to be one for others. There is the old saying “theres safety in numbers”…there is also STRENGTH in numbers. It is good to be at peace in our own company and to be comfortable with solitude. However, self-isolation is unhealthy, crippling and diminishes us.

My friends, I know I have shared quite a bit and I might seem like I believe I have all the answers…honestly, I do not. But what I do have is a resume that reads of countless losses, challenges, setbacks and grief. I have fallen and gotten up countless times and therefore I am confident that I am supremely qualified to share some tips on developing inner strength to win in life! Until next time….Walk good!