Charles R. Swindoll once said, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” This quote highlights the power of resilience in the face of adversity. Life can be unpredictable, and sometimes we’re faced with challenges that feel insurmountable. But it’s our reaction to those challenges that determines whether we thrive or crumble.
This is the power of the GOLDEN formula. The GOLDEN formula is a powerful tool for navigating difficult times, with resilience and empowerment.
Each letter in the GOLDEN formula represents an important step to follow:
Grieve any losses or setbacks
Observe what has worked in the past
Love and care for ourselves
Determine our purpose and motivations
Enjoy the process of growth and learning
Know our own worth
By following these steps, we can move through even the toughest moments of adversity with grace and strength and live a Gold Medal Life.
In the previous blog post, we talked about giving yourself space to grieve and how it can help you move through tough times. Now, we’re going to explore the O in GOLDEN formula which stands for “Observe what has worked in the past”.
Losing Identity After a Life-Altering Event
When life throws you a curveball, it’s easy to lose yourself. If your story is anything like mine, sometimes your new normal is unrecognizable, and all your past identities may not ring true for you anymore. When I lost my leg to cancer, I lost way more than my limb. I lost my whole sense of self.
Before my cancer diagnosis, I was a level 8 gymnast, and I was gearing up for level 9 with my sights set on becoming one of the top NCAA gymnasts in the nation. Saying gymnastics was my life is an understatement; it was my entire identity.
When I lost my leg, I lost my life as I knew it. I didn’t know who I was anymore, which made moving forward in this new body and new life nearly impossible. At 14, I lost my life, and at 15, I had to figure out which new life to begin.
Looking back, I realize that a lot of the uncertainty and pain could have been avoided if I had understood who I was as a competitive gymnast beyond the label.
James Clear explains this in his book, Atomic Habits: “The more you let a single belief define you, the less capable you are of adapting when life challenges you.”
Observing What Worked in The Past
Observing what works is all about defining your values, identities, what you like, what worked for your success in the past, and simply a deeper understanding of self.
Even if you haven’t experienced a life-altering event, understanding where you’ve been, who you are, and the skills, values, and tools that you have will allow you to become a person who flows through life’s challenges. The practice may help you avoid identity crises when life-altering experiences present themselves.
When it comes to reinventing your life after a life-changing event, you don’t have to fully reinvent yourself. In many ways, it’s simply a change of perspective. Even though I lost gymnastics and my identities as a gymnast, there were more parts to me than just gymnastics, I just needed to define it.
Defining Identity Beyond External Labels
I had to define what it meant to be a gymnast (to me), I had to develop a well-rounded view of my values, identities, likes, and dislikes beyond external labels:
- I love to challenge myself and my body.
- I am mentally tough.
- I crave adrenaline.
- I push myself for more even when I can’t see the possibilities and limits of what I can do.
- I am driven.
- I am an athlete, in any regard.
- I am a hard worker.
- I AM SO MUCH MORE THAN MY ABILITY TO USE MY BODY
Transitioning to a New Reality
When it came to putting my life back on track after cancer, I knew I could always come back to athletics, whatever that looked like in my new reality. I began searching for sports that aligned with what I loved about gymnastics and the person I was through gymnastics.
I tried swimming, running, tennis, and a couple of other traditional disability sports, but none of them provided me with the same motivation and love that gymnastics did. Then I tried snowboarding, and all of my boxes were checked. I could continue the identities, values, and beliefs I carried with gymnastics into snowboarding.
This provided an easy transition not only athletically, but also mentally. I felt at home in this new body and in this new life with snowboarding. For the first time since cancer, I felt like my old self, the Brenna I fought so hard to remain after my diagnosis.
Finding your values around your identity doesn’t just come to you. You have to search for them. You have to dig into the hard parts of life and really think about who you are and who you want to be. Like most life-changing lessons, I had to break before I could piece a new life together.
So how does this help you? It’s time to take a look at who you are, your values, and how you define yourself.
Applying Observations to Various Life Situations
I understand that it can be difficult to see how this could apply to your life. Often, we struggle to see areas of improvement in our lives because we are too close to the circumstance to see it clearly.
Here is how Observing what worked in the past can be applied to various life situations:
Relationships: In relationships, observing what worked in the past can help you identify the traits and behaviors that contribute to a healthy and fulfilling partnership. For example, if you’ve had successful relationships in the past, reflect on the qualities your partner possessed and the actions you took to maintain the relationship. Apply those same principles to your current relationship to help it thrive.
Career:When it comes to your career, reflecting on past experiences can help you make better decisions about your future. Consider the job positions you’ve held and the skills you’ve acquired. Look for patterns in the types of work you enjoyed and excelled at, and seek out opportunities that align with those strengths.
Health: Observing what worked in the past can also be applied to your health. If you’ve successfully reached a health or fitness goal in the past, reflect on the strategies that worked for you. Were you consistent with your workouts? Did you eat a balanced diet? Was there a specific belief about yourself or a purpose driven goal? By identifying what worked in the past, you can apply those same principles to help you achieve your current health goals.
Personal growth: Personal growth is a lifelong journey, and reflecting on past experiences can help you continue to grow and evolve. Think about the challenges you’ve faced and the lessons you’ve learned. Consider how those experiences have shaped you into the person you are today, and use that knowledge to continue to learn, grow, and improve.
The Power Observing What Worked in Your Past in The Face Of in Adversity
Observing what worked in the past can be a valuable tool when it comes to making decisions or solving problems in various life situations. By reflecting on past experiences, you can identify patterns and behaviors that led to successful outcomes and apply them to current situations. What you may also find is some of those past identities no longer serve you. Maybe the life altering experience is an opportunity to shed parts of yourself you’ve been ready to leave behind. Sometimes adversity is an opportunity to have a new beginning you’ve been desiring.
By defining your values, identities, what you like, and what worked for your success in the past, you gain a deeper understanding of self, which is essential to overcoming adversity.
You Don’t Have To Go At It Alone
If you’re feeling a little lost in defining your values and could use some extra resources and support, I highly recommend downloading my Living on Purpose Workbook – it’s completely free! With this guide in hand, I’ll walk you through the process of defining your values with ease.
And if you’re still in need of some guidance and support after working through the workbook, don’t hesitate to schedule a complimentary clarity call with me. As your coach, I’ll be here to help guide you in reinventing your life and creating the purpose-driven existence you truly deserve.
In conclusion, observing what has worked in the past is a crucial step in navigating tough times with resilience and empowerment. Knowing yourself on a deeper level, defining your values and identities, and understanding your skills, values, and tools will allow you to become a person who flows through life’s challenges. Even if you haven’t experienced a life-altering event, understanding who you are will help you avoid identity crises when life-changing experiences present themselves.
By defining your values, beliefs, and what matters most to you, you can create a strong sense of self and move through the toughest battles life throws at you with more ease. Remember, the GOLDEN formula is a powerful tool for navigating difficult times, and by following each step, you can live a Gold Medal Life. In the next post we will dive into the L: Loving and caring for yourself
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