Regardless of how you thought this year was going to go, I’m sure you’ve faced some unexpected challenges. Obstacles are part of life, so it’s important to have a game-plan in place before a tough situation presents itself. Be prepared so that you don’t get knocked off the path to your goals.

Roman philosopher Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Succeeding through both opportunities and obstacles requires the same thing: preparation. I’ve developed a process called “The Progress Formula.” It exists to help you respond productively, progress beyond your obstacles, and feel better while doing so. I go into greater detail about the process in my live seminars, and I want to give you the tools to get started here.

It’s not enough to simply recognize and tackle the challenge in your life. You have to take practical steps to rise above it!

After all, if you’re here, I know that you are ready to walk away from your past self and pursue who you want to become.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to turning any challenge into an opportunity to grow and rise above.

1. Be grateful for everything that shows up in your life, including the uncomfortable stuff.

In other words, be present and actively look for the good in all situations. We are often so distracted by the issues and obstacles in our outer environment that we forget about our inner environment. We forget to take each moment as it comes.

Active gratitude requires being present. When we are distracted by outer stress, we forget to breathe, be still, and connect to our inner selves, our creator, spirit.

Being present gives you the wisdom to recognize your issues for what they are: just issues.

They don’t define you. They don’t make or break you. They’re just issues.

Focus on how you respond to situations. Train yourself to recognize your own emotions, be fully present in the moment, and find a way to be grateful for that present moment. Accept each moment, the good and bad, and be grateful for the opportunity to move beyond it, or pass through it, or grow from it. When you are sincerely grateful, you make that connection with Spirit, and you tap into your inner strength and power. Opportunities are a chance to grow, and so are obstacles. Always be grateful for the opportunity to become your best self.

2. Develop a healthy & strong self-image.

You have the ability to create a greater version of yourself. You may have been to prison, but that doesn’t mean you are “the prisoner.” You may have been abused, but that doesn’t mean you are now “the victim.” You may be forced to deal with a physical challenge, but that doesn’t mean your identity is “handicapped” or “disabled.” No! Start seeing yourself as a future CEO or entrepreneur; or look at yourself as a thriving, beautiful person, capable of big things. See yourself as confident and capable, regardless of your difficulties. Begin to define your self-image by who you are and who you plan to become.

You are God’s greatest creation.
Humans are the highest form of creation on this planet, and that includes you.
You are made in the likeness of God.
You have the ability to think and create.

Regardless of your current self-image, know that you can become a more powerful version of yourself.

You’re not restricted by your physical limitations— you’re only limited by the limitations you placed on your own mind. True progress requires a healthy, strong self-image!

3. Think beyond the obstacle.

Don’t make getting over the obstacle your goal! In martial arts, they teach you to break a board. But they don’t tell you to shoot for breaking the board itself. If you only focus on the board, you will break your hand. Instead, they teach that the trick to breaking the board is to aim beyond the board.

What do you want that’s beyond your obstacle? What’s the reward after challenge? What kind of life would make you feel delighted to wake up each morning? Focus on that.

There you have it. The first three steps of the Progress Formula are crucial to preparing your mindset for any challenge (or opportunity!) that comes your way.

Be grateful for the gifts of each moment, strengthen your self-image, and think beyond each obstacle that comes your way.

A daily discipline of gratitude and mental strength will propel you toward the life you want to lead. Remember: the responsibility is yours. Start training your mind and attitude today.

To your Game Changing Success,