The hero mindset. What separates the “hero” from the rest of us? How do you rise above the challenges in life? How do you live a life of purpose? How do you channel your inner superhero? These 4 elements of the hero mindset will help you to grab your cape and make a difference in someone else’s life.
What Does HERO Mean to You?
When I say the word, “HERO,” what comes to mind?
Everyone’s definition is going to be different, and that is ok. There is no judgment here. Many of you will name athletes, rock stars, and actors. Some of you may choose Superman or Spiderman.
I married a Green Beret, so my heroes are the men and women in the military and our first responders. Those who sacrifice their lives to protect and serve. If you ask me who my top 3 heroes are I will give you names like Dick Winters, Mike Durant, and Roger Donlon. I was beyond honored to have met two out of the three. These men are bigger than life and are some of the most humble and kind men you will ever meet.
Just so we’re clear, I’m not trying to compare my life or yours to people like Mother Teresa or Dr. Martin Luther King. The purpose of this article is to share the hero mindset, and what that means to “everyday people” like you and me. And how you can embrace this mindset to rise above the trials and tribulations and challenges in your life to find your fortitude, find your purpose, and serve others.
My Perfect Life
In my late 30’s, I felt like I had “made it.” If you would have asked me at age 30 if I could wave a magic wand and create the perfect life, it wouldn’t have even come close. My life was beyond anything I could have ever imagined.
I was brought in as a Chief of Staff for one of those “3 letter government agencies they make TV shows about.” It was the highest level you could obtain in government service outside of executive management. In fact, Congress had to approve the billet (position) they created for me. It was a huge honor and to top it off, I had an amazing staff to work with.
I was living in sin with my boyfriend, a Green Beret, and his young son. We hadn’t made it official yet, but we were talking about marriage. I had rented out my apartment that I had purchased several years prior. Yes, we were talking marriage, but this single gal was proud that her name was the only one on the mortgage.
I had spent close to 10 years being an elite athlete. I raced in Xterra races, which are off-road triathlons. For several years, I raced on the Marine Corps Mountain Bike Team as their only civilian. I rock climbed. I even took Muay Thai classes.
I was driven. I was successful. I was an overachiever. And I could not have been any happier with my life. Everything was perfect.
God doesn’t give you the storms to drown in. He gives them to you to dance in the rain. He gives them to you so you can see the rainbow when it comes out. He gives them to you so you can appreciate life on the other side.
But it takes going through those storms to understand this.
In 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. On my birthday, no less. Happy freakin birthday to me! I went through surgery, chemo, and radiation.
If cancer wasn’t bad enough, one year later, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an Autoimmune Disease. For me, cancer was an on and off switch. Living with an Autoimmune Disease and subsequent chronic fatigue was unbearable. Every day I would wake up and wonder if I would have enough energy to make it through the day.
Fast forward, to 2017, my health hit a crisis level. My doctors were doing everything they could, but the chronic illness completely took over. I could barely get out of bed. The management at my job had recently changed, and they wanted nothing to do with me being sick. They illegally rescinded my FMLA and blocked any move to transfer. Overnight, I had to make the life-altering decision to leave a 6-figure job and cut our family’s income in half.
I couldn’t function. I couldn’t work. I could barely take care of my family, let alone myself.
I was devastated.
I felt like a failure.
This was officially rock bottom.
At some point during breast cancer treatment, I felt this immense sense of peace come over me. It was like a wave that was drowning me… but in a good way. In a cleansing way. The anger, the resentment, the betrayal, the depression… all went away. I knew that breast cancer was God’s gift to me. In 2010, I had no clue what it meant. But I knew. I knew I was called to something bigger than me. And I knew I was up for the challenge.
Pink Fortitude was born from this pain and this gift.
The storms of Autoimmune Disease were far greater than breast cancer even tried to be. But it didn’t matter because I held firm to the gift. I held firm to the faith that God had a purpose for me. That all of this pain and trauma was God’s gift to me. And that out of the darkness, I was called to share that gift with the world.
We all go through something.
Life isn’t 24/7 rainbows and puppy kisses.
The hard times are inevitable.
So how do you respond?
It’s important to be present and feel those raw emotions when you are going through tough times.
But it’s equally as important to know when to step up, receive your gift, and embrace your inner superhero.
Here’s how to get started.
4 Elements of the Hero Mindset
In times of crisis and trauma, I’ve found that people either run towards faith or run away from it. I’m a Christian, so my faith is very important to me. It’s a grounding that you can’t get any other way. And when I say faith, I’m talking universal faith. So no matter whether your practice is a religion or spiritual, it’s important to connect to that higher power that’s bigger than you are. That higher power that pulls us together and gives us a solid foundation.
It’s easy to ask God, “why me” out of despair and question why you are going through these trials. Instead, turn that question to God, “why me” and ask what His greater purpose is for you.
Why do you want me to go through this?
What is Your greater purpose for my life?
What am I supposed to learn from this situation?
The hero mindset needs to have a solid foundation of faith.
Psst… want to nourish your spirit every day with gratitude, scripture, and affirmations? Click below…
My mother taught me about fortitude. She was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease when she was pregnant with me. Throughout her life, her health continued to worsen but she never let that get the best of her. “It builds fortitude,” she always said. Until her last day, she lived each day to the fullest and was grateful for everything she had, despite knocking on death’s door more often than not.
It’s a mantra that Mamma Fortitude passed along to me, and it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with breast cancer did I fully understand what it meant. It’s finding that inner strength and grit, even during the most difficult of seasons. I’ve since embraced this philosophy so much that I created Pink Fortitude as a platform to help inspire others to find their fortitude.
Fortitude is not just about soldiering on in times of trouble. It’s being full of love and happiness. It’s being grateful for everything you have even in the middle of the storm.
The hero mindset is full of fortitude.
Which brings us to gratitude.
Did you know that practicing gratitude helps to build your fortitude? Science even proves it! It’s a scientific fact that gratitude and negative feelings cannot occupy the same space in your mind.
According to Robbert Emmons, PdD, the world’s leading expert on gratitude, “there’s a number of studies showing that in the face of serious trauma, adversity, and suffering if people have a grateful disposition, they’ll recover more quickly. I believe gratitude gives people a perspective from which they can interpret negative life events and help them guard against post-traumatic stress and lasting anxiety.” The research from Emmons and others confirms that gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression.
Building a gratitude practice fills your hero mindset full of love and joy and thanksgiving.
TAKE THE CHALLENGE (self-guided): Gratitude Builds Fortitude 30-Day Challenge
TAKE THE CHALLENGE (instructor-led video training): Gratitude Builds Fortitude 30-Day Challenge
Imagine…learning gratitude to build your fortitude… in a super simple way! Click below…
What would you do if money were no object and you were guaranteed not to fail? What would you do if you could wave a magic wand and create the life which fulfills your purpose and destiny?
What would that look like?
How is that different than what you are doing today?
What’s the gap between where you are and what you view as your purpose in life?
What is your plan to bridge that gap?
It’s a (not so) subtle shift from doing to being.
Living in your purpose is not to receive applause from others. It’s not about how many social media likes you get.
Think about the firefighter who runs into a burning building to save a family. It’s not for glory. It’s not even because it’s their job. It’s because it’s their purpose. Their calling. While everyone else is running away from the fire, they risk their own lives to run into danger.
BTW – this is just an analogy. I’m not advocating that you drop everything you do and put yourself in danger. But what would it look like when everyone else is on the hamster wheel and instead, you jump off and to become completely centered. That you focus 100% on being the light. That you not only live in this purpose for yourself but give that light to others?
What does that kind of purposeful life look like for you?
The hero mindset is about living in your purpose and sharing that light with others.
Psst… want me to lead you through the Gratitude Builds Fortitude 30-Day Challenge each and every day? Click below to find out how…
Living in your purpose and embracing your inner superhero doesn’t have to be big or grandiose. It’s about being a good example for your children. It’s about helping your neighbor. It’s about living the Golden Rule. It’s about waking up every day and being at peace that you are exactly where you are supposed to be in life.
Are you Inspired?
Be sure to download your FREE Gratitude Tracker and take the challenge!
Love, hugs, and sharing the light.
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