Welcome to 2nd Act Story with Colleen Hierath!
My life took a dramatic turn as a result of a car accident that left my body battered and brain scrambled; I was unwilling to accept these circumstances. I survived death 3 times; multiple surgeries and a coma and I felt that I could rally back somehow, some way to my old life. I relearned how to talk, walk, write, and live once again. I fought hard to get my life back. I was determined to reclaim my mind, body, spirit and happiness!
The journey was long and arduous but with grit and grace I restarted my Employment Recruiting and Career Counselling business, was National Sales Director of a Women’s Clothing Company, Managing Director of a business women’s networking franchise, wrote the book “Breathe, How I trained myself back to life” and launched my 2nd Act Story speaking and training company. Today I share my story of reinvention and transformation so that people and companies can be inspired to have an amazing second act!
Resistance outwits the amateur by using their own enthusiasm against themselves. Resistance tempts the amateur to dive into projects with over-ambitiousness and unrealistic timetables. Resistance seduces the amateur and knows that they can not sustain that level of intensity and will burn out. Resistance will assume any form to keep amateurs from doing their work. Resistance has no conscience; it thrives on mediocrity and self doubt.
The professional outwits resistance with patience, order, practice, focus, energy and concentrates on preparation at the deepest level. The pro does their work out of love. Loving the work/art/calling or enterprise, turns a hard day’s work into purposeful satisfaction. This is what shifts the odds of success in the pro’s favor. A pro loves the practice, the striving, the training, the diligent time consuming pursuit of the advantage
We must be our own best cheerleader, the one who believes in our own dreams the most and in ourselves the most. When we are our own champion, we have more confidence and that attracts more amazing people and things in our lives. But when things are bleak or when we are just tired and overwhelmed with all that we must accomplish or overcome in life and especially if we do not feel well and have some health obstacles in our way; then self talk is critical to creating positive energy and generating energy when we need it the most. It really becomes as simple as… say it to become it. But it has to be said all the time with no negative self talk or thoughts swirling around in our brain space to negate all those good thoughts. Did you know that it can now be shown that when a negative though enters your brain, a neuron explodes! Well I need all my neurons…..this alone is motivating enough to encourage people to put positive self talk tips into our daily routines. Here are some of the things I say every day. Please write ones that work for you and go big with these…..don’t be modest…..there is no time for this when you are rewiring your own self beliefs.
I am the best at ….
Running the Stairs
Recovery from Brain Trauma
Telling my Story
Having a happy life
Being a mother
Sharing with others how I recovered
Being a Speaker about Overcoming Head Injury
Having Strong Healthy Body
Having Vibrant Brain
Having an Excellent Memory
Having Healthy and Happy Children
As you can see….. go big or go bigger! Write your “I am the best at” statements and watch your dreams come true.
The first time I decided to run stairs instead of running the roads I knew it was going to be an “uphill” climb in every sense of that. So I did what I have done for years, I visualized myself going up the stairs as my body and leg muscles adapted to a whole new movement for me. I visualized myself getting fit and having more ease in accomplishing this daunting physical expression. I visualized myself at the top and then I saw myself running faster with better body posture and getting more fit with each stair and each flight.
On the way down the stairs I visualized myself releasing toxins, the ones that were held deep in the cellular level of my body. I spoke the words release out loud and with each flight down I said mantras like release the scar tissue; release the stories from my body; release the worries, the fears, the weight and the pain. This freed the energy and space in my body so that I had new space for the new visual images of my healthy body, brain and life.
Be all in or get out of the way. There is no half way
Everything you are going through is preparing you for what you asked for
Getting knocked down is a part of life. Getting up and moving forward is a choice
Surround yourself with people who reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel. Positive energies are contagious.
We don’t meet people by accident, they are meant to cross our paths for a reason
If you want something you never had you have to do something you have never done
You know you are on the right track when you have no interest in looking back
Don’t let the sadness of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present
All great changes are preceded by chaos
If you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain
I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become
Throw me to the wolves and I will come back leading the pack
Not my circus, not my monkeys
- Laughing at predicaments we find ourselves in and asking for help to get out of them.
- Making new friends and bringing them into our web of possibilities
- Lowering our expectations of non-brain injured people
- Outworking everyone
- Making lists, and remembering where we put the list
- Not caring about mistakes we make
- Doing it anyway
- Repeating ourselves to ourselves
- Confusing others
- Saying “I don’t remember” even when we remember!!!
- Saying “I don’t understand” even when we understand!!!
- “Can you help me”…… you get where I’m going with this. LOL
- Living life large!
- Imperfection, perfection is highly over rated
- Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. Don’t pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. Cry if you need to.
- Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Life’s curve balls are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough, but reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation
- Stop spending time with the wrong people. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. The people that stand by your side when you’re not at your best, are you true friends.
- Stop worrying about the journey. Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out.
- Stop running from your problems. Face them head on. This is the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
The time is now to go get what you want. Build your vision board, write your affirmations, get your body moving, live a healthy lifestyle, write out your plan to achieve your goals and live life at full speed.
Motion generates more motion. Energy generates more energy; be the power source, the light to all the possibilities that can be created in your life. Stopping all that movement takes more energy than creating more motion. Putting the brakes on in your life has a bigger impact then the jump start need to get your life moving forward. Negative thoughts chews up more energy than the positive thoughts you are putting into your brain. Resistance is hard, flow is easy; which one are you choosing?
Being stuck, stubborn, difficult and resistant wastes all of your personal energy. So why do it? It is not our natural animal instinct to stay stuck, frozen or paralyzed with fear or indecision. This behavior would cause us to be eaten by a predator, drowned in a river, or starves to death in our natural environments. We must not go against nature; it is unnatural for us to do this. There just is no sense to staying stuck in a resistant mindset. We are meant to move, to forage, to provide and to go out and get the food we need to survive. We are natural survivors, hunters and protectors. Resistance is death. Give up resistance; it does not serve you in moving towards what you need and what you want.
I have a Happy Board that I look every day. Why I made one is because I had what I like to refer to as my “Grown Up List” which listed all the major problems I needed to solve. Every day I made sure I did activities and solved problems that were on the grown up list. My list has been daunting. I have had to stay focus on the interconnected strategies I needed in order to cross something off my grown up list.
I was so consumed with solving problems and being responsible about cleaning up the mess that had become my life that I had failed to add positive things to a happiness list. So I went out and bought a white board and added things that made me happy. Things like a house, car, piano, dog, travel, my body, speaking, love, children etc. I now have a vision board filled with the pictures that represent these things. I chose to take the exact pictures of the house I wanted, the speaking conferences I wanted and put them on this poster.
Starting a new day can be daunting. There is a reality check that goes on as soon as our eyes open. We know that we have to dig deep to accomplish the goals that we have set for this new day. We are crystal clear the obstacles and barriers that we have to overcome when we are hurt. We don’t live in denial but we are very familiar with what we need to overcome
The first step to every day is setting small goals that fill your day and will lead you to feeling accomplished at days end. Then the next step is to embrace the mindset of gladiator. Prepare mentally to do the work needed to reach the goals no matter what.
One of the ways that I set my day in motion is to write down my goals the night before. This way I don’t have any wiggle room. So when I wake in the morning, it won’t matter if I feel sore, tired, overwhelmed or bored; I know what I committed to the night before and I must not let myself down.
The other way is my morning routine. I wake, get my coffee, get myself warm and in a different body position and I start to feel physically better. The aches and pains start to subside as I shift my body position. I go through my affirmations, get dressed in my running gear and I don’t let any others thoughts creep into my mind. This routine keeps me on point and away from the excuses that could creep in like I am tired, I am sore or I can take a day off. The truth is I can’t take a day off. Running keeps me calm, kicks out the worry thoughts from my brain, balances my endorphins, kicks up my serotonin and reminds me that every is possible
These are my opinions based on my 26 year recovery from brain injury
Once our brains have been injured the assault is over. Our brains do not continually get hurt unless there is another assault to our head.
It is very emotionally and psychologically challenging to live with our brains after they have been hurt. It is frustrating when we can’t recall a word we want to use, or can’t remember something or can’t express our thoughts like we once did. Our brain injuries affect our careers, our hopes and dreams. People around us can’t understand why we can do some things and not others. There is no rhyme or reason to how our brains work and thankfully that also means to how we can rally back. The magnitude of the injury does not necessarily determine the pattern of our recovery.
What I want to say about recovery from head trauma is ….is that it takes a lot of work to get our brains to work again. We must work very hard doing the receptive, frustrating, tedious works it takes to get our brains to understand what we are reading and remember what we read. How about spelling, that can be brutal too. I still struggle with prepositions and verb tense. Oh well, does it really matter. No.
My journey has been long, I have worked hard because I was determined to reclaim my lane. I am glad I did all the work otherwise I would still be stuck. The abilities I have back did not just show up one day I worked so hard and fought so hard to get them back. You can too.