Welcome to 2ndActStory 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 2ndActStory 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!
- 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 from 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.
How the athlete can accelerate healing
- Work ethic to get to the finish line
- Hiring coaches
Athletes have similar instincts to animals. It is our nature to survive. Our instincts tell us when to accelerate, when to preserve our energy and when to unleash our fury. We are fit and fearless. Defeat is never an option.
We express ourselves through our physicality. We understand what it takes to dominate. We know what training is needed to win. And we know when it is time to heal or when pain is the only option. We have the patience to wait for the right moment to pounce, to out strategize our competitors in order to win. Our minds are as tough as our bodies.
The solution for an athlete over coming trauma or head injury is to apply these exact same behaviors to our challenges. The mind and body are directly connected and we must use one to heal the other. All we need to do is to tap into the mindset that we can do the work required to reach the finish line and win.
Trauma releasing activities
- Affirmations to keep any negative thoughts out of my head
- Do not verbally rehash any negative thoughts or words
- Create new positive experiences
- Live in the present
I have experienced physical, psychological and emotional trauma. What worked for me in recovering from the physical and psychological trauma was activating my solution mindset immediately. Being in a solution creating frame of mind made me feel hopeful and I was able to see that if I had survived the trauma I had the ability to survive the journey back to life. Once I physically was able to move again, that forward movement became a part of all my problem solving and solution creating activities. This helped me move past the trauma and not stay stuck and paralyzed inside the trauma.
Later on I experienced a different emotional trauma and was stuck and paralyzed by it. When I couldn’t figure out how to turn my attitude around I decided to apply the same techniques I had used in the previous trauma. Once I started physically moving, my heart, mind and soul began to feel hopeful once again. As I picked up the movement pace I was able to release the hurt, pain and disappointment of the betrayal. This then helped me to start moving forward in solution creation not saying stuck in the trauma of the betrayal.
- Movement. I have always been a runner and now I choose to run stairs. There is something extra hard and extra special about stair running. I release all that doesn’t serve me on the stairs on the way down and then I put in all the positive thoughts into my head on the way up. The repetitive nature of the stairs has a great imprinting effect on my thoughts. Everything just gets into my DNA and sticks when I work it out on the stairs. The stairs are hard and accomplishing my stair running goal instills in me the belief that I can accomplish anything that I work at.
- Affirmations are critical to my positive attitude and to manifesting what I want. The moment a doubting thought creeps into my mind I wack with a positive affirmation. I wake up in the morning and go through my list of what I want out of my life immediately before I do anything else. I say my affirmations at least 3 times a day.
- Talk to someone in my inner circle everyday who has the same mindset that I do. I believe we are the sum of the people we hang out with. So it is very important who it is that I have in my inner circle. I live life at full speed and believe in positivity around me and people who are ambitious and want to share their gifts with the world.
Athletes can teach us a lot of things that we can apply to our daily lives. Every day is a new day to set goals and achieve them. Days are not wasted in an athlete’s world. Each day an athlete trains, gets them closer to the goal of winning. Athletes train to be first place. They train to win. When they are on the field they leave everything they have on that filed. They walk off spent, exhausted, sore and alive. They bring their A game every time they walk on to the field.
This is the only way to live life. We must give it our all every day we live our life. We must bring this mindset to everything we do in our day. The next person we talk to might be the person who can change your life. The next meeting your in could be the one that catapults your career. You might randomly run into the love of your life around the corner. You need to show up with your best self at all times. You must carry the winning mindset with you every moment of your day. You will stand out in the world each day because we have become a culture of average. You can be extraordinary if you want to.
Athletes take their God given talent and apply a fierce work ethic to achieving their goals. Winning is the only option. This is a mindset that can serve all of us who have obstacles to overcome. Here are 3 habits that you can get started on right now that winners use in their daily lives
- Develop a training schedule for each day
- Measure and reward your daily and weekly accomplishments
- Build on your accomplishments by setting new goals for the next week