Overcoming Adversity And Kicking Ass

Persistence is key in getting where we want to be in life and negotiations. In anything we strive for, we have to persist.

In a recent episode of Negotiations Ninja podcast, I had the privilege of speaking with Molly Bloom. You might know Molly from the Academy Award-nominated movie that depicted her life, Molly’s Game. Molly lived her life striving to be the best at something, from the Olympics to high-stakes poker – both landing her in precarious positions – and was able to be in the place she is today because of her ability to persist.

She says, “If you want to be in the game, you’ve got to learn how to suffer constructively.”

Big parts of persistence are not giving up, pushing through the fear, anxiety, difficulty. So much of our culture these days is telling us to seek comfort, which to some people translates as, “Don’t push yourself.” Molly’s message is to push yourself. If you have a goal, be persistent in achieving it. Push until you are there, and if that means, pushing past fear and pushing through obstacles, then that’s what you have to do.

“I don’t believe we are passive riders in life. I believe we can change. I know we can change our brains and the way we relate to obstacles and struggle, and I know with a disciplined program of action, we could cover a lot of ground…This is the one guaranteed life, I want to live it,” Molly says.

One of the key ways Molly has worked to change her brain is through meditation. People often think, “You can’t tell me that sitting alone is going to solve your problems.” In fact, it might.

Molly says that through meditation, she was able to find joy and peace in the downswing while maintaining her ambition and drive for success. Meditation is about maintaining a balance. For those of us who are always firing at 100%, always working, always pushing forward, it’s essential to take time to be in a quiet space, with no distractions. Biologically, our brains are programmed to survive, which is where fear and doubt come from, to protect us.

“What a meditation practice does for me,” Molly says, “is I sit down, and I place my attention on my breath. What inevitably happens is fear comes up, worry comes up, doubt comes up, critical thinking comes up, and I just replace my focus on my breath until I start to strengthen my ability to tell my mind where to go as opposed to it just throwing a whole bunch of scenarios that aren’t logical or aren’t serving me… I want to be the director of my mind.”

When you want something in life, be persistent. Push through whatever is holding you back, and if your brain is telling you to stop, change your brain.

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