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I'm Marie

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“OMG — could anything else go wrong?”

Know that feeling? When life keeps piling on problems one on top of another?

Maybe you’re strong enough to handle the first few. But then another gets thrown into the mix. And another. And another. Before you know it, you’re drowning in a sea of stress and overwhelm. You find yourself thinking, “Seriously!?! I can’t take much more. How the heck am I going to overcome all these challenges?!”

In the face of massive problems — or even a pileup of tiny ones — it’s natural to feel defeated. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings of disappointment and even despair. 

You don't need to know the big picture right now. You just need to get moving.  Click To Tweet

But it’s even more important not to dwell there.

In today’s episode, we’ll talk about how to meet life’s challenges head on and create a healthy way forward, even if that sounds near impossible right now.

4 Mantras to Help You Overcome Life’s Tough Challenges

In this clip from a MarieTV call-in show, we talked with Beth, who faced an unexpected business tragedy and was searching for a way forward.

Beth asked, “I lost my business to a fire, and I’m having trouble figuring out who I am, because I was always ‘the bakery lady.’ I don’t know what to do, and I need your help.”

Watch the video and continue reading the post below for the four mantras that can help you find perspective and strength, especially when challenges feel insurmountable.

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Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

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Next time you need to overcome challenges in life or business, experiment with one or more of  these mantras. They help you lower stress, regain your personal power, and call forth the fortitude and creativity you’ll need to move forward.

1. “Everything Is Figureoutable”

This first mantra is more than just a fun phrase to say. It’s a practical, actionable discipline to help you operate at your best and overcome life’s thorniest challenges. Live it, breathe it and use it daily. I promise, adopting this as a core belief can make you virtually unstoppable.

Not unstoppable in the sense that everything will always go your way, because we know it won’t. Problems and difficulties are guaranteed in life. 

But unstoppable in the sense that no matter what obstacles or problems come your way, they won’t permanently take you down. Knowing everything is figureoutable means trusting yourself enough to know that you have what it takes to find or make a way forward, no matter what.

If you want to master this philosophy, grab a copy of Everything is Figureoutable today. 

2. “Life Happens FOR Me, Not TO Me”

In my life, whenever things seem to keep going wrong and I problem after problem stacks up, I repeat this mantra: “Life happens FOR me, not TO me.”

It’s a potent reminder that you and you alone are in charge of assigning a meaning to any event that occurs. 

Every challenge, obstacle, and unfortunate situation contains the potential for positive growth, if we’re willing to look for it. No matter what the situation, you have the power to learn something, become stronger, gain wisdom, perspective, and understanding for your future.

For a powerful reminder of the importance of finding the hidden gift of growth in any moment, especially those which are most painful, most difficult, and most heart-breaking, watch this MarieTV with Holocaust survivor Dr. Edith Eger.

Next time you’re faced with an unexpected challenge and find yourself thinking, “Why me?” pause and say, “Okay, this happened and it’s awful. But now what? What’s the potential opportunity? How might this situation help me grow stronger or better in the long-run?”

If you’re ready to train yourself to find the gift of growth in any and every challenge, embrace this mantra — life is happening for you, not to you.

3. “Clarity Comes From Engagement, Not Thought”

Sometimes when you’re working to overcome a big challenge, you get frozen in fear. Analysis paralysis, as they say. Not wanting to make the wrong move, you make no move at all. But being indecisive and can waste tremendous time and cause more harm than good over time.

Early in my career, I spent years wondering if I had what it took to be a dancer. Could I be one? Should I be one? I even fantasized about what it might be like. But I never made a move, until I did.

My biggest mistake? Searching my head for an answer that could only be experienced through my heart.

That experience taught me this crucial lesson: Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.

When you’re trapped in the hell of indecision about the best way around an obstacle, do something about it as quickly as possible. Take some kind of real, tangible action. Make a phone call. Speak with an expert (or 3). Take a class, volunteer, test a possible solution. Doesn’t have to be a big step, just a step in any direction. 

This next piece is important. You don’t need a huge master plan for solving your problem before you take action. That’s not possible or necessary. Start exactly where you are with one small step. Then take another. Then another. Stay focused on engagement, not thought. Feel you way forward. The insight and information you gain from taking action will inform your next steps, and ultimately a more comprehensive long-term plan. 

4. “Everything You Dream of Exists in the Growth Zone”

99.9% of the things you need to do in order to overcome challenges and improve your life are things you haven’t done before. That means it’s natural for you to feel uncertain, insecure and uncomfortable. But as the world’s most resilient and successful people will tell you, one of the best things we can do to overcome challenges is to get comfortable being uncomfortable. 

In other words, get out of your comfort zone and enter your growth zone. Your growth zone is the place just beyond what you’re familiar with. It’s the place where yes, you will be uncomfortable (because it’s unfamiliar), and, it’s the only place you can possibly learn new skills, perspectives and develop new capabilities.  

Look, I get it.  Life feels safe in the comfort zone, because you’re accustomed to the patterns — even if they’re stressful, dysfunctional, or painful. But dreams are only realized in the growth zone. Everything you dream of becoming, achieving, or experiencing exists in this space (a.k.a. the discomfort zone).

This uncomfortable, vulnerable, unfamiliar growth zone is the only place you acquire the skills and strengths you need to overcome this challenge. The growth zone is where you’ll cultivate a new level of inner resolve and find a way forward from this setback.

Then get ready. Because when you spend enough time in your growth zone, something marvelous happens. That previously uncomfortable growth zone becomes your new comfort zone. And you grow stronger, wiser and more capable as a result. 

Bottom Line: You Have What It Takes to Overcome Challenges

 Yes, what you’re facing is tough. But guess what — you’re tougher. Decide right now that nothing is beyond your reach. Success doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by choice. So make the decision right now that yes, you do have what it takes to overcome challenges. 

Sure, you’ll need to learn new skills. And of course, the journey will not be easy. But the goal is not for life to get easier (that’s not going to happen). Instead, we must focus on getting stronger.  

These four mantras can help you unleash your inner strength, stay determined, persevere and ultimately overcome even the most difficult challenges.

Now, let’s turn this insight into action.

Which one of these four mantras resonates most given the challenges you’re working to overcome? 

What’s one small but meaningful action step can you take today?

Leave a comment below and let us know. 

Most importantly, stay positive. Opportunity is often hidden in our most difficult circumstances.

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58 comments

  1. Jerry Jean

    Beautiful reminders, Marie. We need these reminders to be repeated to us. Love that you discovered a way for so many women to feel that they can be kind, in alignment and make money.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      We appreciate those kind words, Jerry. We have an amazing community of women, men, and non-binary folks who enjoy Marie’s teachings and have made amazing things happen in their lives. We’re grateful for all of them, and for you.

  2. John Garland

    About your saying; “Life happens for you, not to you” I would like to add; “The only lesson learned is the one you take action on.” To believe is a verb and a verb connotes “action.” What you choose to believe, you’ll take action on and “all believing equals receiving.”

    • John Garland

      Thank you Marie. You’ve allowed me to use my words to teach God’s Word to my niece. By giving me what you’ve learned you have triggered the Word that I’ve learned to share with you. What I’ve learned from the many years of intense research and study I’ve put into action in order gain the wisdom to teach and grow in understanding. Our lives come together in order learn, teach and grow alongside each other until all have learned. That’s where the magic is.

  3. Everything is resolvable

  4. Elk

    Tuesday, November 10, 2020 (5:50 AM)
    Good morning Marie, GREAT Article, But, I’d really like for either you (or) one of your staff to increase the font size on your web pages, here’s a screen shot (below) of the font size you are using on this particular web page.
    Have a GREAT (and HEATHLY) Day Marie!
    Elk

    • Madge

      Dear Elk,

      CTRL+ (on window computers) will increase the font-size.

      Happy thoughts,
      Madge

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Hi Elk! Thanks for sharing your feedback. You can actually increase the font size on any webpage depending on whether or not you’re using a Mac or Windows computer. A quick Google search will show you how you can do that for the computer you have. We hope that helps!

  5. Hola From Baja California ~ Mexico !!! Simply Wanted To Say Much Appreciation + THANK YOU From The Fullness Of My Heart !!! Kindest Regards, Catalina

  6. Ivy Margaret

    Marie & ONLY Marie,

    Your name is not an accidental catastrophe… LOLOL. THANK YOU FOR BEING A GENIUS IN A NEW YORK “CURSE WORD”

  7. Gisele White

    It would be great if you had a poster with these 4 reminders on it that I could pay to download and print and post by my computer. If you already do, please tell me where.

  8. Juhanna

    Marie, “Clarity Comes From Engagement, Not Thought” was the life-changing insight when I first learned it from you. Since then I’ve been telling this to people who are stuck, including myself. I just wish I had known it sooner because the harm was done already. But that doesn’t matter anymore, because today I’m moving again. In every sense of the word! Movement is really magic, Marie. As you say, my fairy godmother!

    Love & Gratitude,
    Juhanna

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      YES, Juhanna! Movement in the next direction is key- that’s the action! We’re over here cheering you on.

  9. Singing: “YEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!”

    “Clarity comes from engagement not thought” and “Everything You Dream of Exists in the Growth Zone”. Both are working right now for me!
    I take action and learn by doing and reading and listening. I am building my first online course; I am writing my sales page and starting to understand how I do this and why I do this WHILE I’m doing it. Yeah, baby! Finally.

  10. Marie – love your nuggets of wisdom (as always), especially reinforcing your fabulous lesson that things happen when we get up and start working

    Beth – since you are creating vegan, GF treats, then you ABSOLUTELY can find a huge market! So many of us who can’t have dairy or eggs or gluten crave yummy treats and my guess is that you’ll be able to charge more than $2 a brownie! Have you considered mail order to reach a broad audience? Best of luck to you in all of the new directions that are opening in front of you!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Beverly, thank you so much for watching and sharing so much encouragement here. We appreciate you so much.

  11. Willetta

    “Clarity comes from engagement, not thought” totally resonates with me today. I’m sorting through the documents and artifacts of a business that is now closed due to burglary, ID theft, and unfavorable economic conditions. It broke my heart. I’ve pondered on my couch long enough. Time to get a move on.

    • Heather - Team Forleo

      We’re sending you so much love and compassion as you sort through everything, Willetta. May the clarity come for the next steps in your journey. One step, one action, one moment at a time. xo

  12. This came at just the right time; I’ve been feeling so discouraged by unrelenting challenges in our business and future plans. The concepts here are a reset I will put into practice TODAY.
    Thanks again, Marie, for always cheering us on!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Kathy, we love it when that kind of magic happens. Way to take action.

  13. I loved this. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  14. James L Burns

    Your words really hit home … I can relate to a lot of to what you said… And I look forward to reading more of what you have to say

  15. Teresa Autrey

    Marie! You touched my spirit today. Life Happens For me Not to Me! Wow just WoW! I say everything happens for a good reason but your mantra is more powerful.
    Today instead of pondering how to make my next move. I’m just going to keep the faith and move. I speak about clarity and confidence with others, and today I felt myself going down that rabbit hole of delusional depression 🙂

    thank you!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Teresa, we’re so glad that Marie’s words landed at the exact moment you needed them. One action, one step, one decision at a time. You’ve got this.

  16. Awesome guide to thinking positive. It reached me at the perfect time too! 10X!

  17. June

    Marie, thank you for your encouraging and powerful words…..mantras. My special favorites were….”and pay attention to the signals”.
    Yes, sometimes struggling to get moving…..but when I do, realizing now the signals – those results of action that carry momentum forward – have been largely ignored by me.
    Just upped that awareness…..cheers!

  18. This is such a great listen, Marie. If I paid you for every time those four mantras have helped me this year, the tab would be mind-blowing.

    Thank you for sharing this!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      The payment is in you enjoying them and having them serve you, Celeste. That’s why we do what we do. xo

  19. Wow … Well said Marie, Excellent words of power and resurrection

  20. Thanks Marie, Another good blog again. I’m always looking forward to your blog. Good to see that you uploaded new one. 🙂

  21. N Gunewardane

    Marie, you are an inspiration to many. I have been listening to you for a few years now and your positivity is encouraging. It’s a motivation to be who we are without fear. Although I’m saying this, that’s not easy! Baby steps…. it’s been a tough year, and I have learnt a great deal, so now is the time to pause and reflect on those 10 great lessons. Thank you!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      It certainly has been a tough year. Taking the time to pause and reflect upon how far you’ve come and where you are in this moment this year- that’s inspiring.

  22. What a great video!!! Thank you Marie!!!

    The 3rd mantra “Clarity Comes From Engagement, Not Thought” is the perfect one for me right now. I was actually searching for one of your videos on overthinking as I tend to do that, so after watching this video and getting this incredible reminder to take action my step for today is to celebrate my actions as I have the tendency to overwork as well as overthink and ending up doing lots of great staff but then not seeing and appreciating my development and results so my action: gratitude journaling!!!

    Thank you once again and Beth wishing you all the best with your business!!!

  23. Thank you, Marie, this is needed more than ever.
    xoxo

  24. Wonderful mantras! I didn’t think that so many people are also into yoga and meditation. I recite mantras every day. Lately, I turn on my audio meditation before bed, and in the morning, when I go out for a run, I turn on mantras to tune in to the day. I used to think that mantras are for people who go to a sect. But I got older, read a few books on the subject of meditation, and realized that mantras really work! It’s like a thought that we populate in our heads and think about it all the time. It’s better to think about the good than the bad ones!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      We’re so glad that mantras serve you and your life, Palmento. They’re an important part of Marie’s work and we love how you incorporate them into your day. Keep up the amazing work.

  25. Consuelo

    Marie, your energy is phenomenal! My favourite part was when you said that you don’t have to know what the big picture is, you just need to do one step at the time. I instantly felt lighter in my heart, love it!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      We’re HERE for feeling lighter, Consuelo!

  26. So great, I swear, the Universe works in mysterious ways!
    I have now heard this phrase like four times from four different sources in the span of two-three weeks!
    Is there a message in here for me?
    Yes there is! And, I’m listening!
    The only thing to do now is surrender, trust and go with God’s flow!
    Thank you Marie and Team Forleo
    Love, Sarah

  27. The reminder I needed the most right now was: “Everything you dream of exists in the growth zone.” It actually made me feel relief and reassurance about the discomforts and anxiety I’ve been feeling while starting my business, feeling quite overwhelmed and confused a lot of the time! And why relief? Because if I’m feeling this discomfort, etc, it’s because I’m actually growing 🙂

  28. I need Marie to create an everything is figureoutable genie app so when the poop hits the fan and I feel stuck, I can get help from the app. Till today, I’ve never heard ” Life happens for me, not to me” and it made me think back to 2019 where I made mistake after mistake and then got into a car accident. I distanced myself from family & friends so I could hear & see what the universe was trying to tell me.
    All 4 of these mantras are truly powerful and each one resonates with me in different areas of my life.
    Peace & 1-Love

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Can you imagine seeing Marie as a genie?! That’s the kind of fun we all need.

      Kyia, we love that you took the time to listen to what YOU needed and take control of your life. That’s courageous work.

  29. Thank you. I needed to hear something like that right now.
    🙏

  30. Heather Montgomery

    All I have to say is… Dammit, Marie, I love ya!

  31. melissa buttner

    light bulb moment I am just starting to get how embracing the fear and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is a awesome place to be and I am half a century on
    this is awesome stuff !!!! the next half is going to be a awesome ride

  32. Sam Metcalf

    Thanks, Marie 🙂 Love you xxx

  33. If you absolutely feel you can do nothing — then do nothing. At some point you will feel like doing something, and that is an excellent point to take note of what it is you feel like doing. Or can do. Perhaps flutter an eyelash? Whatever it may be, it will indicate your next step. And then — who knows?

  34. Jeanne R Mitchell

    Changing is hard to do. Plus, getting out of the negative and moving forward.

    From Jeanne M

  35. Alim Jimm Edau

    Good mantras, please keep reminding the nation otherwise we are stress.

  36. Liliana Novoa

    Dear Marie and Team:
    Thank you so much for sharing these 4 Mantras! I keep reading them over and over as to have them handy in my brain and heart! Each one is powerful and yet, the four together have a loud comforting voice and truth filled rhythm to dance to! Thank you for your kind and authentic support and sharing so much of your positive attitude and outlook on life regardless of any rock on the road. Thank you for your sustained trust in your audience and the gift of friendship in this journey.
    All the Best to you and your team always!

  37. Thank you for sharing! This article really spoke to me. Great reminder that everything we want in life is doable. We are in control of any situation. THANK YOU!!!

  38. Thank you for sharing! This blog is very helpful. 🙂

  39. Ernest chanakira

    The first time I got to know about you Marie Foleo, was when I typed a business search phrase on a searching website. There was a maze of answers which I could read on, but out of all those I chose to read article. There was something that really attracted me from how set your article’s headline. When I started reading everything was turning to gold in a way of information which is valuable to my life. I have never stopped reading. I have learnt from reading your articles here that actually an opportunity comes to you disguised as a problem. All you need to do is to pick yourself up , swing into action trying to solve the problem and as go along problem slowly changes into a real opportunity you can be glad to have.

  40. Heena Shaikh

    Really nice !

  41. YES! So much this!
    I am totally reinventing my yarn store because my health and it were no longer compatible, and it just wasn’t making money, long before the pandemic! We decided at New Year to change the business model, and move the shop to online based out of a spare room in our home. Then the shutdowns started, and while that caused some delays and some other adjustments, we are still moving forward. Even though now the original vision for the reinvention doesn’t look the same because commerce and economy are totally different, we’ll just keep going forward and see how things develop over the next 6 months 🙂

  42. superb article.Looking for this type of content.nice tips to everyone.

  43. Thank you for a very good article

  44. “Life happens FOR me, not TO me!” As someone who regularly falls prey to “victim” status, I need to make this my life’s mantra and remember that *I* am the only one that can move my needle forward on my goals. Thank you, as always, for your sage wisdom and gentle reminders to us dreamers.

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