To choose to soar is a choice, and a deliberate one that Annie Meehan has made multiple times in her life. The middle child of seven, raised in extreme poverty by a single mom struggling with undiagnosed mental illness resulted in Annie spending twenty years facing depression. She was starving in many ways not only for food, but also for love, attention, focus and calm, crying herself to sleep every night. All of this has contributed to Annie’s special heart of empathy and compassion that we see easily in her beautiful blue eyes.
To choose to soar became even more relevant, especially as she faced an unplanned pregnancy at the age of nineteen. She realized that she could either live a destructive life or choose to take care of herself as God’s creation. Depression and anxiety is a real issue for many and the numbers facing depression grew during the lockdowns. According to ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) anxiety disorders affect over forty million adults age eighteen and older. As Annie developed tools to deal with her own issues of depression, she has now chosen to help others to develop an abundant mentality. In this article we cover five basic principles for choosing to soar which can lead to a positive and fulfilling life instead of adopting a victim mentality of hopelessness.
One: Take Ownership and Responsibility
Taking ownership and responsibility comes with the recognition that we have the power to shape our life with our choices. It can be as simple as the generalized phrase a colleague told me years ago: Make good choices and you have a good life; bad choices and you have a bad life.
The easy way out is to blame others or circumstances for our current situation but it’s not really the easy way because we stay stuck, circling. (See: Stop Circling) Even though the situation may be partly or completely true in placing that blame, the choice is ours to choose to soar and fly or choose to wallow in blame and depression.
Two: Adopt an Abundant Mindset
An abundant mindset is a positive and optimistic mindset. It involves focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on problems with an attitude of growth. Failure and challenges can be difficult, but they are also opportunities for tremendous growth and learning.
A growth mindset is opposite from a fixed mindset. A growth mindset is the belief that one’s abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort, learning and perseverance. A fixed mindset is the belief that one’s abilities and intelligence are innate and unchangeable traits. The difference lies in whether one sees their abilities as flexible and improvable or fixed and unchangeable. If you choose to soar, you choose a growth mindset.
Three: Adopt a Spirit of Empowerment from a Higher Source
Every person has some sort of belief, whether in a higher power including God, belief in nature, in science or in self. Even those who call themselves atheists have a belief, which is mostly in themselves. In my book Bad Code, chapter twenty-two is entitled the Spirituality Tool and is worth reading.
The main premise is that a battery provides power. The focus on batteries has become even more relevant with electric vehicles and the importance of charging stations and longer lasting batteries. The source of that battery will determine whether or not you can get to your desired destination. I believe that the belief in a supreme being as a source of higher power provides us with the ability to share the load, not carrying more weight than we can handle. Belief is an individual choice but as we all move toward one ultimate end returning to dust, this choice of belief becomes more and more relevant.
Four: Let Go of Victimhood
It can be easy to fall into an attitude of victimhood when faced with shutdowns, health issues, relationship changes or extreme self-focus. No one can control every circumstance, but we can all control how we respond to those circumstances. When Annie’s home was mostly destroyed in a Florida hurricane less than a year ago as of this date, she and her husband had a choice of what to do next.
They had to make some tough decisions in how to spend money they really didn’t have or plan on spending to move forward with a solid plan that wouldn’t leave them homeless. It’s become more popular to promote victimhood, especially on social media as it gets a lot of attention. Resist that temptation and choose to soar!
Five: Focus on Gratitude and Thankfulness
An outward focus of gratitude and thankfulness promotes a positive outlook on life that can lead to increased levels of happiness and satisfaction. A grateful attitude fosters appreciation for others with the power to heal relationships. It can also lower blood pressure, reduce stress and even improve immunity and sleep patterns.
Overall, grateful individuals may experience many other unexpected benefits such as higher productivity and performance, increased resilience and enhanced feelings of empathy and compassion toward others.
The choice to soar instead of to sink in circumstances is up to us individually. As we take ownership of our situation with an abundant mindset, trusting God or other source of higher power with an attitude of gratefulness, even though circumstances may not be perfect, we’ll still be flying!
Extra Resources - Books:
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
Bad Code: Overcoming Bad Mental Code that Sabotages Your Life by Deborah Johnson
The Summit: Journey to Hero Mountain by Deborah Johnson
Stop Circling: Steps to Escape Endless Roundabouts by Deborah Johnson
- about ANNIE MEEHAN
Annie Meehan grew up in a cycle of negativity, poverty, mental illness, and abuse which never seemed to end. One of seven children raised by a single mother, Annie had to constantly move from place to place. Sometimes, she and her siblings had to sift through dumpsters to find their next meal. But Annie knew she was stronger than her circumstances.
Prior to becoming a professional motivational speaker, Meehan worked for a financial investment company for nine years, where she compiled 5 promotions in male dominated workplace. After leaving the corporate arena, she ventured into the entrepreneurial realm where she owned and operated two franchise locations and built a successful direct sales team of 250+ people. It was then Meehan began touting the message of health and wellness.
Taking ownership and responsibility comes with the recognition that we have the power to shape our life with our choices.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
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