On Overcoming

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Overcoming With Head, Heart and Soul Aligned~ A 3Q Leadership Journey
©Irene Becker, www.justcoachit.com

Imagine going from a trailblazing career as the CEO of a successful multi-million dollar company, with a track history of achievement and excellence and all the social and financial capital you needed to live your best life, to being reduced to the most menial and humbling of jobs.

Would you find it difficult? Would you find it impossible? What would happen if you woke up one morning to find everything that you had worked so hard to accomplish gone? What would you feel like if you did not have family, friends or a social net of any kind to support you in moving out of the black hole in which you fell?

My name is Irene Becker, and what you have read describes that tumultuous change that occurred in my life just prior to my 40th birthday. A change, and to most people a horrible life crucible, that took me from the world of having it all, to losing it all in what seemed like a blink. A change, a horrific act of violence and madness that catapulted me into a new world of the unknown, where I was forced to learn to build again from ground zero.

I had entered a new world where my singular focus was to show my two young children that from integrity, from values, from courage and from faith can come the power to heal a head, a heart, a body and to transform one’s life, and one’s world.

The wealth and success I had acquired came from many long hours of very hard work, and from a great deal of personal sacrifice. The destruction of what had been my life, the wealth I had once known did not start on that fateful night when my life was threatened and I fled with my children, $100, a credit card and a book of psalms.

Because, “suddenly syndrome” is never what it appears to be
. While it may make us feel good to think that the road to wealth is paved with overnight success stories, and we may think that the horrible life crucibles that take us to the depth of pain happen in a blink, they do not.

The seeds that we plant, are sewn every day in the way we live our life, the choices we make, the thoughts we think, the emotions we feel, the biochemistry that drives our bodies, and the environment in which we live and work.

The ability to live our best life has little to do with what we have,
but depends on our ability to really excavate our true self, our authentic voice and use it to sing our best song, to listen to our higher self and know that we are living in alignment with our highest purpose.

While I had build great success and wealth, while I had accomplished so much, my true self, my authentic voice was unheard and hidden behind all that I had done, all that I had commanded, conquered and acquired. I had stopped listening to what I truly needed and wanted. Or, maybe I was never tuned into my real self. For getting up close and personal, getting naked with our true needs, our true desires is something that is perhaps the most difficult thing to accomplish in a world where we are socialized to strive for that which makes us feel powerful and validated.

In a world where more emphasis is placed on taking than on giving, on acquiring than on sharing, on accumulating rather than appreciating. In a world where we are so busy doing, that we seem to have forgotten that the most important thing we can do is to BE at one with our true voice, with our true purpose, with the source of infinite love and goodness that can take us into the Light.

I believe that there is a voice in every man or woman that can be heard, if we try to listen. It is the voice of wisdom, the voice of courage, the voice of faith that transcends time, space and motion. It is the voice that echoes in all human beings, all religions and spiritual paths.

If we can reach past what is and reclaim our authentic voice, we are rich. And, if not we spend our days, our weeks, our months and our years in the illusion of living better when we are simply doing faster and more than ever before.

Lofty words? Think again. Last year the cost of executive stress to American corporations exceeded $10 + billion dollars. The price that corporations paid for absenteeism, physical illness, mental illness, and accidents that were a result of stress among the best, the brightest and the highest paid and most wealthy of people. And, this insidious erosion of human passion, purpose and potential is not an American phenomenon, but one that the World Health Organization forecasts will be the major cause of disability in the world by the year 2020.

Will you be a stress statistic or a success statistic? And, what does success really mean?

The passion, purpose, potential and power we truly need will never be found in what we have, because it is a byproduct of who we truly are, when we realize that the greatest power that we have is the power of love. But, love starts in learning to love our self, not for what we have, not for our title, net worth or other accoutrements of success but for our true self. Loving our self for the unique qualities and flaws that make us human, that make us special, that form our unique fingerprint.

Loving our self because we do not have to hide the power of our heart under a bushel, nor to do we have to march to a distant drummer.
We can learn to hear the beat of our soul, the beat of our true knowing, the beat of love that once found can rekindle a fire on the coldest day, and heal, rebuild and restore a life, a body, a soul that has been racked with pain, with abuse, or with despair.

Love among the thorns is my story. It is a story of struggling against incredible odds to have it all, and losing it all.
It is a story of how an act of madness, an act of violence that took me from the mountain of success to the valley starting my life from ground zero helped me to discover the greatest treasure of all. It is a story of change, challenge, horror, pain and great struggle that is all negligible in comparison with the gift of love, faith and courage that my children and I were able to touch, to feel and to share.

It is my hope, and my prayer that people who read this article will go on to find their true voice, to reclaim that unique spark of human goodness that is the only conduit to true greatness, success and fulfillment.

The formula for success and fulfillment is eternal and timeless
. It will not be changed by the unprecedented velocity of change, challenge, competition or the chaos that we face in our life, our work, or our world. Create value for others, and you shall prosper. Create value for others and you shall achieve a sense of passion, purpose and potential that brings you to your greatest joy.

Today, at this very moment we each have the potential to move past the desire to receive for the self alone, to stretch out of the comfort zone and look at the people in our personal lives, our jobs and our careers, the individuals with whom we share our lives and our worlds and ask…

Simply ask, “How can I make a positive difference? How can I express my best self, my highest purpose? How can I create value for another, because in so doing I will create a large ripple of peace and prosperity that can change a life, many lives or even impact the world.”

Yours in service,
Irene

©Irene Becker, www.justcoachit.com

16 replies
  1. Oliver
    Oliver says:

    Irene,

    Reading your story, I’ve had to pause for a few minutes to do a Quick reflection on what Matters most in my own life. Am asking myself some real Questions, ofcourse with a solid intention to begin to live life truely from that place of Love, Passion, Purpose, and to really share what I have been blessed to have. Thank You for sharing your story.

    Oli, From Nairobi, Kenya.

    Reply
    • Irene Becker
      Irene Becker says:

      Dear Oli: I was profoundly humbled and honored by your comments. Love, Passion and Purpose are indeed the most important strengths we have. Kudos to you for asking the right questions, and making a choice to appreciate and engage your most important strengths! I am glad that my story helped you to focus on this path. Leadership starts when we ask no what we can get, but what we can give when we align our passion, purpose and potential. Leadership comes from a place of love.

      Yours in service, Irene

      Reply
  2. Navjot
    Navjot says:

    This is amazing story about acquiring triumph over your bad situation in life. No one could say or convey your message more effectively than you yourself. And you have done a wonderful job of putting forth the true emotions that u experienced and how faith helped u to gain something that very few people in the world can achieve. I am absolutely blessed to read your life’s story. It has a resemblance in the lives of all of us. But only some of us do something about our circumstances and get out of them. I have had setbacks similar to u. And I will use this message of yours to bring out my own inner beauty to make my life better again. Thanks for guiding me to this website of yours and it was an amazing experience to read about you and your life.
    Thank you once again,
    ~ Navjot @coolwoodyblue on twitter

    Reply
    • Irene Becker
      Irene Becker says:

      I was deeply humbled, honored and touched by your comment, Navjot! It takes work to transform challenges, changes even traumas into a catalyst for our best selves, best work, best leadership..best lives. But, it is doable. We can learn to rewrite our brains. We can learn to work, communicate and lead better, smarter and happier. We can not only survive but thrive.

      Write to me and let me know how you are doing! irene@justcoachit.com

      Thank you again for your wonderful comments. I work and live in service and continue to pray that I will be able to reach out and touch those who lead, those who aspire to leadership, those who want to use what is to create and recreate what can be in their lives and the lives of others!

      Yours in service! Irene

      Reply
  3. Nizeyimana Fidele
    Nizeyimana Fidele says:

    Hi Irene, your life experience is an outstanding encouragement to me and many people. It is true dear, living our best lives does a little with what we have. I have connected your experience, with the book of Job in Bible. after losing all he had, having under gone all he went through, he said I know My redeemer lives.

    It like this: it takes courage and faith to challenge and change what seems to be obstacles, set backs, worries for tomorrow.

    With regards,
    Fidele

    Reply
    • Irene Becker
      Irene Becker says:

      Dear Fidele: Thank you so much for your very kind words. I have been to the woods. I have achieved incredible success and I have also lost it all in the most injust of circumstances. I have been healthy, I have also been at death’s door. What I know is that it is possible to live, lead and success to purpose. Possible to tranform our greatest strengths and our greatest and even darkest challenges into a catalyst for our true faith, courage, hope, leadership and potential.

      Thank you so much!

      Yours in service, Irene

      Reply
  4. Richard Bejah CFP® (@RichardBejah)
    Richard Bejah CFP® (@RichardBejah) says:

    Irene,

    I really admire your strength to get through your troubles… I come from a family that violence was always there… I do relate to a similiar circumstance that my mother, brother and sister had and the way we got around it was that I picked the whole family and moved them to the opposite end of the country to get away from the Stalker and crazy husband, father, and step father..

    I’m happy to see that you have successfully survived that circumstance and grown… This type of experience is A HUGE BENEFIT that you have that you can utilize to help others… EXPERIENCE is the best teacher…. You obviously are a GREAT MENTOR & COACH! RICH :0)

    Reply
    • Irene Becker
      Irene Becker says:

      Dear Rich: Please know how touched I was by your comments, and by your sharing your personal experience around domestic violence. I am so sorry that you, your Mom and sibs had to go through this. There are those who get angry at my candor in terms of my own story, but I believe that abuse, any type of abuse is a cancer that erodes our society…and this need not be so. If you had told me when I was CEO of a steel company what the future held, I would not have believed you. Alas, the sad secret behind both underachievers and over achievers is often a wound, a wound of abuse in childhood. I became an over achiever, only to recognize that my strength, my courage, my hope, my faith, my true leadership would not be found until I lost it all, until I realized that life, that our ability to contribute and make a difference, our ability to be happy has nothing to do with what we have, or trying to accomplish in order to feel validated, but rather lies in embracing who we truly are.

      I am sorry to hear that you face medical challenges, and my heart goes out to you. I have also been through my challenges in that area. I would love to be in contact. My email is irene@justcoachit.com.

      Thank you so much for your comments about my coaching and mentorship. I not only believe in my 3Q model, I live it! And, I think that the imperative to find new ways, better ways to use challenges and strengths to engage our true potential is not important, but critical.

      Yours in service and friendship, Irene

      Reply
    • Irene Becker
      Irene Becker says:

      Thank you so much for the Wow, Dylan. I hope that this post will inspire many because the ability to use both our strengths and challenges, even very difficult crises or traumas to engage our best selves is real. The power to transform what is into what can be is the greatest strength and hope we possess, and it starts with building our Q skills.

      Yours in service, Irene

      Reply
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    watch saints vs falcons says:

    You ought to get part in a contest for one of the top weblogs around the web. I’ll suggest this web page!

    Reply
  6. Ernie
    Ernie says:

    Wow i saw your post on Twitter today you responded and sent me the link to your story. Thank you. I am going through some rough times(like so many others) and pretty much at the end of my rope. I dont know what is going to happen or if that inner voice is still working inside of me,but i wanted to say Thanks for linking me with your story it did make me feel like i am not the only one and that we are all one.

    Reply
    • Irene Becker
      Irene Becker says:

      Hi Ernie: Thanks for your message. Most people who are going through terribly tough times feel that they are alone. You are not. I believe that there is a Creator, a spiritual power if you will that we can each tap into for strength, for goodness and greatness. And, Ernie, before you get to the end of your rope, please be proactive: Make sure that you have people who can support you through this (if not friends, find a support group of some sort), speak to your doc, find ways to expel negative energy and DO NOT GIVE up hope! You are not alone, and you need to take small but powerful steps now to help yourself as you are going through or facing something difficult. Hang in there! Try to spend even a few moments at the beginning of each day and before you go to sleep thinking of things you are grateful for. No matter how difficult things are, there are always things that we can be grateful for, and in many ways they can be our anchor.

      I am truly sorry that you are going through a difficult time. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Hang in there. Be proactive! And, remember you are not alone.

      Irene

      Reply
    • Irene Becker
      Irene Becker says:

      Hi Ernie: I must apologize for the delay in responding as I had tech problems with the blog. Thank you so much for your note. Hang in there! I know how tough it can be…tie a firm knot around your faith, courage, humanity and integrity-they are the greatest riches we each have. My heart goes out to you, as do my prayers. Stay strong, and know that YOU are not alone. There are so many people who feel that they are at the end of their rope. The caveat here is that you are self aware and know that you have reached this place. It is time to tie a firm knot, hang in there and find the help you need to see you through this difficult period. Success is never achieve alone and it is a sign of courage and strength to seek help when we need it.

      YOU are not alone, and you can move past whatever you are facing, one powerful, purposeful small but critical step at a time.

      Wishing you great strength. YES you can do this!

      Best, Irene

      Reply

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