Aiusha's Story of Resilience
"I would encourage you not to let any situation in life break you, but choose for it to make you.
Stop asking yourself WHY ME, take a leap of faith and have the courage and say TRY ME. You will see that in your life, the sky's the limit."
If you’re reading this now, then you’ve probably experienced some hard times in life.
It comes to us all at some point… physical suffering, pain or illness, the loss of a loved one, the difficulty of dealing with a mental health problem, or perhaps hard times in work, friendships or even relationships.
When you come up against these traumas, you find yourself in a strange new place. Trying to learn a new skill: the skill of coping with it.
All we want is to come out the other side a better person, wouldn’t you agree?
But without the proper knowledge and help to get there, this journey can be hard. And short-term solutions can often turn into long-term problems if you’re not careful.
Take Aiusha’s story, for example…
Aiusha is a powerfully strong woman, successful entrepreneur originally from Shillong, in India.
I had the pleasure of interviewing her for this piece, but little did I anticipate that her outlook on overcoming adversity - on the strength of mind that she’s single-handedly developed through facing her challenges - would inspire me beyond what any book or “guru” has offered me in the past.
I hope her incredibly uplifting story can inspire resilience in you, too. Read on to discover what I mean...
Aiusha lived her life with a normal, healthy body until about 5 years ago.
Her muscles, bones and cartilage had begun to deteriorate, so her doctor prescribed regular injections of steroids every two months into every bone in her body.
“ I have been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for 15 yrs. There was a point that they had to inject my muscles. There was no place left to inject.”
The regular pain Aiusha was put through, just to survive, was unbearable. And it only got worse from there.
“The doctor said to me, ‘You might be in a wheelchair’. You know, ‘Lots of things are changing in your body. You would have a hip replacement’, this sort of replacement and that. I was quite sad really.”
That’s when her darkest moments began to take hold…
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I had the pleasure of interviewing Aiusha for this piece, but little did I anticipate that her outlook on overcoming adversity.
Resources for Resilience
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Crying herself to sleep
“I didn’t know I was here anymore. I didn’t find my purpose anymore. You know I’ve never tried to do people wrong but I felt whatever I did was all wrong. I lost my confidence, I stopped believing in myself.”
Aiusha was so numb she hadn’t even realised she’d been crying all night until she noticed her clothes were soaked in tears.
Years ago, in her youth, she’d tried to take her own life once already, and this moment of sadness and pain echoed that night all those years ago.
“I said to myself, and I prayed, ‘I don’t want to live anymore in so much pain’. I said, ‘you know what, if it’s my choice, I do not want to live at all.”
That night, a devout Christian, Aiusha chose to pray to God and she gave Him an ultimatum…
“I said ‘you better give me the strength and you better show me the way. So tonight I will surrender all my problems into your hands’, I was praying, ‘and tomorrow I will be a new person’.
“And I decided if I’m alive, He will show me the way and He will give me the strength. Otherwise even He doesn’t deserve to put me where I am.
“I said ‘you’ve always promised that you’ll never give us more than we can handle and I have reached a point that I can’t handle anymore.”
Key Take Away
You might not be Christian, you might not be a person of religious faith,
however it's not uncommon for people of resilience to draw strength from a power greater than themselves to carry them through.
Whether you give yourself to a charity, to family, community, or God
- for all human beings, our inner strength is reinforced by our
devotion to something beyond just ourselves.
What is that power for you?
That was the turning point for Aiusha.
“I woke up the next morning and I looked in the mirror while I was brushing I said OK, let’s have a good day. Yes, let’s have a good day. We are going to be OK.”
A New Day
Aiusha knew that things weren’t going to change right away, even through her faith in God. Instead, she knew she had to shift her state of mind as well.
“Our mind is the biggest weapon. I mean, unbelievable. I have learned that our minds could do anything if you’re set up for it.”
So she set her mind up to fight her own fears,
“If I worry too much about yesterday, then today I’ll be upset. If I worry too much for tomorrow, then again today I’m upset. So you know that’s a cycle that will go on. So learn from yesterday. Be happy today and do the right thing so tomorrow will be good.”
Aiusha taught me what she did to help her beat all her fears one by one:
“The biggest challenge we have in life is fear. So what I did was, I wrote down the fears. Whatever I’m scared of, I decided to target them one by one.
“ Health, personal relationships, family, friends, everything. And I overcome them one by one.
“I choose to focus on positivity over negativity even in relationship and to have faith when doing the right thing. I said to myself, I’m bigger than my problems, and God never gives me anything that I cannot fight.”
Key Take Away
1.Open up a blank note or get a pen and paper and list all of your fears.
You may find out that there aren’t all that many!
2. Now, look at each one and ask yourself, “Why am I afraid of this?”, “What’s the worst that can happen?”, and “How can I make sure this fear doesn’t control me today?”
Write down your answers and act on them.
“The first thing I do is I thank God I’m alive. Every morning because if I’m not alive then I can’t do good things, I can’t see the world.”
Practicing gratitude every morning has long been established by neurologists to alter the chemistry in your brain and change way you perceive the world that day.
It focuses your attention on the good instead of the bad, and doing this daily over a short space of time can actually train your brain - like exercise trains your muscles - to become more positive and more resilient.
Key Take Away
On your notepad, paper, or journal, at the start of each day, write
‘I am grateful for…’ and list 3 things that bring you gratitude or joy.
You can even extend this to the end of the day by listing
‘3 great things that happened today’ too.
There was a time where Aiusha’s illness was so bad she couldn’t even hold a cup of tea or walk 10 steps, but knowing the power of her own mind, she changed focus:
“You know, my legs are still attached to my body. Even if it’s difficult for me to walk ten steps, I can still walk. There are people who can’t move at all. So, rather than focus on the problem, I find a solution.
“I look now, it’s been like three years and I’ve had absolutely no injections. Five years ago I was on my highest dose for medicines and now I’m on the minimal dose. You know, rather than focus on my joints getting worse or my cartilage getting worse, I say ‘OK now I have a challenge to rebuild my cartilage’ rather than saying ‘oh no, it’s getting worse, and thats what I did. I worked on my physical health.”
Aiusha discovered that the power of gratitude and focusing on the good and the positive, in turn enhances her own power of empathy, too.
Now, when she comes into contact with someone who could ruin her day, she doesn’t resent their attitude or let it upset her,
“I look at it and I think, ‘why did they do that’. I try to put myself in their shoes and try to understand them. ‘Why did he do it rather than just see my side of the story’ - this links it to a level where I can understand them more.
‘It’s easier just to see my side of the story, but try to put yourself in their shoes, even if they are wrong, because you would never understand somebody if you don’t try to understand them.”
Constant pain, sudden disability, depression, and feelings of suicide can come to any one of us in our lives.
Perhaps you have encountered one or more of these challenges, maybe you’re going through it right now.
Aiusha has learned that each one of these traumas in her life can help her to grow as a person instead of sinking deep down into despair.
Aiusha told me that ultimately, the lesson she’s learned and, equally, the biggest challenge she faces now is:
To love unconditionally.
“I think that, you know, if you can love somebody unconditionally - your family, your friends, everyone in life - I think that is one of the biggest challenges we all have. Especially if you go through things with people and you start thinking about the things they have done to hurt you and every single bad moment.
“But if you are able to look beyond that and try hard to focus on the right things and manage to love them unconditionally. That is very very difficult.”
By setting aside her ego and thinking outwardly beyond herself, empathising with others and practicing unconditional love, Aiusha’s been able to overcome her negative focus, the focus on her pain, her deteriorating cartilage, and to fight back against feelings of depression.
“Ego destroys relationships. Ego and distrust. You know, sometimes it’s ok to say sorry even if you’re right. Because you treasure that relationship more than being right.”
Aiusha’s valuable lessons can bring positive change to our lives forever if we embrace them.
Aiusha’s 5-Step Action Plan:
Shift Your Focus and Perspective
I asked Aiusha, what would you say to someone who's thinking of giving up on their dream.
"When you shift your focus and perspective it’s amazing how and what the outcome will be , even in the worst situation. In your current situation, is there something good you can take from it or learn from it, whether good or bad experiences.
I would encourage you not to let any situation in life break you, but choose for it to make you .
Stop asking yourself WHY ME, take a leap of faith and have the courage and say TRY ME. You will see that in your life, the sky's the limit. Always live a life that you will never regret and happiness comes from within and it starts when you start believing in good things and yourself .
Embrace everything about life good and bad, if it does break you it will definitely make you but the choice is ours whether we want situations in life to make or break us .
Do not focus on what’s wrong in your life, however focus on what’s right in your life and you will see your world is beautiful."
Today, Aiusha is busy building not one but two thriving businesses!
What's Your Story...
Do you resonate with Aushia's story? do you have a portfolio of suppressed hopes, dreams, visions and goals that haven't materialised? Could this be a good time to revisit your dreams?
I hear objections like this all the time... "It's too late for me" or "I don't know what a really want anymore" or "I want to be my own boss but I don't know where to start".
I used to say those things to myself before I reframed my limiting beliefs and changed by life for the better. My setbacks, obstacles and challenges in life led me to discover my purpose in life and create inspiredResilience.
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