Please be patient. A whole new experience is on the horizon...

Start:Jul 04, 2020

Duration:20 Minute(s)

Goal: this Cognitive Trail will increase the confidence to activate hope with a plan (Turning Heartache Into Triumph).

Description: The Next Step series was developed to guide foster teens and young adults through specific step-by-step actions. The steps act a lot like a ... Read More


Step 1

Like most of us, you may wonder if you've really gained anything from your past experience.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 as the highest, how much strength do you believe you have gained as a result of your life's experiences?

Step 2

You have two options concerning the things in your past that were painful.

a) You can keep feeling bad, admit defeat and give up on yourself.


b) You can choose to wrestle until you discover the solution that would lead you to something far better.

Which one do you choose?

Step 3

Remember the opposite strategy? We're talking about Day 3 when we flipped the negative labels, focusing on the opposite, positive descriptions.

The exercise should have revealed qualities about the real you.

How much do you worry that you aren't really that person with the positive attributes that you wrote about in Day 3?

Step 4

If you're a little worried, it's okay. On any given day, most of us wrestle with this.

The point is we're wrestling with it until we can accept the truth that those great qualities really define who we are.

Try this: get a mental image of you living out your best attributes.

That's the first step in wrestling to overcome the doubt and fear that may mess you up on occasion. It starts with your thoughts.

With those positives in mind, describe your best day ever in the space provided.

Step 5

a) What jumped out at you about the day?

b) Who was with you?

c) How did you feel?

Step 6

Let's continue wrestling for the facts.

You are not the sum total of those negative qualities or false assumptions that others assigned to you or that you started believing.

Your positive qualities lay the groundwork for the dreams that inspire you and bring you the most joy, sense of freedom and passion in life.

You're going to wrestle with the facts and what you want out of life until you really feel the difference between the two.

For a visual, go to the video icon and watch the scene from 'Pursuit of Happyness.' Tell us how helpful the clip was when you've finished.

Step 7

Can you relate to what was said initially to Gardner's 5-year-old son in the clip? It sucked the joy right out of him.

Fortunately his father realized what he'd done and told his son to protect his dreams and fight for what he wanted.

What's the quality you're fighting to hang onto, the one that fuels your hopes and dreams?

Step 8

What are the circumstances you're dealing with now that make you think you're really the person with a negative label tattooed on your forehead and you're never going to make it?

Step 9

Take a good hard look at those circumstances.

They're circumstances. They're not you. They're not a person. They're something you're going through and will get through like you always have.

They are not you.

Maybe you made a mistake. That happens.

Maybe something didn't turn out the way you thought it was going to. We feel ya. Been there. Yet this is the part that makes you stronger, smarter, wiser and more creative. This is the part that makes you compassionate.

Consider that those challenges are going to redeem every bad thing you or anyone else ever thought about you.


Because the way you fight for yourself will make you the person described above.

Nobody can touch who you are.

You either believe it or you don't.

How much are you willing to fight to believe it?

Step 10

Keep thinking about what motivates you to get through the tough stuff.

Is it because down deep you know your life is all about the positive qualities you've listed earlier?

Is it because you know down deep that others will benefit from your experiences?

No one can take that away from you. It's who you are and always will be. You're only getting stronger, smarter, more creative and more noble.

What do you think about that?

Step 11

If your confidence is lagging, it's all the more reason to share with us by posting your questions or concerns in the last open box at the bottom of the page. We can show you how to wrestle more effectively given your situation.

Living in a constant state of worry, anger or insecurity is living far below the standard you should have for yourself.

You owe yourself love, respect, joy and a sense of stability.

We can help you find the balance you need to accomplish what you desire.

Will you trust that we can show you some things you didn't know or understand? That's all we're asking. You don't have to trust us completely. Just trust that we have some ideas you may not have thought about yet.

Will you give us that much?

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