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5 Lessons I Learnt About Being Successful From My Life Threatening Experience

5 Life Lessons I Learned From My Life Threatening Experience

5 Lessons About Being Successful From my Almost Drowning Experience

Being successful doesn’t come easy, does it?

I was always someone who prided herself on being a mentally strong woman, who cannot be stepped on by anyone. From my childhood, I was always a very headstrong and opinionated child, who had numerous questions about how something was and why it was the way it was! It used to drive my parents absolutely crazy.

But, then a few years back, I had a life-changing experience.

I was surfing, when my surfboard was knocked out by a ferocious wave and submerged me in the deep ocean. Before I could do anything, I realized that I was drowning. But, who had thought that my drowning in the sea will push me towards being successful?

“Is this how I die?” The sheer reality of my situation sent me into a panic. I knew I was in deep sh%t. There were no surfers near me, I was far from shore, and caught in a double riptide in the Pacific Ocean.

I had two choices
give up and drown
or fight to live.
I chose to fight.

In business & life you have two choices:

  1. Allow yourself to be overcome by the demands of your work or
  2. Conquer your responsibilities.
5 Lessons I Learnt About Being Successful From My Life Threatening Experience
5 Lessons I Learnt About Being Successful From My Life Threatening Experience

5 Lessons I Learnt About Being Successful from my life threatening experience.

Intentionally conquering your responsibilities with confidence may seem difficult, but these 5 lessons that I learned from almost drowning can help anyone achieve success in business & life:

1. Make A Decision

5 Lessons I Learnt About Being Successful From My Life Threatening Experience
5 Lessons I Learnt About Being Successful From My Life Threatening Experience

When I realized that no one could hear me scream for help, and no one knew where I was — I had to make a decision. If I let the panic set in I was definitely going to die. I had to quickly scan the water to see if there was anything I could use to get myself to safety. Luckily there was a rock outcropping a few feet away. I quickly decided that I would throw my body onto the rocks and grasp onto them to pull myself out of the riptide.

“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.” —Tony Robbins

In business & Life, you have been able to think fast. When an opportunity arises you must quickly assess risk and reward. You have to know what you want to do and be confident in doing it. Spending to much time weighing all the pros and cons could cause you to miss out on a life-changing opportunity. I had less than 1 minute to make a choice to fling my body onto the rocks, If I’d waited any longer I would’ve drowned.

2. Commit to Your Plan of Action

Success requires 100% commitment. Once I decided to throw myself on to the rocks, I had to commit to that plan of action wholeheartedly. I had to be confident that my plan would work, remain calm, and take action. I had to risk it all if I was going to commit, so I timed the waves and threw my body onto the sharp barnacle-covered rock.

“A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” – Colin Powell

Growth requires risk. Risk can be scary and it’s unavoidable. Whether your business is running your household, working with clients to provide a service or creating a product – it is imperative that you commit to your plan of action. Half-hearted commitment leads to unpredictable results.

Once you make a decision you have to fully commit to that course of action. If I had not committed fully to throwing myself on the rocks, I could’ve easily flailed around for a while eventually getting tired and drowning.

3. Don’t Give Up

5 Lessons I Learnt About Being Successful From My Life Threatening Experience
5 Lessons I Learnt About Being Successful From My Life Threatening Experience

There was so much adrenaline running through my body that when I felt my hands cling on to the rock I had no idea that I was bleeding. The barnacles had seriously cut up my legs & stomach. Waves kept crashing on my head as the boogie board tethered to my ankle flopped around in the water.

I thought safety was on the other side of this rock. I was wrong. The water was just as deep and there was another sharper rock behind it. But, I had already come this far and I was NOT going to give up now.

“How long should you try? Until.” ―Jim Rohn

Things don’t always go as planned, but you already knew that. To be successful by any means you must be persistent. You can’t give up when things get hard. You must be prepared to move forward undeterred towards your goal. Give yourself permission to be detached from the results of your actions so that you are able to easily redirect when necessary. If I had given up when I realized what was on the other side of the rock, I simply wouldn’t be here.

4. Finish The Job

I was going to live. I have a lot to live for and too much I want to do. I simply was not going to allow myself to drown, even if I had to drag myself across 10 rocks to get to shore. I was going to finish the job.

“Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished.” ― Neil Gaiman

You made a decision, committed to a plan of action, and chose not to give up when things got hard. Now you have to finish the job. Setting out to achieve success on your own terms is not for the faint of heart. It takes a strong disposition to be able to endure the ups and downs of building a successful business and purposeful life.

Your greatest asset is your track record. When you consistently do what is required regardless of the challenges you become invaluable to those around you. Even if you work alone, consistently finishing the job builds your resilience and subject matter expertise.

5. Express Gratitude

Finally, I made it safely to the sand. I was bloody and tired as hell, but most importantly I was grateful to be alive.

I have had many days where I feel like I had to drag myself over sharp rocks in order to accomplish certain things. Days when all that I have overcome make me feel bloody, tired and ready to collapse on the sand. However, I’m always grateful for the opportunity to be able to do anything at all. Your small accomplishments are just as important as your large ones.

“Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency, and you will attract much better things.”  – Rhonda Byrne

When you achieve what you set out to accomplish celebrate it. Thank yourself, your tribe and whatever higher power you answer to. You didn’t get to where you are alone, even I needed the rocks to help me get out of the water.

From the shore, I admired the power of the ocean. The lessons I learned washed over me. At that moment I knew I was different. Are you ready to conquer your responsibilities? Apply these 5 lessons and coach yourself to success in business & life.

Final Thoughts

Being successful the easy way is a myth. Just like the ocean, life is going to hit you with powerful waves that might knock you off your feet. The important thing is whether you choose to drown or fight to live. No matter what life throws at you, you need to be strong enough and prepared enough to fight it and emerge victoriously.

If you are focused on being a successful person, you need to have an indomitable spirit. After all, nothing important in life ever came easy, did it?

Check out this video below:

Written By Awilda Rivera
Originally Published In Medium
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5 Lessons I Learnt About Being Successful From My Life Threatening Experience
5 Lessons I Learnt About Being Successful From My Life Threatening Experience

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Awilda Rivera

Awilda Rivera is a Success Coach, Author, Yogi & Spiritual Advisor. She empowers Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers & Millennials to use the power of self-determination to redefine and achieve success on their own terms. Read the first chapter of her book SUCCESS MATH: A Millenials Qualitative Approach for FREE and get inspired! Visit to sign up for her mailing list to stay in the know!View Author posts

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