5 Things I Learned From Almost Drowning That Made Me More Successful in Business & Life

Awilda Rivera
Jul 1 · 5 min read

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

1. Make A Decision: 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.

In Business & Life you have be 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 ActionSuccess 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.

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– 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.

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.

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 bloodied, 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.

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. In 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. Join my tribe and get exclusive content to help you on your success journey! Sign up here!

Awilda Rivera

Written by

Success Coach & Author of Success Math: A Millennial’s Qualitative Approach. She empowers people to redefine & pursue success on their own terms.

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