Guest: Michela O'Connor Abrams

How to overcome grief

People who build a successful life for themselves understand a very important concept: they control what they think! In doing so they’re able to grow while others feel defeated, see opportunity when others lose hope, and experience life on their terms. On this episode of Breakthroughs with Jordan Murphy, we’re introduced to Michela O’Connor Abrahms. A remarkable woman who’s understanding of mind over matter has allowed her to overcome one of the toughest obstacle’s humans face, experiencing grief. Michela’s story proves immensely valuable as she leaves us with three powerful lessons that’ll help anyone overcome grief, overcome fear, and begin to live a life on their terms.

 Michela is an exceptional role model. She’s worked her way up through positions in different companies such as sales manager, Vice President, COO, President, and currently the CEO of Moca+. Through her work she offers innovative approaches to leadership and strategic design thinking. Michela has established herself as a successful keynote speaker and leader in brand strategy. Her vision and reluctance to settle for the status quo are admirable traits we can all learn from. However, the road to her success was not all that easy. Like any story of success, there’s always a breakdown and breakthrough somewhere in a person’s life that helped them grow-and that’s what we learned from Michela.

4 unimaginable years of grief

Michela went through a heart-breaking period in her life where she experienced a great amount of grief. She had the dream of spending her later years enjoying life traveling with family and friends and instead over the span of four years one of her closest friends, her father, and husband all died…her father and husband within a couple weeks of each other. The ability to overcome grief of this magnitude is rare, but Michela identifies three important lessons learned which truly helped her overcome grief and continue her journey.

Remain in the present

The only thing we have control over are our thoughts and actions. We can’t go in the past to change that, nor can we go into the future to influence it. The only influence we have is right here, right now, in the present. Thus, it’s to our benefit to own this power in this very moment. When we exercise this, we begin to feel less worry, anxiety, sadness, because you realize you have the power to choose. And what you choose now will influence everything to come. This lesson helped Michela overcome grief, along with the wise words of her late husband…“84% of the things you worry about will never happen...don’t worry about that other 16%. If it’ll happen it’ll happen so worry when it actually happens”.

See things as they can be not as they are

Many people are after the one secret that’ll allow them to manifest their desires and beliefs. However, the real secret is that we do this so perfectly we don’t even realize it. That is why many personal development speakers advocate less “trying” and more “allowing” because this mechanism happens naturally. Humans are so good at subconsciously buying into their own limiting beliefs, that they manifest and literally live out that self-fulfilled reality. This process is seamless; thus, the effort lies in guiding our vision, thoughts, and imagination, not making this “whole thing” work. Michela learned how to overcome grief by realizing she needed to manage her thoughts. She had to see herself and her situation as she wanted, not as it appeared. This allowed her to continue growing her success and overall well-being.

Be the best version of yourself that you can be

Michela mentions her experience of looking at herself through her loved one’s eyes. She understood they wished they could be there for her, but they can’t. Thus, it is up to Michela to honor their lives through her intention to be her best self. “We owe it to them” she says, and we owe it to ourselves, don’t settle for the status quo. To overcome grief, you need to strive for continual progress of yourself. It’s important to never compare your life with another’s. "We are not our best because people are inferior to us. We are our best when we are simply our best".

It is with these three fundamental lessons that Michela has been able to draw power and perseverance. Many situations of grief can become periods of growth when you remember these important lessons: stay mindful by living in the present, remain optimistic through exercising your vision of how things can be, and lastly, always strive to be the happiest/most productive version of yourself.

Do what you love and love what you do. Because whether you think you can, or you can’t - you’re right. You can overcome grief, you can find your purpose in life, and you will accomplish it when you decide to not settle for anything else.


Books recommended by Michela O'Connor Abrams

Jordan Murphy