Can you be a source of hope for others, even through tough times? Can you choose to look beyond your adversity and take a stand for all that is good in the world?

We often hear about inspiring stories of triumph after tragedy and wonder, “How did they do it? How did they overcome their obstacles to be a beacon of hope for others?”

Oprah Winfrey: A victim of childhood abuse, poverty, and neglect, went on to produce The Oprah Winfrey Show, also O, The Oprah Magazine, and eventually launched her cable network, OWN.

Kris Carr: Radiant cancer survivor and wellness expert, went on to create the award-winning film, Crazy Sexy Cancer, write five best-selling books and sparked an entire wellness movement all while managing life with cancer.

Anita Moorjani: After her miraculous and spontaneous recovery from cancer and near-death experience, went on to become a Hay House author, speaking on world stages alongside various best-selling authors, including world renown self-help guru, Dr. Wayne Dyer.

So what does this tell us about triumph over tragedy? Number one, your circumstances do not define you. Number two, anything is possible—even under extreme conditions.

When Life Knocks You Down

Often, we find that it’s not until life throws us extreme personal challenges that we uncover the inner strength and resilience of our character.

I used to think my daily problems were significant until I suffered a near-death tragedy. This shattered my world and put my life into perspective real fast. I was CEO of a digital tech firm and in an instant lost everything.

After months in a coma, surviving for years on a bionic heart, and eventually receiving a heart transplant, I am alive today and sharing my story to inspire others.

I assure you, this process certainly didn’t happen overnight.

I had to ask myself, “How does one recover from a devastating life tragedy such as this? Do I have the strength to inspire others when I can barely take care of myself? Can I pull through this like Oprah?”

Triumph Over Tragedy

How does one take these incredible stories of triumph, such as Oprah Winfrey, Kris Carr, and Anita Moorjani and apply it to their life?

I want to share with you what I learned recovering from my near-death experience, and how it’s helped me transform my adversity with beauty and grace.

Choose to No Longer Be a Victim

Being a victim is exhausting. Whether you honestly admit this or not, it is. Every day you are pouring energy into more of what you do not want. You are focusing on all the reasons why your situation is so unfortunate. While your feelings may certainly be justified, it’s draining you. It’s consuming your every waking hour. It’s inhibiting any chance of hope to enter your life.

How can you change this? You must make a new choice for your life. Decide that today is the day to change your mindset and shift your focus onto the blessings that life still has to offer.

Focus on Something Bigger than You

If you are anything like me, you are passionately inspired by the idea of contribution, whether you are personally struggling or not. You want to leave a legacy of compassion, purpose, and of impacting the lives of others. You want to do your part to make the world a better place.

Why not use this desire to turn your attention on to something positive? Creative projects, community building, and volunteering can all shift your focus away from your current misfortunes. Surrounding yourself daily with positivity and things that make you feel good can assist you as you move through your challenges.

Give to Others Without Expectation

Genuinely giving to others, without expecting anything in return, is a golden ticket to overcoming adversity. Giving allows you to get out of your mind and away from your personal problems. It distances you from your ego, which is most likely telling you things will never change.

You’re probably wondering, “How can I give to others when I need help myself?” Even small acts of kindness every day can begin to shift your world. This can be in the form of a simple note, inspiration, or smile to another. It is in giving to others that you find your strength.

Commit to Showing Up

Showing up can be as simple as getting your day started. You don’t realize how significant the act of getting out of bed in the morning is until it becomes one of your greatest challenges. Showing up can also means abiding by commitments you have made, meetings you have scheduled, or projects you have agreed to.

“She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.” ―Ariana Dancu

What if you made a commitment to show up and improve the life of someone else? Many of you have a transformational story, but you are hiding. You’re in pain, scared, and afraid of being vulnerable. Sharing your story with others is a gift many of us underestimate. Stories of transformation have the power to save lives. Showing up in life, first for yourself and then for others, allows endless possibilities and opportunities to find you. It’s how you step into your greatness.

Get to Know Yourself

A strong sense of self comes from your interaction with the world. You learn what excites you, what scares you, what motivates you, and what drains you. You get to intimately know your strengths and weaknesses. You also get to creatively experiment with ways to circumvent your obstacles.

It can be uncomfortable at first to see yourself with so much awareness. You begin to notice all of your flaws and parts of yourself that you may find undesirable. That is the beauty of the process—you get to learn to love you for all that you are.

Stepping Into The Light

Choose to step beyond your personal challenges and into your most expansive life, no matter what your circumstances.

Is any of this easy? No.

However, it will make you stronger, more resilient, and it will make you strive to find mastery over how you show up in the world—and ultimately dictate the speed of your success in both life and business.

Sometimes you just need to be the light before you can see it.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Founder/CEO Live Big Be Happy. #1 Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Digital TV Host, & Near-Death Survivor. Cherie is known for her powerful near-death experience. It took $3 million dollars, 100 top surgeons and medical experts in the world, a bionic heart, and a heart transplant to save her life. Her compelling story has been published by the largest database of near-death stories in the world and selected as 1 of 16 out of 3800 featured. The History Channel has approached her, and NHK Broadcasting in Japan has featured her in a film documentary.