The Secret to Getting Through Tough Times

As a motivational speaker, I like to say that, in life, there’s what happens to you…and there’s the story you made up about what happens to you.  Consider this…

In 1969, while going through extreme depression and suicidal tendencies, I was kidnapped by an escaped convict and held hostage for over 5 hours.  That’s what happened to me.  And I KNOW it may sound trite, but here’s the story I made up about what happened to me (most specifically about WHY this happened to me):

I decided that horrific kidnapping experience was one of the most profound gifts I have ever been given in my life.  Ever.  Why?  Because it serves as a marker.  It lives in my mind as an example of how much strength I must possess in order to have survived those dark times.

So now, when something tragic or painful happens in my life, and my first reaction may be to say, “I’ll never make it through this,” I immediately flash back to 1969 and remember.   I think about the amazing amount of courage and determination I demonstrated.  And I think to myself, “If I could survive THAT, I can survive anything.”

What experience have you gone through in your life that really tested you?  And since you can decide that it means whatever in the world you SAY it means, why not decide that it actually was a HUGE gift for you in your life?

It’s just a story.  But it could be a best-seller.

From your motivational speaker, Linda Larsen, making up LOTS of great stories



Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

Did you enjoy this post? Just jot down your email and we'll keep you up-to-date with all of our motivation and entertainment.

Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. What a gift you are Linda – and the message you bring to the world – for there is no better treasure than the ability to write our story the way we want to. And what a blessing to know that as a motivational speaker you are spreading this love all over the world – changing lives like ripples on a pond – in ways you can never see.  

    I remember having five miscarriages before my son was born. It was a difficult time. And friends could not believe that the sorrow wasn’t getting me down – that I could still smile (or rather be at peace) through all that pain. And I think it was because, like you said, I could write my own story. And the story that I chose to write was a story of how my God carried me every step of the way – how my faith grew strong and I grew closer to Him. How my trust in a bigger plan than mine began to take hold in my heart. And how He promised me that there was something more waiting for me on the other side – and to trust Him even when I couldn’t understand how He worked. So I now look back on that dark time as a blessing – because what I gained from the pain has far greater kingdom value and lasting power – than what I lost in the moment. 

    Please hear me when I say that I am not minimizing miscarriage – or trying to speak for how God works – I am simply saying that I chose to write a different story around the situation – a story that would help me stand tall and strong and live at peace – rather than a story that would have me carry the pain around for the rest of my life.

    Thank you, Linda, for sharing your pain. Amazing how that pain will be used to bless many.  

  2. You are both such incredible storytellers as well as motivational speakers. Your strength is off the charts.  What first came to mind for me is certainly not as dramatic, but through a series of moves I came to know what true loneliness felt like even though I was surrounded by a loving family. The gift is that I learned to depend on myself to create my own happiness. The bigger gift is I learned how to reach out to others and risk being vulnerable. The even bigger gift is I now reach out, not because I’m in need of more relationships, but because I never want someone else to feel that loneliness.

  3. Does my power as an effective motivational speaker come from my father’s convalescence?  I know that I have an inner strength that has steered me through the many challenges of my life.  When I was 9 years old my father had a cerebral hemorrhage that resulted in 20 years of convalescence.  In those 20 years I saw my mother’s incredible strength and weaknesses, the health care systems’ horrendous policies, and the fears and resiliencies of my own journey through puberty, teens and young adulthood.  As I look back I realize that I gained an enormous appreciation for being healthy in both mind and body.  I grew up spending weekends in hospitals with Vietnam Vets in body casts, listening to the gurgle of tracheotomies, and enduring the stench of convalescent homes.  Bleak existence for those poor people.  When I discovered the connection between food and health…that was it, my turning point.  If I could have any hand in controlling my own health by choices I made at every meal then I was going to be in some control of that part of my life.  I started seeing my life as long term at that point.  I was very clear how I didn’t want to end up so every bite, every meal, every week of meal plans has a long term effect in my mind.  I am very strong in my resolve on this point.  I am so sorry my dad and my mom had to go through this in their lives, but it has given me great perspective and great strength.  Thank you, Linda, for making me take a look.

  4. Thanks Linda.                             Sitting in a room at the ER with a doctor pointing at an x-ray as he told my wife and I that our three-and-a-half-month-old daughter had a mass on her brain. My life has never and will never be the same… each and every day I just have to have faith… my daughter, priceless!

  5. You were definitely put on this earth to share your message of courage and hope and resiliency!  Way to go Linda, so glad to know you and receive your constant gifts of encouragement!

Speak Your Mind