Making Lemonade wasn’t Enough for Me

How I stopped framing my accomplishments as being “in spite of” and let them stand on their own feet.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
The next time life hands you a basket of lemons, get a little crazy with it

Here’s the deal: I want to get deep about something that is close to my heart. I came across this powerful statistic the other day that led me to reflect on a huge shift I experienced in my twenties. 

Here is the statistic: In a classic study of 400 high-achievers, it was discovered that 75 percent of them had faced severe difficulties, such as the loss of a parent, poverty, or abuse in childhood. 

That’s me. Not one of those things, but ALL of those things are part of the story from my early life. It can feel lonely to operate in the world with such an extreme commitment to excellence and achievement and have that kind of story (often secretly) sitting like a heavy weight on your shoulders. 

What allowed me to overcome those early (and resulting residual) hurdles to shape the life I have now was sheer resourcefulness, grit, resilience, and perseverance. But, at some point in my twenties, I realized that I had developed a nasty habit as a result.

 You see I was the queen of making delicious lemonade from the lemons life gave me. But at some point, lemonade just wasn’t enough. It was the same old thing, guys! I realized that I needed to expand my recipe repertoire and do more than making something as simple as lemonade! Lemon, water, sugar. Repeat. Too simple. Boring. My ‘story’ and I are more sophisticated than that!

So, I changed the narrative. I stopped framing my accomplishments as being “in spite of” my beginnings. I allowed them to stand on their own two, powerful feet like they deserved to. In doing so, that past faded quickly and the weight fell from my shoulders over the next few years. 

I know I attract many of my clients because they want to have that same resourcefulness, grit, resilience, and perseverance. In fact, these are now identified as highly desirable qualities in leaders. It is my honor to help them tap into those qualities starting right where they are today and to enlighten them to the fact that those gifts don’t have to result from extreme challenges and being in survival mode (at work or in their personal lives). Your path to growth and self-actualization does not have to be heavily paved with resistance. 

If you’re framing achievements “in spite of”, like I once did, I see you. Stop dragging that inheritance around behind you like the dead weight it is. 

The next time life hands you a basket of lemons, I challenge you to get a little crazy with it.

Goodbye lemonade! Make some Limoncello or Salt Bae those lemons on the grill!

Originally published at

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Adrian Jefferson Chofor

by Teresa Hawley Howard

“6 strategies to help you face your day with “Joie De Vivre” with Sheri Sutherland

by Yitzi Weiner at Authority Magazine

I did not die at 17…..but he did!

by Sallyann Della Casa

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.