Kendal's Podcast

Ep. 10 – Rise Above Your Circumstances: Keep Moving Forward

Hey, this is Kendal Netmaker coming to you live from the studio, and today we’re gonna be talking about how to rise above your circumstances, how to overcome life’s greatest challenges. There’s a good chance that right now in your life you are going through a major obstacle, a major problem, and you’re going through a phase of how do I overcome this and not let it take me down. There’s also a good chance that you’ve also gone through these things in your life from birth up into this present moment. Listen to this recording right now. Here’s the thing. Each and every one of us has these obstacles, as has these problems that if we use them to our advantage, we can come out of them in a much better light, in a much better success journey right after that. I wanna share with you in this recording some examples that we’ve done in our journey and has hopefully help you and inspire you to take you from where you are to where you want to be in your life.

Because regardless of where you come from, what you have gone through in the past, what you’re going through right now and what you’re gonna go through, that does not mean you can’t be successful. That does not mean that you can’t rise outta that and conquer life’s greatest obstacles and use them as fuel. Use all that pain in turn using it towards your success journey. ’cause each and every one of us is like a vehicle and the fuel that we put into our vehicle, such as obstacles, all these pain and so on, we can use all that in a healthy way to help get us closer to our goals, get us closer to where we want to be in our, our life, our career, our business, and so on. So I want you to think about where you come from right now. Think about every single thing that you’ve had to go through from birth up into this present moment.

All the things that you’ve had to overcome, all the things that you’ve accomplished up into this present moment. Really think about these things right now. ’cause this is very important as a kid. Sometimes we go through things that have shaped our present livelihood and sometimes some of the things are good, but sometimes they are not so good. Sometimes we’re told things that limit our self-belief within ourselves to limit our self-confidence, to limit our potential, to limit us using our gifts that we’re blessed with, to allow us to, to thrive in this world that we call today. As a kid, I went through many of these same problems, these obstacles growing up, and I wanna share with you a few that help illustrate this to hopefully inspire you to overcome your own obstacles. As a kid, I grew up with two parents up until I was about five years old.

When I was about five years old, my mother made a decision to separate from my father. That separation led to us being homeless, living in these scenes called women’s shelters, interval houses for single mothers who had no place to go with their children. So as we are bouncing around these shelters, living in one shelter to to the next, my mother had to reach out to my grandma. We call her Kokokum in our language, and our kokokum took us into her home. And when we were living with my kokokum, my mother was trying to do everything she could to give us a proper upbringing, to give us an opportunity to have success in life, to have a career to prosper and so on. And throughout this obstacle of my mother trying to find ways to give her children an opportunity to succeed, she would get these blessings in disguise, if you would call them, because she was doing everything she could in her path to try find a way to help all of us prosper.

And when you tend to think that way, you tend to attract opportunities into your life that you never knew were there. But it only happens if you make the decision and you commit to it. She had made a decision that she was gonna serve us growing up. She made a decision that she was going to get us outta the circumstance and make it better for ourselves. That decision combined with persistent actions allowed her to attract an opportunity to move into our very first home, a little two bedroom house, not far from a curriculum’s house. And when we were living there, we were living on this thing called welfare. So automatically we were already conditioned to adopt this sense of dependency on government welfare checks. So living in this system of consistently taking a handout from the government and saying, this is how much you’re gonna get every single month, and you have to live off of this thing, we were conditioned to live in poverty.

Now, as I would grow up through this poverty cycle, this mindset started to get programmed as a, at a young age. I used to watch my mother, she would live this paycheck to paycheck, this welfare check to welfare check of a few hundred dollars. And I would watch my mother sit there at the table and she would budget this welfare check right down to the last dollar, to the last penny. So I’m watching her as a kid, I’m watching her budget this check, and in between this time I’m going to the local school on my reserve in my community, I’m going to Sweetgrass Elementary School. By the time I was in grade three, I went to a different school called Cut Knife Elementary School. I made several friends there. And through the help of using my gift at the time, which was sports, I was able to make more friends at recess.

And I was able to make more friends and some of the kids would invite me to their homes, you know, I’d be able to see how they live. And I was like, wow, these people, their own rooms, they have, you know, a ma like it felt like a mansion. I was, I was, I was going through. It was amazing. So my mind became expanded by going to visit all these different places, these different homes. As a young kid, when I was about in grade five, I had met my best friend and his name was Johann. And Johann was a kid that we just happened to be going to the same school, the same grade. We had the same interest of playing soccer. So every day at recess, we’d be playing soccer, kicking the ball back and forth, kicking the ball back and forth and so on.

He was the only kid outta this whole school to ask me the question, Hey Kendal, why aren’t you playing with us after school playing soccer? You’re just as good as any of us on this team. Why can’t you play with us? He would always ask me this one day in particular, when he asked me this question, my bus had just pulled up and I was thinking, should I tell my friend? Should I tell my friend? Should I tell my friend? Should I tell my friend? Finally, I just spilled the beans and I told him everything that was happening in my life. I told him about how the bus that had just pulled up was my only ride to and from my first nation, my of Sweetgrass, first Nation, I told him about how we’re living off this thing called welfare. How we, my mother would budget it right down to the last dollar, the last penny I told ’em about.

I used to have this Super Nintendo, this, this, this, my, my bike, my my sisters had bikes and so on. And we would only get those for two weeks outta the month because the other two weeks, those would end up in a local pawn shop where we’d have to ponder belongings, we’d get a little bit of money in return and in order to, to get our belongings back, my mother would have to pay that back on the next welfare check with interest. And that whole cycle would continue every single month. On top of that, we would have to collect cans and bottles, we would have to sell some belongings and so on. So I told him all these things. He took all that knowledge home to his parents. The very next day, his mother and dad gave us an opportunity. He gave me an opportunity to become involved in extracurricular activities of the sport called soccer.

His family offered to pay for my fees. They drove me to games and practices. Now, why did this happen? I really believe that sometimes at certain points in our lives, people reach out to help you. But you have to be in the right mindset. You have to be willing to receive that. And at grade five, I was willing to receive an opportunity to play soccer. ’cause that’s all I thought about was playing soccer. Now this family’s driving me to games and practices. They’re, they’re paying for my fees. I’m at his house every single weekend. And they lived at this place called Atens Lake, Saskatchewan. So me and Johann were going to the same school. I’m at his house almost every single weekend. They had a three story house with a walkout basement to the lake. And every time I’d be there, my mind would get expanded in terms of, wow, this is what’s possible.

I could totally see myself living in a house like this one day. And as my mind expanded, my future possibilities of what I can achieve expanded. So right there is one of the first steps to rising above your circumstances is expanding your mind with good thoughts, with possibilities. And in order to do that, you have to change the input into your mind. You have to change the people of your round, that you, your circle of influence and so on. And sometimes we find ourselves in, in negativity, people who gossip too much, people who talk about this person, how bad the world is. You know, every single thing that’s negative. And when you start to input your mind with all that negativity, you start to adopt that, you start to think that way and it’s not healthy. So in order to change all that input, you have to replace some people in your life.

And sometimes that’s very difficult for us. Sometimes it’s family members, sometimes it’s friends, sometimes it’s a spouse, sometimes it’s a coworker, sometimes it’s even a workplace and so on. Sometimes we have to change our environment to get what we want in our life. And that’s one of the hardest shifts for a lot of people to achieve what it is that they wanna achieve, to rise above those current circumstances so that they can conquer all those obstacles that are put in their place. Growing up in my reserve, all I could think about was one day possibly becoming a world class athlete. That was always in my mind. And I knew that in order to hopefully one day become an athlete, I would have to work as much as I possibly could towards getting there. So it, it started in soccer and then eventually in volleyball. As I got taller and I got more lanky and so on.

And when I started to focus on volleyball, I made a decision that I was gonna go to, to a different school. And I went to a school in North Battleford called John Paul Two Collegiate. And as I was going to this high school, my very first day, I made a decision I was going to go try out for this volleyball team. And when I showed up to the volleyball practice, I had noticed some that I was not prepared for. And what I was not prepared for was how intimidating it was for myself. A totally different school, much bigger than the last school I was at. As I was going through this tryout, I had all this negativity in the back of my mind telling me, why are you here? You’re not gonna make this team. Why are you even at this tryout? Just this, all this negative self-talk that I had conditioned my mind to think about.

So as I was going through this tryout and I was trying things out, I noticed something, I noticed that one, I was just as good as everyone in this team. And two, all I was lacking was the self-confidence in myself to excel in this sport. And the coach, his name was Doug, he noticed that I was lacking self-confidence. So at the end of the two hour tryout, he took it upon himself to go and reach out to me and say, Hey Kendall, come here. I wanna talk to you for a second. And he pulled me aside to the corner of the gym and he said some words that changed my life. He said, Hey Kendal, I really liked what I had seen today. I see a lot of potential in you. You might not get a lot of playing time this year, but I want you to stay on my team.

I see a lot of potential in you. As he pointed to me powerful words. And as I stood there thinking about what this coach that I didn’t even, I had never met before, what he had said to me, I was thinking, wow, this person believes in me. So at that moment, I made a decision I was gonna commit myself to this guy’s team. One of the things I’ve noticed is that before something good happens in our life, our career, our business, our success journey, there tends to be something negative that happens right before it. A negative situation, a negative obstacle, a problem, and so on. And in this moment, one of the negative things that I had to deal with was my negative self-talk, my belief in myself, my lack of self-confidence, being a shy kid, I didn’t speak a lot growing up. So I had to conquer this by, by being forced to be vocal on this volleyball team that I was now on, that I had committed myself to because of Doug believed in me.

So as I would go through the next three years of my high school, from grade 10 to grade 12, this sport shaped me. The sport allowed me to express my emotion through, through winning, through losing, through being a part of this team environment. I went from being the shyest kid on the team to being the team captain after grade 12. Just like most people, they don’t know what they’re gonna do with the rest of their life. That sport, because I never got into university, the sport allowed me to go to a college and become enrolled in a university arts and science program through the college I was going through called Keyano College. And as I was going to Keyano College, I got asked to go to play on the volleyball team. Now, as I’m playing for the volleyball team, something came to me. I realized that if I had said no in grade 10, if I had declined the invite to play the sport called volleyball, this opportunity would not have happened to myself.

I would not have been sitting there playing a college volleyball sport on a full athletic scholarship and looking to hopefully get a degree one day. As I sat there in my dorm room thinking about this, was thinking, wow, what would’ve happened if I said no before something good happens? There’s usually a bad or negative obstacle right before it. Another example I wanna share with you is the, the rise of Neechie Gear. I had a company right before that, another apparel company that had actually failed. In 2010, I launched this company called Moose Meat Apparel. And it was a volleyball apparel company that I was part of this volleyball team. And guess what? Our team name was Moose Meat. We all had different moose nicknames. We became very popular in Saskatchewan and we were going to all these different volleyball tournaments and people would ask us, Hey, if you had a moose meat shirt or a moose meat hoodie, I would totally buy that from you.

So that’s how Moose meat apparel was born. Long story short, eight months later I found myself having to close this company down because it infringed on a similar out in the West Coast, just like that. I had to close it down. I felt like a complete failure. I felt embarrassed. I had went through a mild depression and thankfully I had someone that said, Hey Kendal, why don’t you just change the name, start a new business. So I changed it to Neechie Gear, that’s where this word comes from. It’s a basically means friend gear. So I changed it in Neechie gear. Neechie gear eventually took off. Eight months later, 12 months later, went from a one bedroom apartment to a little office to a kiosk, to multiple stores, to wholesale, to custom orders, and a online store that serves the entire world. When something good is upon your doorstep, there tends to be a negative obstacle right before it.

The obstacle in that situation was I had to find a way to get over this moose meat apparel and thrive with my new company Neechie Gear. Another example is when we moved from a duplex from our one bedroom apartment, we moved into a little duplex and we are living there. And at this time I had my son, my wife, and we are expecting our daughter. And when our daughter came into the world, there’s now four of us living in this little two bedroom house and we’re living there. And what happened shortly after this is my business was also growing with Neechie gear. And at the same time, I was trying to find a way to get our, my family into a bigger house so that we can have our own space, have our own backyard, our own front yard, and so on. And to have our own peaceful home that we could look forward to going to every single day.

’cause the current place that we were living at was pretty noisy. We had neighbors that didn’t really care to be courteous to one another and so on. So it wasn’t an ideal situation. In fact, what we started to find was some of these people were in and outta drugs, alcoholics, broken homes, gang members would come around once in a while. And the turning points in this, this obstacle that we were going through was we found a used needle in the back of our yard. Someone was using a needle, they threw it in the back of our yard. And guess what? My kids play back there. Oh my goodness. Another time there was a person that was in an argument in our doorstep and I happened to be away on a speaking engagement. And my wife, my kids were home and my wife had to call the cops because one of the people that was getting the argument in our front doorstep got Bear Maced right in front of our doorstep.

So as these things were coming about and I was trying to find a way to save up for a home, I started to speak more. I started to do more keynote engagements. And as I did more keynotes and so on, I started to realize that we were able to build our income more effectively and I was able to save more money much quicker. And I was more driven to find a way to get us into a home. It was because of all those negative situations. I got the fuel to rise above the current circumstance and get us into a five bedroom house that we still live in to this day. Another example was one of our last headquarters that we had with Neechie Gear. And when we moved into this headquarters, one of the things that we realized that we were one of the few people that were in this building.

So as we moved into this building is we were expanding our operations. We were starting to do more wholesale, more custom orders and so on, online distribution. And we got some neighbors that weren’t so healthy. And what I mean by that is we would always smell marijuana. Sometimes they’d have parties at night and so on. And no matter what we did, no matter how much we talked to these people, we started to realize that it was not getting any better. In fact, it was getting worse and it forced us to eventually move outta that location. But after moved outta that location, what we found was our speaking business took off, other products took off, and so on. You see, before something good happens, there tends to be a negative situation, a negative obstacle, right before that happens. So next time you’re going through something in your life, next time you’re going through a situation, I want to challenge you to think differently.

I want you to think about what is this situation trying to teach me? What am I meant to learn from this? What is creator? What is the universe trying to show me in this moment so that I can be better equipped to rise above this current situation, this current problem that is nothing more than an opportunity in disguise. And the more you think that way, what tends to happen is these problems, these obstacles, they tend to be more smaller and smaller every time that you run into them. And every time you run into them, you actually embrace them more effectively than other people. You start to think about and, and use it as an advantage to grow. And as I’m doing this recording, the world is shaken right now. There’s so many people that are hurting. There’s so many people that are, are, are living in fear right now.

And my message to everyone who’s going through this right now in this situation is to try to use this time to strengthen those relationships with those people around you, to strengthen the relationships that you have with yourself, with creator, with however you pray, with your faith and so on. Your values in this moment is how we can rise above this current circumstances. And whenever the cloud lifts, you’ll be better equipped. You’ll be stronger. But it has to start today. You have to make a conscious decision that today you are going to take this opportunity to rise above this current situation, to rise above this problem, rise above this obstacle, and become who you were born to be. And in order to do that, you have to make conscious decisions right now to grow. So some of the things that I do in my spare time when I’m going through these phases of obstacles and so on, is I tend to read more.

I tend to watch more YouTube videos, uplifting podcasts. I listen to audio books, I take online courses. There’s lots that are even free to this day. I try to find mastermind communities online, Facebook groups, and watch their videos on there, ask questions, reach out to people I haven’t spoken with in a long time. You see, the more that you grow in this present moment, when the cloud lifts, when opportunity arises, you are going to be better equipped for that. You’re gonna be able to receive as opposed to being blocked off. ’cause sometimes in our life, opportunities will present themselves, but in those moments, sometimes we’re not ready to receive them because our minds are too preoccupied with other problems, other things maybe with our relationships, our kids, and so on our careers. So in this moment is a time to equip ourselves, equip our minds, and here’s where the beauty comes in.

In order for things to get better, we have to get better as individuals. In order for us to get better as individuals, we have to change our mindset because our mindset detects everything in our physical reality. So in order to change the mindset, you have to change the input. The input comes from everything that you’re listening to, you’re learning and so on. Everything you’ve been conditioned with ever since you was a kid up until this present moment. So sometimes we have to go back and heal ourselves. Sometimes we have to go back and heal people, forgive others, forgive the people that hurt us in the past so that we can continue to thrive in these difficult times that we’re living in so that we can continue to rise and conquer these circumstances that we’re going through. But it has to become a decision that you make here today just because you weren’t raised in ideal circumstances, just because you weren’t brought up in, you know, some of the people that are around you and and how amazing their lives are.

I have this belief that if you’ve had to go through hard times, trauma and so on as a young person, then I believe that you have a greater destiny than most people. I believe you’ve been chosen for something bigger than you can realize that you’re, that you are not ready for yet. But you have to go through certain obstacles in order to grow and to become that person. You’re gonna go through these obstacles and learn things about yourselves to grow, to evolve, so that when the time comes and when Creator gives you this opportunity that you’ve been waiting for, that he’s put in your path, you’re gonna be ready to receive it. But it starts with a decision here today. And I hope that this program here today, ladies and gentlemen, is helping you to rise above your current circumstances and become who you were born to be and overcome life’s greatest challenges that we all face in our life, our career, our family, and so on.

So I wanna take this time to share with you a very personal thing that happened to me when I was growing up in about 2008. My, my grandmother, my kokum, who became a very important figure in my life growing up. She used to help raise me and she taught me a lot of things about our culture and so on and ceremony. And she only spoke Cree. And growing up with her, it was, it was always a per, she was always a person I would to visit, to go and to talk with, to go and stop by and check how she was doing and so on. So we were very close growing up. And when she passed away in 2008, it was very d hard on me. I didn’t know how to grieve, I didn’t know how to let it out and so on. And in our first Nations culture, we had this belief system of about, about dreams, about how impactful they can be for yourself, about how they can help guide you from where you are to where you need to be in your life and so on.

How they can help heal you. And one dream in particular, growing up, I remember this dream just like yesterday. So about a month after my, my grandmother had passed, my kokum had passed, I had this dream about being back in her home, her kitchen. And she was doing the same thing that she would be doing. She was always a hard worker. So she was tidying up the kitchen and I came and I was able to hug her. And during that time, I was able to hug her. And I called her my, my coum. I couldn’t believe in this dream. And my coum, I’m still here. I, I started to really, you know, feel exactly how it felt when I would hug her in the back. There was someone that I had noticed that I didn’t really care for. In fact, I was thinking during this time, how could this person come into my dream that is trying to ruin this moment that I have with my coum?

And I became angry in the dream soon after I remember rising outta that dream. And I came back to physical reality. And I remember sitting in my bed and I was in tears. I was, I was crying that morning. I had to go to a class because I was still a university student. So I drove to, to the, to the campus. And as I was driving to campus in my 2002 Pontiac Sunfire, I remember I was driving through traffic. And you know how some people’s bumpers, they have different license plates and so on, some of them are customized. Well, I just happened to pull up to this one person’s bumper, rear bumper. And I remember I was looking at the bumper, it just stood out to me for some reason. And this is exactly what it had said on this bumper. It had the number four.

And following the number four, it said, 4 Give. And as I stood there parked in traffic, I began to cry. I began to weep. ’cause I believe that my grandmother came and gave me a message that day to forgive. If you wanna move ahead in your life, your career, you have to learn to forgive others. If you wanna rise above your current circumstances, you have to forgive the past because the past can hold you back for a long time. Sometimes there’s people we have to confront. Sometimes there’s people that we have to talk to. Sometimes we have to seek counseling, sometimes we have to seek coaching and so on. Sometimes we have to even forgive ourselves in, in, in things that we’ve done to other people in the past. Forgiveness is such a powerful tool that needs to be expressed through every single person who’s listening to this. If I did not forgive in the past, I would not be able to share these type of teachings that have been passed down to me. In order for us to move ahead and to rise above our current circumstances, we need to embrace forgiveness. Forgiveness for ourselves, forgiveness for everyone who’s heard us in the past, and forgive every single person who’s gonna come into our path and test us.

Hey, thank you so much for listening to this program Rising above your Circumstances. And hopefully it equips you with some tools, some ideas on how to overcome life’s greatest challenges that are either in your past, in your current situation, are gonna be presented to you in the future. And I really hope that some of the stories resonate with you. And I really want you to think about where you come from. Every single thing that has helped shape the person that you are here today. And you use that, you use that as fuel to achieve your goals, to achieve your dreams and so on. It starts with a conscious decision to get better. And that decision starts here today. In fact, you’ve already made that decision by listening to this audio recording. You’re well on your way and I really wish all the best for you and your family, your career, your business, and so on, and keep moving forward regardless of how bad it is or how bad it gets. Keep moving forward.


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