Home Personal development Inspiring Stories. You Are Stronger Than You Think

Inspiring Stories. You Are Stronger Than You Think

by Vidya Sury November 15, 2013 31 comments
Vidya Sury inspiring stories

Sometimes, we do not have to look far for inspiring stories. They are right within us. Nothing beats self-motivation, eh?

I have realized it is easy to rejoice and feel thankful when we get what we expect. It is tougher to appreciate what we have when we feel disappointed. I consciously pledged to be grateful for what IS, rather than what isn’t.

One of my bosses who encouraged the habit of self-motivation had a wonderful trick. Whenever we felt bad about an unproductive day or when things did not happen the way we expected, he urged us to think of a particularly tough time when we persisted and emerged successful in spite of things looking uphill. He would sit with us and make us recount that experience in detail and at the end of it, we were energized, convinced we could conquer the world.

He always insisted we bear this in mind – and made us all say it together.

vidya sury inspiring stories i canToday, I am glad to say this is a happy habit. Life is not always ideal. But most of the time, we can sail through tough times by recalling an experience or event we overcame. It restores faith in ourselves.

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm”

I’d like to share one such experience with you, an experience I am grateful for to two bosses – one who encouraged and motivated, and one who left me out in the cold. The funny thing is, I am equally grateful to both!

Inspiring Stories – Stronger than I thought

Years ago (and it seems like another life) I had a boss who was never available in a crisis. I was always puzzled because he was a very nice guy. But in the world of sales, especially office automation, competition was cutthroat and only the fittest survived. Being nice was appreciated, but not the first priority.

On one of my sales calls, I uncovered a huge requirement which eventually went on to be the biggest achievement for the company that year. As the client was a government organization, the process was tedious and lengthy.

Then came the day of the committee meeting, where they would make the decision on who would get the order. Naturally I was nervous, even if I had done everything I could. My competitors and I huddled in the lounge, waiting to be called for the deal breaking Q & A.

As usual, my boss, who should have been with me for the meeting, was “unavailable”. I knew my colleagues felt bad for me. As ridiculous as it sounds, most clients did not take women sales people seriously – always expecting them to be accompanied by a male boss. I had my work cut out. But you know what they say, hard work pays off.

So we waited. I was alone. The others were present in teams. Strangely, I did not feel intimidated. I guess my mind accepted the situation and was ready to face it.

The door opened. Our contact person walked out. We looked at him expectantly. He said the committee would get in touch with us in a couple of days.  This was excruciating, as it was a Friday and we knew we’d go crazy waiting till Monday. Still, we had no choice but to accept what he said. Just as we were filing out, he called out to me and asked me to wait. In that moment, my soul smiled. I went back and sat down, and got a few scowls from the guys who were leaving.

Half an hour later, the gentleman came out again and asked me to accompany him to his room. I sat in the chair opposite him, while he scrutinized some papers in the file he had brought with him. Then he looked up and smiled at me. “Congratulations” he said. And turning the file so I could read what he was looking at – I saw, to my stunned surprise, that not only had they decided to place the order with my organization….they had increased the quantity. Of course my eyes filled up, refusing to let me read.

I looked up at him and through the tears, thanked him.

I did not get the order because our prices were cheaper

I did not get the order because our products were the best

I did not get the order because I was clever

I got the order because I built the relationship and nurtured it

I got the order because I did not give up

Because I was honest

Because I did not make any false promises

Because I proved we would follow up and respond promptly

Vidya Sury inspiring storiesAnd I was grateful beyond measure for several things

–      To my boss, for not being there. If he had been, I wouldn’t have had the experience of facing a tough situation and overcoming it. It made me stronger, it increased my self-confidence.

–      For learning another foreign language – my continuous follow up led me to enroll for Spanish classes – I figured if I had to visit the organization thrice a week in the evenings when the Dean was available, I may as well learn a new language. I did. Much to the amusement of the Dean though, since he headed the Department of French.

–      For making several lifelong friends

–      For a raise in my salary and being transferred to another branch to handle major accounts – this order was a big achievement

–      For the overnight respect of my colleagues – who found it amusing that I was allocated the toughest major clients where the company had no presence.

–      For the respect of my competitors – one of them even recommended me to their client

–      For giving me the courage to approach larger clients – they became my specialty later

–      For teaching me to be more tolerant and patient

–      For making me believe in myself

By simply being absent and not doing his job, my boss did me the greatest favor that day.

Truly, tough times are learning experiences. And it was entirely up to me to learn from this one.

Today, I believe that everything is possible.

“Don’t fear pressure, for pressure is what turns rough stones into diamonds”

inspiring stories vidya sury strongerQuestion for you

Have you ever been thrown in a situation you did not want to be in, but emerged wiser, stronger and victorious?

Please send me your inspiring stories. I’d love to feature them in a post titled “Inspiring stories: Of courage”

Email me at vidya at vidyasury dot com with your story, a 3-4 line bio and a photo! Thank you!

With love,



My great reads of the week:

I am a quote junkie and loved this: 75 Quotes to Inspire and Motivate You to Live Up to Your Potential | Powered by Intuition
Victor writes beautifully on a topic close to my heart: Learning to Be Okay with “What Is” | VictorSchueller.com


Share this post ❤

You may also like


Shilpa Garg November 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Aha! That was an inspiring story. When you believe that you’re stronger than you think, it helps you access the power to do what you feel you can’t. And the joy, the satisfaction on achieving that is simply amazing! Thanks for sharing yet another wonderful lesson!
Shilpa Garg recently posted…Reunion

Vidya Sury November 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Thank you Shilpa! Amazing how it is all inside us. We only need to see through the haze of doubt!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Are You An Early Riser?

gowardhan November 17, 2013 at 10:05 pm

I too beleive in Discovering yourselves,,
We have it in us all,, It’s all about the circumstances that will bring out the stronger person in us..

Exrtra ordinary people, bring out the stronger person in them themselves not waiting for any one else to do it
gowardhan recently posted…In Which Direction Should We Sleep ? Answer to question which was haunting me from childhood.

Proactive Indian November 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I fully agree with you that everything is possible!
Very often, it’s our own mental blocks that prevent us from achieving what we think is impossible.
Proactive Indian recently posted…Everybody is human

Vidya Sury November 15, 2013 at 3:41 pm

You know, Pro, one of the scariest moments in my life when I felt real fear was after bringing my Mom back home after surgery in 2009. An abscess (PSOAS abscess) had to be drained and they decided to do laparoscopy. After the procedure, they said she could be discharged and taken home after a couple of days. They had made two perforations and there were tubes coming out and attached to a drain bag, as they expected that to continue to happen for a few days. Bravely, we brought her home.

My moment of truth came when I had to change the dressing on her wound. I swear I freaked out. My Mom was surprised because I took on all wound dressings in our family .. and in fact.. any care-giving cheerfully and confidently. But the thought of handling the tubes precariously held by a single stitch, cleaning around it and dressing it again somehow scared me stiff. I did it, praying fervently. All was well. But…. those few days changed me forever. 🙂 I was also lucky that my Mom was blessed with a solid sense of humor.

Thank you for commenting. And your patience – for reading this.
Vidya Sury recently posted…Gratitude, A Practice, A Habit

Philip V Ariel November 15, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Yes, that is great story. Even though the circumstances were not you did not give up and with an unexpected moment you got everything, that strong will power of not giving up helped you to get the prestigious order. That is indeed a great lesson you brought out her thru this piece. Keep Going. Best Regards.
Philip V Ariel recently posted…Mathew’s City! A New Found City…….

Vidya Sury November 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Thank you Philip! It was a great experience for me! 🙂
Vidya Sury recently posted…Healthy Snacking With SmartEats

Kalpana Solsi November 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm

“Don’t fear pressure, for pressure is what turns rough stones into diamonds”

I will always remember this.

Most of us perform under pressure for we know there is no other way but to stand the test of time. W e do not know about our internal energies until we harness them in the right direction loved the post.

Vidya Sury November 16, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Thank you Kalpana! I think there is a thin line to cross – the moment we give up, or decide to step across.

I am glad you’re here!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Inspiring Stories. You Are Stronger Than You Think

Corinne Rodrigues November 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Another lovely story, Vidya. I’m seeing this turn into a motivational book for marketing/sales people – seriously!
We are truly much stronger than we seem.
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Your World View: Living Gratitude Series

Vidya Sury November 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I’ve been truly lucky several times over through my sales career, Corinne. I must confess my best learning has come from adverse circumstances and I am grateful I had the experience, because most of the time it was totally unexpected, and similar to receiving a gift.

Thank you – you’re on to a great idea. I thought about it a while ago and have been jotting down some of my “moments” 🙂
Vidya Sury recently posted…Letting Go, A Sign of Strength

Diana Natasha Pinto November 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm

This was a very inspiring and a motivating post Vidya. You handled the situation well and emerged a winner. Loved the quotes as well. There are certain situations which think we may not be able to handle but most of the times we face it and emerge much stronger. Truly inspiring.

Fran Sorin November 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm


What can I say except that I am smiling from ear to ear and hearing the voice inside of me saying ‘remember these words’. xxooo-Fran
Fran Sorin recently posted…7 Strategies On How To Live A Meaningful Life

Roshan R November 15, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Wonderfully inspiring story.. loved it.
Life really is a harsh teacher, isn’t it? I do have stories of trying circumstances and life-lessons learnt from it but I just don’t know if I’m ready yet to share them… some wounds strike too deep to heal easily. Perhaps some day in the future.
Roshan R recently posted…Family Matters – an anthology

Victor November 16, 2013 at 2:28 am


I love that story! I also enjoy that quote, “Don’t fear pressure, for pressure is what turns rough stones into diamonds.” So many great takeaways from this piece, but what stands out most is the idea of relying on your past successes to boost your confidence when you need it most. That’s a great approach. Thanks so much!

Hiten November 16, 2013 at 3:35 am

Hi Vidya,

Inspiring, indeed! You’re story demonstrates just how much we can grow when we’re put into difficult situations.

You’re story reminded me of a project I was working on with my Managing Director in one of my previous jobs. I felt quite fortunate because what I learnt from him in terms of client management, leadership and workshop facilitation was priceless. Anyhow, I observed him run a high profile workshop with a large group of colleagues. The plan was for him to run all of the workshops. However, when the time came for the next one, my Managing Director told me he would be unable to run it as an important client was on site. He told me to run it. I panicked for a moment. However, I realised that my MD had confidence in me to run the workshop and I took that as a huge positive. During the workshop, I imagined I was my MD and modelled his approach. Not only did I end up running this particular workshop, I ended up running the next 3 myself. Had my MD not pulled out of these workshops, I never would have had the opportunity to grow.

Thank you.
Hiten recently posted…What State Are You In?

Elle November 16, 2013 at 5:23 am

Love your stories Vidya, always so filled with hope and optimism.
Elle recently posted…4 Unusual Ways To Manage Overwhelm

Richa Singh November 16, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Vidya your posts make me realise how much of the simple ways of life can propel us further. And also how small things which don’t seem to be as much effective finally result in successes.

I will most definitely send you a story 🙂

richmiraclefiles November 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Eighty-year-old Japanese mountaineer Yuichiro Miura scaled Mount Everest on the morning of 23 May13, becoming the oldest person to achieve the feat.
This is a greatly inspiring real life story
Going beyond your own limits is something that you can do any day,any time.
There really are no limits if you want to achieve something worthwhile in life.Look ahead, and look at all the good and valuable things you can do.Life is too precious, and too filled with great possibilities, to settle for anything less.There is great power in your own unique purpose.Your dreams and longings arise not to frustrate you. Their only purpose is to inspire you and urge you to do what you must.
richmiraclefiles recently posted…Courage Is The Cussedness of Persisting in Your Efforts

Rae Buchanan November 16, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Hello Vidya,
How do you create such wonderful content on your blogs? You have a most wonderful way of looking at things and then sharing them with all your readers! I get so inspired every time I read your posts. Thank you again for sharing these delightful insights to the human spirit!
Rae Buchanan recently posted…Tried and True Thanksgiving Games for Kids Part 2

Jshannise November 17, 2013 at 11:35 am

I needed to read this, thank you.

Rebecca Thrittle November 18, 2013 at 3:10 am

This is just what I needed today as I have had a bad day and need some inspiration to cheer me up.
Rebecca Thrittle recently posted…Acne, The Bane Of Our Existence!

Freyr November 19, 2013 at 2:18 am

Its important to try to see the positives in life and focus on these.
Freyr recently posted…Causes Of Anxiety

Vaisakh Venugopal November 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm

A very inspiring tale, Vidya.. I need a dose of these now and then.. and between you and Corinne, I guess I am getting it.. 😀
Vaisakh Venugopal recently posted…Bloodstain

Festival of Words: An Inspiring Story - Write Tribe March 6, 2014 at 12:04 am

[…] all love to read inspiring stories. Today is your turn to tell us one – preferably your own experience, or a story about someone […]

Danish Jamwal April 13, 2020 at 6:15 pm

Hey Vidya ! That is a real graceful post . So soothing and inspiring. I really appreciate you for this post. As we all know everyone has a story , even I have a post ready on this in which real life stories are mentioned. I would like it if you have a look at it as well. Thanks anyways. All the best 😊

Carol Graham March 6, 2014 at 11:46 am

I had to read it twice. I related with a lot of it and appreciated that. You had the strength within you and you tapped into it. You are right in that we are stronger than we think — it is a matter of moving with it. Many times we wonder how we will ever make it through something but putting one foot in front of the other starts with the first step and each step makes us stronger.
Carol Graham recently posted…Write a Review

Carrie-Anne Foster (thatdizzychick) April 2, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Love this post! Very inspiring and motivating!
Carrie-Anne Foster (thatdizzychick) recently posted…B is for Milton Berle

Vidya Sury April 2, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Thank you, Carrie-Anne!

Inspiring Stories - She Did It! - Vidya Sury June 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

[…] I wrote “Inspiring Stories. You Are Stronger Than You Think” I invited you to share your story about a situation you did not want to be in, but emerged […]

How to Embrace Positivity and Possibility: Meet Victor Schueller February 22, 2020 at 1:13 am

[…] can make that choice then to say, “Now what am I going to do?” By making that healthy, positive choice and moving forward, it yields tremendous benefits for your self-control and self-esteem. You will […]


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge