New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!

New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!


Elizabeth Smart

The Power of Hope to Heal

"Forgiveness is the greatest expression of self-love you can give yourself.”

There are a lot of heartbreaking things that happen in this world. I’m sure you have your own stories.

Being a victim doesn’t end with the event. It continues on for a lifetime.

In the end, you have no control over what happened to you. There’s no going back. What you do have control over is the decisions you make on the other side — how you let these tragedies affect you.

You need to not only stay strong but also learn to forgive.

When I say this, I say it from personal experience. I have gone through abuse when I was younger, and I understand how it can disrupt you to your core.

But forgiveness isn’t for them. It’s for you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what happened is ok. It doesn’t mean you let go of what happened and consider everything to be just fine. It doesn’t eliminate what happened.

Forgiveness is about allowing yourself to move forward as a better person. It’s about growing, rather than letting these events disrupt your life anymore. It’s about becoming stronger and learning from the situation to help others.

There is no one who knows this better than today’s guest on The School of Greatness: Elizabeth Smart.

“It’s not what happens to you that defines who you are; it’s ultimately your decisions.”  

If you haven’t heard of Elizabeth Smart, she was kidnapped by complete strangers at the age of 14 and held captive for 9 months. She endured nearly every terrible thing you can imagine.

Today, Elizabeth is a NYT best-selling author and has dedicated her life to bringing empowerment to survivors and awareness to these crimes.

On this episode, we discuss the biggest lessons she’s learned about forgiveness, her definition of hope, the importance of owning your story, and the biggest lesson she learned from her captors.

Discover all of that and much more, on Episode 629.

“The decisions that you make to survive are not wrong.”  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What’s been the biggest lesson about forgiveness for you? (6:23)
  • If you could go back to that day would you wish it didn’t happen, or do you feel like you’re better off because of what you learned? (10:42)
  • What was the feeling when you saw your family for the first time? (12:32)
  • Do you feel like you’re still healing today? (16:20)
  • What if you feel there is no hope? (17:32)
  • Does someone who commits these crimes have no hope for a meaningful life? (19:26)
  • Is there anything that you’ve given up hope on? (25:03)
  • Do you believe in people? (27:42)
  • What’s the reason to keep going when things are dark? (29:18)
  • If what we go through doesn’t define us, what does define us? (32:09)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How long it took Elizabeth to forgive and move on (9:46)
  • The biggest fear for Elizabeth during her abduction (12:00)
  • What gave her hope while being held captive (14:13)
  • Her definition of hope now (16:46)
  • The difference between a collective community having hope and a single person having hope (24:38)
  • How people can be more educated to not commit these crimes (25:52)
  • What Elizabeth wishes more people would do about owning our own stories (28:12)
  • The biggest lesson that she learned from her captors (29:35)
  • Plus much more…

Connect with
Elizabeth Smart

Transcript of this Episode

Music Credits:

Music Credit:

Galaxy by R&W

A New Beginning by The Flash Music

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