The path to a positive and powerful relationship with life is filled with adversity says PowHERhouse PR and Social Media Expert, Kaare Long.
In our business and personal lives…
Struggles, strife, disappointments, road blocks, heartbreaks, failures, wrong choices, mistakes, accidents, nasty surprises, poverty, debt, loss, having to start over again – do all of these words bring you anxiety, or make you cringe in fear?
Well, I’m going to suggest a counter-intuitive approach to these ‘happenings’ in life, and gently put forth that THESE very struggles and pains are what make you the best that you can be.
I know it is a concept that seems foreign, and perhaps downright silly. “What? Do you mean I should celebrate these crappy times?” – Yup, and yessum – that is EXACTLY what I mean.
Before you throw your arms up in the air in frustration and annoyance – since most of us are happy to leave these times and pray they never come back once we manage to escape them – I would like you to try an exercise:
Imagine the last ‘trying’ time in your life – bear with me here – I promise you won’t leave this exercise feeling crappy, in fact you might find that you feel better about yourself today than you did before doing it. Trust me, give it a try.
Step One: Imagine your last ‘struggle’ whether it be a time of financial hardship in your business, a devastating breakup, a loss of a work dream, a divorce or any other time in life where you felt like the sky was indeed falling as Chicken Little had predicted.
Take yourself back there – allow yourself to feel the pain, fear, and stress of that time. Remember how frightened you were to take the next step – allow yourself to wash in the emotions that held you hostage then. You will notice these feelings have probably taken on a different tone now that you have moved past this crisis, but just acknowledge that. That particular shift takes place when we have healed or are healing from difficult times – it is natural and it is healthy. If you find you have resistance to ‘remembering’ acknowledge this too. This only means that you may still have some healing to do around it. Again, this is normal and healthy. Don’t beat yourself up about it, just acknowledge where you are in this process, it may still be very fresh for you and you may still have some healing to go.
Step Two: Once you have gone to that place, and acknowledged your ‘NOW’ feelings around that particular time, the next step is to bring yourself back into THIS moment. How are you feeling today? You may be far away from that past struggle, or you may even be still fairly close to it. But do you notice how your feelings now ARE different? Again, don’t judge what they are, just notice them.
Step Three: Now, once you have allowed yourself sometime in the NOW – the last step is to mentally draw a line between those two moments that we spent time in. You may even want to literally draw this out on a piece of paper to help you with the exercise.
Be creative, these are your emotions, they are unique, they are individual, there is no RIGHT or WRONG way to express them. It is not necessarily a straight line, life rarely is – it is what it is. Curvy, complex and probably confusing – it still went from THERE to HERE.
The reason for drawing this ‘line’ is to take a moment to realize the journey that you have been on, from a time that you were SURE was going to kill you. Firstly, it didn’t, you are still here right? Secondly, how different do you feel now? Perhaps you have discovered new things about yourself, or made changes due to that time. Just look at your own personal journey, again without judgment, just acknowledge. If it has been a while since the ‘hard time’ you will really notice the change and journey that you took. You may even see some incredible moments of strength as you grew past your struggle into something new. Allow yourself to look at it with new eyes. You DID survive that time. Have you ever even given yourself a pat on the back for that? Probably not – so do so NOW! If you have, then FANTASTIC! You are already learning how to appreciate and acknowledge yourself. Even if the ‘hard time’ is fairly recent, you will still see there is a space between THEN and NOW – you will have grown, changed, cried less, hated the world less. ANYTHING that is different is a celebration – so do it, celebrate it!
What was the point to this exercise? The point is to be aware of the power that YOU have to adjust, to grow to be resilient and to move on. This power is more incredible than most of us EVER give ourselves credit for, especially as women and even more so as Entrepreneurs. We spend so much time just trying to get out of it, we don’t realize how amazing we were in the process, and probably NEVER celebrate ourselves for that success.
Yes, I said it. SUCCESS.
You see, with every struggle, pain, heartbreak – there is hurt, there is fear – but you have found your way over it, through it, perhaps under it. But you have moved PAST it into something new. THIS takes courage, it takes belief that things WILL get better. You kept moving and it took a power from deep within to put one foot in front of the other when it felt as though you may step off the edge of the world.
What you have done here is far more impressive and empowering than any ‘easy come success’ – this journey, this path you have taken has required ALL of you to get here. The individual lessons you learned along the way, the things you decided you would not tolerate anymore, ANY change that came about in you from that ‘hard time’ is a MONUMENTAL success!
Also, you may notice that the ‘good times’ hold so much more power now since you have been in the crapper so deep you feared you would never get out. As all the powerful visionaries and spiritual leaders in our cultures have always said – “the pain allows you to feel your joy more intensely”. And isn’t this true? There is no light without the dark, there is no up without the down. Life is a BALANCE. So celebrate your ability to LIVE this balance, survive it and move forward with a new perspective. THIS awareness of your power is the most incredibly uplifting thing you can do for yourself. The most successful women in business have learned, and embraced this as fact. We ALL fail, and it’s how you deal with that failure that makes the difference. And you will notice, that when you stop living in FEAR of these ‘hard times’ they will have less of a strangle hold on you when they do happen. You will move through them with grace and elegance.
No matter what life throws at you, from this point forward, you will KNOW without a doubt “ This too shall pass”, and I will be even stronger, wiser, and more in tune with myself than ever.
So BRING it on! Celebrate those Adversities!