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How to move forward in the face of adversity

Posted on May 18 2015

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As we approach the middle of the year, I’ve been reflecting on some of the life lessons that have come my way so far. Although this year has taught me a lot of new things, It has also reinforced the truth in many beliefs that have guided me for quite some time in my journey. I know more than ever to always go with my gut with every decision that I make. I also know that life and people are guaranteed to throw you curve balls every single day and the only thing that matters is how you react to these situations. 

The Lou Holtz quote that states “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it” is one that I constantly remind myself of. There are so many things that are beyond our control but the one thing that we do have control over, is how we react to tough life situations. There is no way to prepare for the loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship or the loss of a job. Even if you have an idea that any of the scenarios above are coming, when it actually hits you, it’s always a different story.

What do you do when nothing around you seems to make sense; when the life you’ve built becomes one that you barely recognize? What happens when you find yourself drowning, or worse, completely stuck and you can’t bring yourself to muster up even the tiniest bit of hope?

1. Acknowledge what is

There is nothing blissful about denial. You’re just postponing the pain that you’re eventually going to have to face and deal with. If you’re sad, be sad. If for a moment, you feel like screaming or crying, go ahead and do it. Whatever is happening is happening. It is counterproductive to pretend that it isn’t and quite frankly, the sooner you acknowledge what is, the sooner you can start moving forward with what is to be.

2. Ask for help

A lot of us feel that asking for help makes us look weak. The idea that we cannot handle our lives all by ourselves is unthinkable to most. If this is you, please remember that no man is an island. No matter how strong you are, you cannot carry every burden by yourself. A strong support system, be it family, friends or a therapist is incredibly important when you’re going through a hard time. Sometimes, it’s not about getting advice. You just want to know that you are heard; that your voice and your pain matters. The only way to breakthrough is to open up.

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3. Begin again

It may seem downright impossible that what you are going through will pass but that is exactly what will happen. Time will make it happen but you also get a say. You get a say in when you move forward and how you move forward. It is your choice to either wallow in self pity or accept what is, pick up the pieces and begin again. What I know is that as human beings, we are resilient and we are much stronger than we think. If you can let go of the doubt, anger, disappointment and frustration that came with being knocked down and dare to muster up just a tiny bit of hope, life will suprise you and meet you halfway.

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