About a week ago, I was driving, and noticed a man crossing the street in front of me.
He was wearing a backpack. His work clothes were clean and pressed, and he was obviously headed to the bus stop to my right. Out of respect, I slowed down far in advance, so that he would feel unhurried as he crossed the street.
He was on crutches, you see.
With great determination, this anonymous man threw both legs out in front of him, found purchase, swung the rest of his body forward, and then hoisted both crutches together in front of him again. Then he swung out his legs, and started the process over.
In this way, he headed over the the bus stop.
I’ve seen this man sitting at the bus stop again since, patiently waiting for his ride. It’s clear by his dress that he’s headed to a workplace, and I assume his backpack contains what he needs for the day, while keeping his arms free to navigate the crutches.
What a guy.
In our new world that is full of selfish expectations, unreasonable demands, and undeserved entitlement, this quiet commuter is a hero. He gets up each day, prepared to fill a useful role in society, despite challenges that others might choose to feel defeated by. He doesn’t give in to his situation, he finds ways to navigate within it, and find a life of purpose.
Certainly he has struggles I am unaware of. Undoubtedly he has moments of darkness–we all do. But this man chooses not to be defined by his limitations, physical or otherwise. He has found ways to fulfill a destiny that he actively shapes through his participation in the world, rather than allowing his existence to be defined by the weakest part of himself.
What about you?
What do you do when the going gets rough?
How you handle adversity can impact not only your personal life, but your business life, as well. Here are some suggestions to overcome your dark moments, so that you can continue to find success, whatever your goals.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you reach out to a friend, a mentor, a mental health expert, or trusted physician, there is no need to suffer. We are all human, and each of us has dark times. Asking for guidance through a storm in your life is not a sign of weakness–it is a sign of strength. Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the difficult situation you are in–at the very least, invite a friend out for coffee and seek counsel.
- Face down your worst fears. Mentally walk yourself through the worst case scenario. Play out your fears to the logical end. Most likely, you will find that the very worst thing that can happen isn’t so awful, after all. Sure, it would suck, but you and your loved ones would still be alive and your horrible situation probably won’t look so terrible ten years down the line. Perspective, Friend. Think it through. I bet it will all be fine.
- Take care of yourself physically. Remember all the stuff your mom told you. Eat right, get plenty of sleep, and make sure to get some fresh air and exercise. These are all basics that tend to get ignored when life gets challenging, and skipping these will make things harder on yourself.
- Walk away for a few minutes. Whether it’s a difficult medical diagnosis, a lousy review from your boss, a fight with your spouse, or something even more serious going on in your life, it’s okay to take a bit of a pause to absorb the blow. Our world has become hyper-fast, and everyone demands immediate answers. Let ’em wait. Take a breather, collect your thoughts, and respond out of a position of strength, not alarm.
- Be grateful. Whatever your situation is, it could always be worse. Always. So whatever has you anxious, there are plenty of things in your life that are going right. Focus on those–the good things. This won’t make the bad things go away, it will just help you shift your focus, and again help you operate out of strength, not fear.
These are just a few basics, and there are other tools that I’m sure you’ve found useful, too. Feel free to share–I’d love to hear how you cope with difficulties.Please feel free to post below, and then please remember to subscribe, so that we can stay connected.
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**Chanler Jeffers is a woman who has seen many extraordinary things over her lifetime. An adventurer, survivor, overachiever andÂ Â advocate of kindness in all instances, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and is a member of their Circle of Champions. She has had the good fortune to live and travel all over the world, grew up as a military dependent, was a single parent for many years, has survived cancer and gently shaped countless people over her years on this little planet we call home. Follow along as she shares her knowledge, her experience and her love. Oh, by the way–one more thing. She’s married to a Bass playing rock star, lucky girl.