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3 Ways to Bounce Back When Life Pushes You Hard

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A few years back, I was reminded of the fragility and unpredictability of life. I was 32, going through stressful transitions; moved countries, changed careers, and was getting used to being a mother of two toddlers. It was November, I went for a casual check-up and ended up being diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer, spreading like a wildfire. Within a few hours, my world caved in. After days of crying, and thinking it was all a bad dream, I got myself together and felt a deep desire to live, be close to my loved ones, travel, and fight the cancer. 

I lost my “rational mind” and my gut instincts became stronger and clear. I made a decision, which was logistically challenging and would require me to be the best possible version of me at a time when my life was falling apart. 

After two weeks of going through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, I decided to relocate my family, close to my guide, mother nature. I relocated to Ganges near the Himalayan foothills.

The Journey 

During chemotherapy, I used to wake up to the sight of the milky green Ganges, a valley surrounded by mountains, the chirping of birds, and a burst of energy that came with the river breeze. I would hike down to the river, catch the first rays of sunlight, feel the rich life around me, stand under the gushing waterfalls, and take dips in the freezing water of the Ganges.

I also did yoga and meditation by the river, and it made me feel so free, fearless, and one with nature. There was an invisible force, guiding me, protecting me, and loving me. The worst time of my life suddenly changed into the most enlightened time.

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Here are the 3 things I learned from this journey:

1. Keep faith, accept the challenge, and believe in the grand scheme of life

Imagine you are on a hiking trip. You have trained, are well prepared, and there is energy burning inside you. You are conquering the terrain, feeling the rush of blood, enjoying the beauty, and getting more adept with every step. Suddenly, the weather takes a turn for the worse, you become overwhelmed, tip over a rock and fall.

Your group keeps on moving and you are left behind, in the harsh weather and a broken leg. What is supposed to be a beautiful journey, suddenly becomes a nightmare and you are gasping for breath. Now, you have a choice to either sit and blame everyone else or to think about the possibility that there is more to what just happened. You can’t change the course of the weather or the fact you got hurt. You can either feel helpless and be a victim or you can channel your energy, get back your inner strength, and think about the possibility to get out of the mess.

Life is like the hiking trip, unpredictable and bittersweet. Unforeseen events, can put us off the radar, no matter how well we planned. Giving more power to the events, being in a state of victimhood or ‘why me’ leads to helplessness, anxiety, depression, isolation and low self confidence. 

Instead, have faith in the universe and yourself. You can’t control certain things, or go back and change them. What is within our power is to accept the test that life has bestowed, find that inner spark, and move ahead.

2. Mother nature has got your back

Because thousands of thoughts cross your mind, it’s challenging to break a chain of negative thoughts that take over your mind. What you can do is go outside, and experience the sunset, sunrise, walk in the woods, swim in the sea, lie on the grass, and take deep breaths of gratitude.

Feel the richness of life, the cycle of change, the vacuum of silence, and the music of the trees. You will observe your negative thoughts slowing down and your breathing getting into a more natural rhythm. 

Go on a solo nature trip, do Forest Bathing (a therapeutic technique originated in Japan), release the vented up emotions through writing, singing, or observing and learning from mother nature. When the mind is at peace, the inner voice within, becomes louder and stronger and all the fears are left behind. That is the place you want to be, where you activate the voice that knows the best for you.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius

3. Work from the inside out, detach yourself from the outcome, and take small actions

The thoughts and emotions you are experiencing are there for a reason. Without judging or labeling them as good or bad, or shoving them under the rug, take a deep dive and reflect on the meaning of them in your life. 

Working with a personal development coach or self reflecting on your values, what drives you, and your vision will give your emotions a medium of self expression. Unexpressed thoughts and emotions are like a dormant volcano, building up pressure every time you feel dishonored.

For instance, if you feel stuck in a toxic relationship or a job, it could be because you have invested every bit of yourself into it and it feels almost impossible to escape. Though your values are consistently dishonored, you feel betrayed, angry, helpless, and there is too much friction and resistance to take another step.

Not taking action is like being stuck in quicksand, because the more you postpone, the deeper you get sucked in. Your self confidence and self esteem takes a nosedive and every day you drift away from who you are as a person. Instead, take small consistent actions every day. These actions should help you feel alive and make you feel close to who you are.

Go for a run, sweat out those toxins, or practice yoga. These activities can help you develop the mental strength, the ability to face challenges, and to believe in yourself. If you love to dance, join a dance class. If you love to play sports, find a group and commit to it.

Have you seen a climber plant? Once it gets the right support and nurturing, it climbs up against gravity. The key here is to create that support system by tuning in to the above practices and no matter how hard life pushes you, find that firm ground beneath your foot, and bounce back.

How do you find the strength to get back up after life knocks you down? Share your thoughts with us below!

Nature freak, risk taker, an empath and a Life Coach, Nupur Bhatnagar is passionate about helping individuals overcome their fears, navigate stressful emotional life transitions, and be fearlessly who they are. Prior to following her dreams, she worked as a Software Engineer for a decade in Corporate America. If you want to learn more about coaching and how it can help you, visit her website Road To Being You  and schedule a 45 minutes complimentary coaching session.

Life

How to Write a Personal Destiny Statement in 3 Steps

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We all have a God-given destiny to fulfill that we were each born with. I personally believe it is buried deep down within us. The number one secret to success is to let it emerge out of you and release it to the world. What is my destiny you may ask? It is the thing you would regret not doing before leaving Planet Earth. (more…)

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Life

Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Life

Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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Life

6 Unusual Exercises to Effectively Increase Your Creativity Faster Than Ever

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Although a vast majority of people think that creativity is something you are born with, the truth is a bit different. While we cannot deny that you need natural talent to a certain extent, stimulating creative thinking is indeed a matter of practice. If you give this thought a bit of thinking, you can realize pretty quickly that even the most fascinating and creative minds have faced the lack of creativity at some point in their lives. (more…)

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