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4 Things to Do When Life Gets in Front of Your Ambitions

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life gets in the way

Life happens. Usually at the most inopportune time. Years ago, a long-time client of mine came to me with some tough problems. In the past year, she had lost her job and was considering a new path in the healthcare space that would be more fulfilling to her personally.

At the same time, her husband asked for a divorce leaving her and their two children without much financial support. Then she discovered that her mother was terminally ill, and while her mother had help with doctor appointments and treatments, my client still wanted to be with her mother as much as possible, even if just for emotional support. That’s a lot for one person to handle.

Her biggest question, however, was about timing. How could she continue to look for the type of work she loved, even pursuing additional certifications to make her a qualified candidate, while still answering to the demands that have temporarily forced her off course?

We’ve all been there. Maybe not this bad, but we’ve all been challenged at the most inconvenient times to us.

Here are four tips that will help get you through the valley between those peaks.

1. Look at a bridge as an opportunity

There’s no shame in knowing that you’re going through a difficult period and that you have to do what needs to be done in order to survive. Sometimes it means selling your house and moving back in with your family, putting your children in a different school, or taking on jobs that you thought you would never return to. But these options put money in your pocket. And that’s the point. A bridge lets you go from one opportunity to the next without too much hardship.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

2. Set hard priorities

For my client, insurance, childcare and income were much more important to her in the short-term than finding that perfect job right away. Because she knew exactly what she needed in the short-term, she was able to take an entry-level administrative job at a large community hospital to satisfy those needs while always keeping her eye on the future.

3. Make a plan

When developing a career strategy with my clients, I always suggest a three-year or five-year plan, and then dive into the smaller three-month and six-month goals. It gives the client a nice vision of what could be, as well as realistic goals for how to get there.

It doesn’t need to be ambitious either. If you’re just starting out, sit down and take stock of where you were a year ago, where you are today and how much farther you need to go in the next three years to shape your five-year plan. Are you behind or ahead of where you thought you would be by now?

Then ask yourself why. For my client, staying at her job for a year meant she would qualify for some certifications and training that would help move her into her desired career. Even though it took her longer, this was something she was more than willing to do.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

4. Be forgiving often

This is about forgiving yourself, especially when you don’t want to get out of bed, don’t want to have that difficult conversation, don’t want to sign those papers or show up for what you know will be more bad news. Spend time outdoors and breath.

Spend time with your children or your pets (or both). Go for long walks in nature. Do anything that will help restore your balance. Find a trusted friend or professional that will listen to you, but most of all, don’t be hard on yourself. If you couldn’t handle it, you wouldn’t be going through it, and having that mindset actually puts you in a position of power.

For my client, eventually she met someone new, she spent quality time with her mother before her passing, and she is now a registered nurse. Being a leader is not what you do; it’s who you are. Sometimes who you are has to be very strong.

What did you do when life got tough? How did you recover from it? Leave your thoughts below!

Christina Holloway is a management and strategy consultant, speaker, and leadership coach. She brings 20+ years experience working with visionary clients who want to restart their careers and pursue new goals. As the founder of a small independent consulting company, she spent the last 15 years working with large multi-national businesses, and now leverages that experience to educate, inspire and empower female executives and emerging leaders to develop their skills in effective leadership. To learn more about Christina's work, click here.

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A Simple but Effective Technique to Be More Confident

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Many people want to learn how to be confident in different situations, but it’s not always easy. Maybe we’re too addicted to comparing ourselves or maybe social media has brainwashed us to believe that we should all be rich, famous, and in incredible shape. (more…)

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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