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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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3 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself and Live an Optimized Life

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The secret to happiness lies in the way you live your life. People think of happiness as some destination they’ll reach when they’ve accomplished the hundred things on their life to-do list. Happiness is often associated with money, material possessions, or even great relationships. (more…)

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These 7 Daily Resolutions Can Change Your Life

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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve!  All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing

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One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.

Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.

1. Content can be a form of self-expression

When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up. 

But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself. 

Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.

2. Self-reflection will lift you up

As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had. 

There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod

3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie

It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.

When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out.  There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.

4. Library of content to share with more people

It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.

As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.

You never know who is watching (reading)

Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say? 

You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience.  Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.

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5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life

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Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end. 

Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life. 

1. Change Your Self-Concept

Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities. 

2. Sign Up For An Online Course

If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need. 

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma

3. Learn From a Mentor

No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process. 

4. Start A Side Hustle

The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills. 

5. Nourish Your Body

As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.

Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:

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