Look, no one said life would be easy.
We’ve all heard it before. The ups and downs of life. Get ready for the ride! You will have good times, you will have bad times. You will grow through them…you will learn from each decision made…yada yada. You get it.
But what I am going to ask you here is, how do you turn an unexpected and unfortunate situation into a huge success? How do you take failure and make it your avenue for greatness?
How do you take pain, suffering, loss, or grief and turn it into positive energy, love and never ending dedication for a better life?
Well, keep reading if you want to know how I did it.
My journey has been an interesting one. When I look back, I would NEVER think I would be where I am today. I wasn’t one of those people that planned their whole life out early on. I am a live-in-moment kind of girl and everyone that knows me, will say that I enjoy it when I can.
Then life happens.
Relationships, career paths, career ends, marriage, house, family, career changes, career changes, health issues, career changes, relationship changes…you get it. The rollercoaster of life just takes you. I held on tight and prayed that in the end I would be somewhere on top.
Along the way I realized that how we react to something is far more important than how we feel about it. Which is extremely hard because we are all emotional humans just wanting live our little emotional lives. It only took me 10 years to realize that if I take every bad thing that has happened to me in the past and look at it now, it was actually the thing that took me to the next good thing. Without falling, I would never have stood taller, been stronger and believed I could do it.
“Cliche or not, you’ve got to fall to learn.” @cbcinkedTweet
Step 1: Fall
This one should be pretty easy for you. Fall flat on your face in life! Whether that is messing up big time, losing a job, getting dumped, going broke, losing a loved one, going through a health scare…you have got to get knocked down a few pegs.
Recently, I read “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson, he stated,
“If you think about a young child trying to learn to walk, that child will fall down and hurt itself hundreds of times. But at no point does that child ever stop and think, “Oh, I guess walking just isn’t for me. I’m not good at it.”Mark Manson
This is something we don’t think about after we fall. All we can think about is the fall. Oh, I just lost my job. How could they be so mean to me? What am I going to do? All of these negative thoughts will overpower you until you find a way to purge it and move on.
Step 2: Purge
This might be the hardest part. If something bad happens “to” you, there is a time in the process where you have to learn to accept that it has happened, it is not going to be undone and there is nothing you can do about it. Except there is.
Remember what we learned – your reaction to everything is far more important than how it makes you feel. If you can just feel what you want to feel, whatever that is in the moment (I.E. I just lost my job and I am MAD!) and then know you feel that way – that’s acceptance.
Now to change those feelings of anger to feelings of hope. This one may take a while. You first, have to want to make a change. So you have to shake the anger, meaning literally purge it. I did this by stewing in my own thoughts for one whole night (no sleep for me!) and then realizing I had to get it out of me. Instead of emailing a nasty message to my (now former) boss, I opened up a blank document and wrote it out to the cyber ghosts instead.
I wrote three whole pages of exactly what I wanted to say but didn’t. I wrote with no remorse, no sugar coated bullshit, judgement and care free. And without editing or re-reading, I shut it down and went to sleep.
The next day I opened up the document and read what I wrote. Yeah, you guessed it – it was pretty angry. So I took some time editing it and whittled it down to a dull roar. Again, I shut it down and went about my day.
The third and final day of purging this, I had to decide if I was actually going to send the email or just let it sit in a draft forever. Again, I busted it out and edited more. This time, I took what I wrote and flipped into an open letter entitled “feedback on your next hire”. Instead of writing down how I felt about what they did to me, I asked them not to do it to their next employee. I listed all the things I wanted them to know. I worded it like a true professional and stripped it of emotion. On the last day, I hit send.
Purge complete. Now what? I was feeling raw, vulnerable and scared of what was next. I also felt free. And freedom means one thing. Acceptance.
Step 3: Acceptance
You may be feeling slight euphoria in this stage. It’s short-lived, so enjoy it. The feeling of purging your feelings is a good one. But it is soon replaced with worry. What’s next?
Acceptance needs to be something you actually spend time on as well! Your gut reaction is going to be to enter back into panic mode and wonder what you are going to do. Stop. Breathe. Sit. Chill. Literally right now, if you need it.
By accepting the fact that this has happened to you, you have opened up a new sliver of possibility in my your mind. You have opened up the power of belief. If you know this horrible thing happened to you and you know you are still going to be okay, that means that you believe in yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back, that’s not easy!
You have now accepted that you are never going back to being the old you. Which means, you can 100% recreate a new you and start with a clean slate. It’s the one sliver lining of a loss. Start fresh. Start OVER if you need to. Just start.
The first step to starting is belief.
Step 4: Belief
This step is going to require some work. You will have to work daily on this because belief will come and go. Believing in yourself is not like “shoot for the stars” and “you can do anything you set your mind to”. No. You can’t. What you can do is give a shit about yourself and try to be the best you that there ever was. How do you do that, you ask?
Belief comes from many different sources. It’s ultimately going to come from you but it helps if you have back up. If you are a lone wolf and have no love, no support and no one to tell about your journey – this is going to be a toughie for you. You need to create a support system that you can trust. If that is where you need to begin, so be it.
If you have a support system in place, you need to work on you. This is where it gets tricky because you actually have to do things. You have to go to bed at a reasonable hour, you have to wake up at a reasonable hour, you have to move your body, you have to eat clean food, you have to put on real clothes and you have to smile through it all. You have to care for your body. The mind is next.
Empower the mind with learning, doing and being. @cbcinked #QOTDTweet
Learn new things daily. Learn by reading, talking and practicing what you want to be. Not saying you need to learn a new language but it wouldn’t hurt to get a certification or two, or learn a new piece of software or just learn something that will make you a better person. That includes learning things about yourself to better yourself.
Do more! Get up and do all the things that you have wanted to do but came up with reasons not to. Do things that are scary, do things that will challenge you. Most of all, do things FOR yourself.
And be. Be okay with being alone, be okay with your body, be okay with your mindset. I do this by positive self talk, daily affirmations and constant reminders. You have to be diligent otherwise the negative talk creeps back in. It’s a daily grind!
Once you are feeling all the love and starting to really get your positive vibe groove on. It’s time to hustle.
Step 5: Hustle
If you have followed these steps, by it may be days, months or even years before you are ready to hustle. I wouldn’t wait too long because what happens when you are reborn is that the creative juices start flowing. Act on them!
To hustle, you have to do work, son. Put in the time, energy and dedication it takes to move your life forward on a positive note. Take baby steps towards a goal. First goal – figure out how to make income by selling your product/service online. That takes research.
Reach out to your support system and encourage them to share your pain and triumph. Nothing resonates with the public more than a transparent story about life, pain and survival. Give the people what they want.
Start compiling lists of things that have worked for others. Create databases, spreadsheets and documents with goals, inventory, partnerships and anything needed to propel you forward.
I have been slowly building up my CBCInked art shop for years without knowing it. I have been drawing in sketchbooks and letting them sit. When I lost my job, I decided to get up and do something about it. I focused my reaction instead of how I was feeling and it was NOT easy. None of this is ever easy.
I have successfully grown, sold art, been in boutiques, featured on websites and written all the blogs. It doesn’t stop at failure. In fact, failure is the first step towards the greatest time in your life. You just have to be woke enough to realize it
Here are the tools I used to get cbcinked.wordpress.com off the ground.
- WordPress – You need a website! Build your own at WordPress. Create a free website and build your dreams out. Whether you build it yourself or hire a team, you need to just get it started!
- Canva – Design anything. Create your logo, business cards, promotional marketing material and have fun doing it! Canva rocks for all things design, free for you!
- HubSpot – The perfect mix of marketing and sales. Educate yourself at the HubSpot Academy or get their free Sales CRM, they are the best company on the planet for all things growth. Set up your email templates, sales leads and close those deals!
- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter – You need to market yourself online, don’t be shy! Use Instagram ads, Facebook ads, groups and hashtags on Twitter! Shout your work out to the mountain tops. And tag those #influencers!
- PayPal – You need to get paid! You may also need to send money too. Sign up with PayPal and send/receive monies. Securely link to your accounts so no one has your personal information. Be safe ya’ll. Get your cheddah!
- Google Suite – You need a home base! Organize your documents, images, marketing materials and create new content with the Google Suite. It’s wherever you are.
- Epson Stylus Photo Printer/Scanner – For me, this was LIFE. Being able to design, print and sell art needed an outlet. Also, just to make promotional materials.
- Square – Take payments digitally or with a Square! Spread out how you get paid and go beyond PayPal or Venmo. Set up shop and accept payments with their free platform.
- Unsplash – Stock images that are high quality, fun and really important for literally anything. You need free images, go to Unsplash.
- Etsy, ArtPal, Redbubble – Get your product OUT THERE! Don’t hide it. Set up your free accounts at Etsy, ArtPal, Redbubble and there are a ton more here. There may be some small fees but this is totally worth it for getting your work out there. A must!
- Moz – Learn how to track your keywords, people! Find out how to rank in the search engines, learn a little more about SEO and get on Google’s good side with Moz.. Hint: you are going to need to create blog posts to drive traffic. Include your keywords!
Take what you can from this article and rebuild. If you just experienced a hardship in any way, it’s okay to cry, scream and fight. Then learn, grow and build. If I can do it, you can do it.
You are everywhere you need to be. If you are feeling lost, that’s okay. Don’t worry you will find your path again and you won’t even remember how it felt.
Life has other plans for you. As soon as you set your sights on something, keep focused on it because life will throw you curveballs. Stay in shape so you can knock them out of the park!
Don’t try to be something you’re not. If you are forcing, faking or sugar coating your life away, STOP. Be you, be true and believe it. Stop doing things you don’t want to do. Stop being someone you are not. Be true to yourself. You deserve it.
Never give up. You are going to get knocked down and it is so tempting to stay down. It is tempting to just roll over and say I’m done. Don’t do it. Keep going. Dream so big that you outshine whomever hurt you. Make ’em look bad.
And always, always support local artists.
Image credit: Unsplash