HOW TO OVERCOME SET BACKS IN YOUR JOURNEY
“Pain pushes and vision pulls” – Alan Cohen
This summer was magical. I had a chance to go to the west coast for five weeks for some speaking and facilitation work, I attended one of the best personal development conferences that I’ve ever been to (the World Domination Summit), and snuck in some quality time to visit friends in Vancouver. I then came back to Toronto and did my first ever TEDx talk (which should be released soon).
There have also been lots of challenges and set backs this summer. In trying to deal with them, I remembered a technique I learned while receiving my Holistic Personal Coaching training last year. Here are the steps I used to move through my set backs:
1. Acknowledge The Pain
I first got a flu in July, which turned into a lingering cough that lasted several weeks. I was feeling fine in late August when out of nowhere I developed a tonsil infection.
I was bedridden for over two weeks, have been on three courses of antibiotics over the past five weeks, and am still slowly regaining my energy and strength. I’ve lost 10 pounds, am frail, and taking the time to recover. At times it has been frustrating watching my body fall apart and become depleted, and even tougher to have to go through it alone in isolation.
Moreover, the tonsil infection resulted in me having to cancel all my speaking engagements in late August and early September for orientation weeks and student leader trainings. I suffered financial loss, and felt down about missing out on these opportunities I was so looking forward to.
2. Write Down Your Dreams
I found this step reassuring because it reconnected me with things I’m passionate about, and reminded me of the importance of my health being in tact in order for me to achieve anything in life. In comparison to health, neither money nor successfully reaching my goals matter as much.
My dream for my health is to gain those 10 pounds I lost back, prioritize my health, and make changes to my lifestyle so that I feel more vibrant and alive. I want to wake up and meditate daily, take supplements, eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water, exercise daily, reflect through journaling, and most importantly, do what fills me and makes me happy.
Despite losing the speaking engagements this fall, I still aspire to speak at 30 events over the next 8 months to continue to help students and young professionals develop skills of connection, communication, and collaboration; things we’re not taught in school but need in the real world. I also want to continue to foster engagement and mutual support through The Potentialists tribe I’ve created.
3. Identify The Obstacles
Lying in bed for so long and being sick gives you time to think. It made me realize that some of the things I was doing were giving me energy and others were draining me. This includes things I was eating and my lifestyle, but also my thoughts, and the activities I was involved in.
For my diet and lifestyle, I realized that I had become lazy and stopped making regular trips to the Whole Foods and healthy grocery stores. I had stopped taking supplements daily, and doing a daily meditation and workout because I was telling myself I was too busy.
For my thoughts, I still find it difficult to speak to people when things aren’t okay, catch myself trying to do it all myself, and don’t reveal what I’m struggling with.
For the activities I’m involved in, I did an audit of how my professional, personal, and health were, what was working and what wasn’t, and realized that I was spreading myself too thin and need to make adjustments to be in a better balanced state.
4. Take Action In Line With Your New Plan
I realized that a lot of things are in my control and that I have a choice to change things if I want my health and life to improve.
For my diet, I looked up supplements, consulted doctors and naturopaths, and put it in my daily schedule to take them. I also put a daily meditation, daily journaling, and daily exercise in my schedule, and refused to let other things take me away from them.
For my thoughts, I reminded myself I am on my path and that I have the ability to accept where I am on it at any given time; that there are many people who care for me and want to support me if I let them; and that sharing openly and learning from others is what I value so I shouldn’t shy away from embodying it.
Lastly, I have added a daily practice of Self Love, to practice gratitude for what I have and who I am and what I am learning along the way. This has reminded me to take it slow, enjoy the ride, and not spread myself too thin. Most of all, it has reminded me that things come in due time with my efforts, and to not chase them, but rather just focus on one thing at a time, do my best, and allow and accept whatever comes as it is.
I often have a habit of overanalyzing things and trying to get the formula right before taking action. I now realize that there is no perfect form, and that this process of continuously making adjustments along the way is the way.
How do you make adjustments and reconnect to yourself after a setback?