We grow through experiences. Duh, right? While positive experiences (like landing a new awesome job for example) are huge, it's usually the difficult experiences - the really really crappy ones - that launch us forward. So what should you do when life serves you a shit sandwich? For those of you out there currently cursing your creator, I have a recipe that may help.
Recipe for Relieving Growing Pains:
1 CUP OF MENTAL STRENGTH
Growing, inevitably, hurts. Think about it: when a kid sprouts four inches over a summer, they complain of aches and pains. Doesn’t it make sense that personal growth be uncomfortable too? Even in business, growth often happens when we are pinned against a wall. Maybe bills are piling up, collectors are calling, customers are dwindling. Maybe the business is on the brink of bankruptcy. Maybe all evidence is pointing to life royally sucking. Sounds pretty bleak, right? It isn’t (though it can totally seem that way at the time). Having the mental strength to know that you will get through tough times and grow from them are mucho importanté. Believing that something better is up ahead, whether it is visible to you yet or not, is a game changer. With this mindset, it’s much easier to take failure for what it really is: growth. In addition, these crummy events are often what light a much needed fire to our asses. They have the power to reignite passions buried by the day to day grind, if you allow them. I’m going to go ahead and be extra cheesy by quoting Florence + The Machine in “there’s always darkness before the dawn”. This may seem like a totally idealistic way of thinking, but I promise that I’m not full of donkey dung. Obviously, events like your business bombing at a Hiroshima level or being served divorce papers on your wedding anniversary aren’t pleasant. But let me ask you this: how many times have you experienced heartbreak, thought you’d never find love again, only to meet someone even more amazing six months down the line? Which leads me to my next ingredient…
1 TABLESPOON OF TRUST
Trust the timing of your life. You may think that I’m living in Lala Land when I say this, especially if you’re faced with hurdles such as divorce or financial ruin, but it is crucial to trust that timing is everything. For example, had I met the love of my life ten years ago, we wouldn’t have dated. It took me going through a messy separation and him returning to our home town in order for us to come together. At the time of my separation, it was easy for me to believe that I’d be single forever. If I’d just trusted the timing of my life, I would have saved myself countless sleepless nights obsessing over dying alone with the twenty cats I imagined myself adopting, and making the CBC news post-mortem for being eaten by said cats. The point being; trust that there is always a better opportunity out there waiting for you.
A DASH OF PERSPECTIVE
When life throws poo at you like monkeys in a zoo, whether it be in the shape of a failed relationship or business or what-have-you, it’s important to remember that nothing in life is permanent. The pain will pass. The sense of defeat will pass. The feeling like you’re the biggest loser on the planet will pass. If you view a tough experience as an insurmountable obstacle, it will be. If you view it as an opportunity, it will be. Your perspective dictates how quickly and easily you move on from any given snag. Let me be clear; I’m not saying not to feel all the feels. It’s healthy to be sad, angry and/or disappointed when faced with unwanted change. Take a moment, have the ugly Oprah cry that you so desperately need, and then readjust your perspective. By allowing these challenging events to do what they’re meant to do, you will be stretched, not squashed.
GARNISH WITH INSIGHT
Understand that while change may be difficult, it is the only true constant in life. Change isn’t a villain in your journey. Recognizing this will allow you to grow to your fullest potential, with a newfound hunger to succeed.
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