The Storm Is What You Make It

First, let me say that I had no plans to write today. What I’m about to say just hit me a few minutes ago.

Be thankful. Appreciate the good in your life even if you’re experiencing a storm. It’s so easy to forget that there’s always some good. You probably feel trapped in a dark room, but far away you see a sliver of light shining under a door you can’t yet reach. It’s something. All hope is not lost.

Maybe you only have $5.11 to your name and have a pile of bills, but can you walk on your own? Do you have your health? Maybe you just lost your job and you’re not getting any promising leads on another, but don’t you have a supportive family and great friends who will help if you’re not too prideful to ask?

Trust me, I know that when bad thing after bad thing hits you, it starts to seem like you’re cursed. The trials and tribulations have planted a seed of doubt and you stop believing that life will get better. Negative thoughts take over your mind and now you start accepting that maybe getting ahead in life just isn’t for you.

Stop! Please don’t think that way. Life is full of tests and whether you believe in a higher being or not, know that your situation can and will improve if you don’t give up. Yes, you can take one step forward and then BAM, something hits and now you’re three steps behind. That happens, but also don’t compare your journey to others. You don’t know how hard some have worked to reach their level of success. And yes, there are those who have been blessed and haven’t had to work extremely hard, but they have their own internal issues. Don’t let the filtered Instagram photos and impressive Facebook check-ins have you thinking otherwise. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone is battling something. No one is 100 percent happy with their life so stop thinking that you’re the only one feeling frustrated and tired.

A friend and I recently had a discussion about social media and how sometimes it’s necessary to take a break because being bombarded with too many “good’ photos/videos can start making you question your life. This person expressed how everyone seems to be getting engaged, getting married or having children. She said she was happy for those people, but wondered if she’d ever celebrate those moments in her own life. She’s single and extremely successful. For those who don’t know her, they may be jealous of her life based on what they see. The degree, car, home, career, passport and thousands of photos taken in other countries looks amazing and exciting on social media. Some may think she has the perfect life. But she’s feeling like she may never get married and have children because it’s difficult to even get a loyal committed boyfriend, she told me. People in her circle are considering freezing their eggs soon.

Another person who I admire so much came from humble beginnings and has hustled hard since day one. This person, like me, would work for free just for the exposure, contacts and experience. Things have drastically improved now, but that’s because the foundation was laid early. Now some may see this person as someone who has it “easy” and based on what they see on social media, may feel like they’ll never be that successful.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Don’t worry about where others are in their journey. That’s not your concern. You need to keep working hard and focusing on how you’ll turn your situation around.

You go backwards? Learn from it. You move forward only an inch? That’s something. Every step counts so keep moving.

We’re too hard on ourselves sometimes. One thing I appreciate about my past mistakes is that I’ve learned from them and I’m better today for them. No one is perfect. We make mistakes. If you get off track from your goals, receive the lesson and then get back on track.

If you’ve moved forward but it’s still not the leap you were looking for, it’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up. Progress is progress no matter how small. Remember where you were six months ago? A year ago? Two? Exactly. Every single step you take counts so don’t get discouraged. Keep moving. You’ll make it. And when things appear hopeless, remind yourself of the good that’s still in your life.

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