top of page
  • Writer's pictureDanielle

5 Mindsets to Adopt to Make Your Struggles Ignite Your Super Strengths

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Job Loss, Seasons of Heavy Change & Hustle.

Professional photo of working mom
Danielle Vardaro, Proud Working Mom of Twin Boys

I was recently featured on the lovely Kimberly Didrikson's Learning Motherhood blog, where she and her team is building a community to support working women through the transition into motherhood. Kimberly is a mother hustler who resides in Huntington Beach, CA with her husband, three children, and two dogs. and the Learning Motherhood community is definitely one your should explore. Their mission: To create a culture that will educate and empower moms in their personal life, family, and work place. Allowing parenthood and careers to work together by assisting employers on providing the right tools to retain their employees prior to and after the birth of a family. Check it out!

I shared with Kimberly and her audience the mindsets I learned and adopted all of 2020 as a blog post on her site. For a deep dive into what I learned, see below.


Oh hi, Danielle here.

Proud working mom of twin toddler boys, problem solver, lover of travel (damn, I miss the buzz of an airport and excitement of flight and adventure) and all things Champagne.

Nice to make your acquaintance.

Now, let’s get personal. I lost my job due to COVID-19, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.


You heard that right. Don’t get me wrong; it sucked. It’s not easy dealing with surprise job loss at any time, especially during a global pandemic. But it sure did teach me a thing or two about life, resilience, and the things that really matter to me. It also taught me what it means to be Strong As a Mother (insert your personal power mantra here).

I’m pretty sure many of you can relate. It also forced me to get super clear on who I am, what I want to do with my life (not a small question), and where I want to invest my talents next — something I recommend we all do. Losing my job was the catalyst that enabled me to dive into the wonderful and powerful world of personal branding (more on that later).

Even though many of us really took 2020 to the face, and I am right there with you, I will be forever grateful for the super strengths that I (re)discovered and ignited due to the insanity and opportunities that unfolded. All of this is why I will continue to view 2020 as a gift. The layoff part of that year was a gift in itself because it taught me some exceptional lessons and gave me the gift of TIME. Time to reevaluate everything.

What’s amazing about that year, is that it had so much challenge and unexpected change, that I found myself almost in a constant state of adaptation and resilience training — two things that I think working moms and hustlers are naturally working on all the time. Last year we really got to take those skills to the next level. Because of it, I forced myself to really dial in some mindsets and sharpen my toolkit so that I can continue to evolve into my next level of greatness regardless of what sh*t sandwich life decides to serve me on a silver platter — no pressure, no diamond right? I’m going to share them with you so that you can level up too.

These are the mindsets and lessons we can all learn from and adopt as our own so that we too can each be ready to live our best life, and effectively continue to handle anything in all seasons of this wonderful and crazy life.

Let’s get into it:

1. View every challenge, failure and closed-door as an opportunity. Use it to help you move towards your next level of greatness.

Simply put: you have to look for the lessons when stuff doesn’t go your way. Like, in literally everything — that’s how you take control of your life and your happiness, and it’s how you grow. Job loss, failed relationship, bombed presentation, rejection, royal screwup etc.…Ask yourself: “What did that situation teach me?”, “ How can I be better because of it?” “What can I do differently?” Take notes, appreciate the lesson, don’t take it personally, and then move on.

Life is too short to dwell on things that happened in the past; you’ve got to channel that energy into living and creating your best life. Never let circumstances negatively impact what you do, who you are, your potential, or how you want to live your life; allow them to help you level up. Remember: if you‘re not failing, you‘re not growing.

“You Want To Win In LIFE? Fall In Love With Losing!” — Gary Vaynerchuck

Sidebar: If you screwed up, and it’s your fault, cool. Own it, apologize and repair quickly. You want to be remembered for how you recovered and responded, not for the screwup.

2. Anything worth doing or achieving is hard. Stop wasting energy, talking about or thinking about the hard part of whatever you’re doing or want to do. Put that energy into taking the necessary actions to achieve the goal.

Listen, all good things take hard work to achieve. Growing a baby, taking toddlers to the beach, getting into college, landing your dream job, executing a good family photoshoot, running a marathon, creating a legacy, having influence and making a big impact…not easy to do, you gotta put in work!

We often only see the fancy finished product, the impressive result, and polished person, and don’t see all the behind-the-scenes blood-sweat-and-tears, hours and hours of painstaking effort, and countless failures that it took to arrive at the end goal. It’s a lot of work to do anything great. We know this.

“Nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy.” Barack Obama

What if instead of talking about how hard it is to do XYZ — which often either deters oneself from actually getting to the finish line or makes the process so damn annoying and difficult to listen to — we embrace and accept the hard and focus on crushing what we’re gunning for?

Pro Tip: One way I do this successfully, is I obsess over the person I will become, the awesomeness of the new new, and the improved life I will live once I’ve achieved the thing. And it makes the process so much more enjoyable. Try it!

3. Look for the moments worth celebrating every damn day, and celebrate them effervescently. Open that bottle of champagne.

Celebrate the little things, because the little things are the big things. And Live your Champagne Life — which to me means: treat your life like the gift that it is, find ways to celebrate, show up for and appreciate the everyday-ness of your life every damn day. This is all we get you guys. When you obsess over the one glorious life that you’ve got, you see the beauty and opportunity in everything, and it feels so good. Make today, and every day “the special occasion,” and pop the bottle of bubbly now, don’t wait.

“Stop saving your nice shit for special occasions. If you flex regularly that will become your vibration.”— Bozoma Saint John

4. Consistency, passion, focus and HUSTLE are more important than raw talent.

Sure, being gifted and talented is nice. But you know what’s better? Being consistent, improving 1% every day, and having a work ethic that allows you to achieve any goal you set your mind to.

“There are so many people in the world that are so much more talented than you. They’re sexier. Smarter. Richer. More creative. More likable, more charming, better-connected, and better-looking. But there is one, singular thing you can do better than them: You can outwork them.” — Anthony Moore

I’ve always preferred working with, hiring, and doing life with people who know the value of putting in work to accomplish something. Their energy and work ethic is contagious, and I know they will bring a get-it-done mentality to any and all situations. And you know what’s awesome? Anyone can cultivate this behaviour. Consistency and hustle are not easy, but they are some of the things you can control and prioritize to become the person you want to be.

5. Showing up as your authentic self in every single room you enter is the only way to live.

No one can do what you do like you do, and there’s enough space for all of us to shine. Trying to squeeze yourself into societies boxes for work, life, social situations, and an idea/culture/environment that an arbitrary someone deems is “appropriate” etc.…is a waste of one's talent and time, and is a game you’ll never win. I learned this lesson hard over the years — especially right after I became a mom when I reentered my (new) life as a working mom, and again when I lost my job.

Trying to hide different parts of who you truly are, so you can be the person you think your environment needs you to be, is exhausting, and it leads to feelings of discontinuity and unhappiness. When you bring your whole self to everything you do, you live a more deliberate life on your terms and attract the things that are meant for you (job opportunities, projects, friends, success).

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde

Which one resonated with you the most?

These are the mindsets that helped me thrive in the pandemic year, and they consistently help me crush life's hard balls, without letting them crush me (there were, and are, some tough moments though, let me tell you!).

When I lost my job — I had always had some form of “work” that had been a significant part of my identity since I was a fresh-out-of-college grad — I had to get really clear on my new identity (“Who am I?” and “What do I want?”) as I began my job search.

Sidebar: The same thing..the identity confusion…happened when I became a new mom, but I didn’t know how to handle it then.

It was exciting and also terrifying, which is how I fell into personal branding. It forced me to get real with myself. I had to ask myself the tough questions that helped me dial in “What do I want out of this life?” and “What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind?”, and most importantly: “How do I want to show up in the world?” so that I could embrace all the unique elements that made me, ME, and love my life — this is personal branding. Owning and celebrating your whole authentic self in everything you do, led me to lesson #5 above.

My final message to us all is to own that whole person, own your personal brand: the adaptable and resilient and scrappy mom, the multifaceted wife/friend/sister, the person who loves to learn about Champagne (or insert your nerdy hobby here), and the human with passions and interests and unique skills that only YOU can deliver in the way you can deliver them. Allow her to show up authentically everywhere. And celebrate her fiercely. I want us to live in a world where “having executive presence” is as celebrated of a skill as “being an adaptable and resilient working mom/dad” (which it is, we have to be louder about it). Reminder: Being a parent is a super strength.

What’s your superpower? Share it, show it, lead with it!


xx, Danielle

PS: If you want a little help dialling in your personal brand, hit me up on the ‘gram @BubblesAndBabes or be on the lookout for my personal branding tips, tricks and resources.

Also, if you want a pressure-tested marketing bundle of personal branding collateral to help you level-up your work-life and dial in your personal brand, you can download the Bubbles & Babes Branding Bundle — it’s packed with the 3 tools you need beyond the resume, and it’s for anyone leading up to a career transition or inflection point, and anyone on the verge of change.

Most importantly: It helped me land my dream job.


bottom of page