Life Is Hard, But You Are a Strong Badass B
My 5-Step Method to Moving Through the Suck
Every once in a while I have to remind myself that I’m tougher than my circumstances.
Especially when I find myself in the thick of it, like now: Hello, 2020 the year of challenge and growth, nice to see you again. I’m in a hard and exhausting season y’all, and I know so many of you are feeling this too. It sucks being a parent-adult-human right now, in what I’m sure we will refer to as “That Pandemic/Election Year That Almost Destroyed Me, But Didn’t!!!” in the future. This is not easy.
But deep down I know that I can knock out anything life throws my way, because I have proven to myself time and time again how powerful my thoughts are, and I believe I will.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” –Henry Ford
I was able to test this out extensively when I was pregnant with twins (and I still do!), most notably during the first trimester when everything seemed impossibly challenging. When I think back on that time, I vividly remember being more exhausted than I had even been in my entire life, I felt unfathomably sick, I was hungry but nothing seemed palatable, I had no idea what to expect or if anything would improve, and to top it off I was trying to keep it all a big fat secret which is a test of willpower in itself. Twin pregnancies are different than singleton pregnancies because when you’re pregnant with twins, you are the proud recipient of double the blood volume, double the hormones, and excessive fetal monitoring and doctor visits because your pregnancy is high risk. It’s a trip.
I remember complaining to my mom on the phone one day after a visit to the Maternal Fetal Medicine clinic (aka the hospital for preggos with multiples), and she stopped me mid-whining and said: “Listen, no one said growing a baby was easy, and you have two. Being able to make a baby is a gift. And the reality is, today might be the best you ever feel during this whole pregnancy, so you better appreciate it.”
It hit me like a ton of bricks, and it changed the entire course of my pregnancy thereafter (thank god). That conversation with my mom was the single moment that allowed me to shift my mindset so that I could experience my pregnancy positively. It now allows me to look back on that profound time in my life and remember it as an absolutely glorious memory instead of how hard it actually was.
We don’t always get to choose our circumstances, but we always get to choose how we perceive them.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to be Sally Sunshine all the time (there is a such thing as toxic positivity). But, I think it’s as equally important to think positively about your life as it is to feel the struggle, and to sit in the suck for a minute.
After all we learn a lot (more?) from the suck. Mostly around what we want and what we don’t, and what needs to change. It is so important to feel-all-the-feels sometimes and to not try to bury them; to really accept what’s going on, to take in the lessons, and to just simply feel the reality of your circumstance. And then, it’s as equally as important to take the necessary, expedient actions to un-funk oneself and get your mind right and move through it and to the either side.
I have a 5 step approach to this method that has never failed me, that I recommend everyone practice when faced with adversity or challenge:
Sit in the suck. For like a minute, or a day, or a few if you really need to, but if we’re being honest with ourselves we really only need a day to process most sucky things. Be real with yourself, and get help or ask for help if the suck prolongs for days on end.
Let go of the suck. Let go of what you can’t change and can’t control. Write it down, which I find is a cathartic release in itself. Leave it in the past, and don’t look back, after all you’re not going that way.
Move on from the suck and redirect your mindset towards living your best life, or what I like to call Your Champagne Life. Start to put all energy, effort and attention towards the things that actually matter as soon as possible, including the things that are serving your future self, and towards things you can control. Here’s a little reminder from me to you: You get one shot at this fabulous, messy and magical life. ONE. No do-overs, no dress rehearsals, ONE. Let’s spend the majority of our precious time focused on living life as effervescently as possible.
Keep Moving. Movement is medicine — literal move-your-body-motion , like fitness and endorphin-generating activities, and literal actions towards the next thought, or task, or step needed to get closer to where you want and need to be, are key because you’re moving your whole being into goodness and reminding your body of what feels good.
Deploy the Get-Your-Life-Together Pep Talk. It’s not always easy to change your mind and mood — trust me I’m the first to admit how hard-headed us boss ladies can be sometimes *wink*. This is when it’s important to deploy the personal pep talk, like: “Listen up, buttercup, the road to greatness is not paved with unicorns and rainbows. It’s going to be uncomfortable and hard sometimes, which is only going to force you to actually grow through this experience and to be a better leveled-up version of yourself when you get to the other side; hard seasons are hard but you are a strong, resilient, badass, MF queen.” Ya feel me? Sounds silly, feels good.
It’s work y’all! But it consistently helps my un-funk myself. And it’s important to have these tools in our Mary Poppins bag because life is a long game.
There will always be that thing that comes out of nowhere and tries to mess up your fresh blowout and spill your coffee, but you inevitably survive, grow through it and are better for it. Afterall, aren’t some of the most interesting and accomplished people the ones that have gone through some real sh*t?! I immediately think of the many people I admire, and their “growth experiences” and think “damn, I’m glad I only have to live vicariously through that!” and think how awesome they are. We often need these unexpected challenges so that we can tap into our next level potential.
“I had to make you uncomfortable, otherwise you never would have moved.”–The Universe
Ain't that the truth!
It's time to accept that any and all challenges you face are there to make you grow. And never underestimate your resilience or strength in all messy and magical seasons of life.