Before I jump into the good stuff, I should give you a bit of background. When I was 4 years old I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigments, a rare eye disease. Fast forward 10 years to when I was 14, that eye disease stole my sight. As if going blind in grade 8 isn’t enough, I went from being one of the popular girls to being tormented by bullies.
I quickly fell into a deep depression and ultimately, planned my suicide. Six years later I am still here, I got the support I needed and overcame my challenges. I now own my own motivational speaking business and travel the world sharing my story. I want to share 10 of the things that helped me overcome the obstacles in my life, and I hope they help you with yours, whatever they may be. Here are 10 ways to overcome life’s challenges:
Feel your feelings
Realize that it is okay to feel pain, let yourself be sad, angry or any other emotion. Feeling your emotions is as healthy as it is important. Bottling these feelings up will do you harm in the long term and prevent you from being able to process the obstacles in your life and formulate plans to get past them. If you feel like crying, shed a tear. If you feel like screaming, let it out.
Make a plan
You can feel those emotions but you can’t live with them forever, and you can’t let them run your life. In order to overcome life’s struggles, you’ll need to make a plan. Figure out what it is that you need to do in order to succeed at overcoming the challenges you’re facing.
Know that others struggle
So often in life we focus on our own challenges, but remember there is a whole world out there and everyone goes through something. You aren’t as alone as you may feel.
Something I always say to my audiences is that asking for help isn’t failing, but failing to ask for help when you need it is. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support, you’ll find people who are willing to be there.
Asking for help can be hard, and accepting it even harder. Let people in.
My friend Mia Farrow once told me “you can’t look for happiness, you won’t find it that way. Look for someone to help, and happiness will find you.” Now I spend my life helping others by sharing my story and I realize how true that statement is.
Enjoy the small things in life. That hot cup of tea you’ve been dreaming of all day, or when you reach into the pocket of those jeans you haven’t worn in weeks and find $5. The small stuff matters when dealing with big challenges.
Don’t be ashamed of what you’ve been through or what you’re dealing with.
Be proud of all that you’ve lived through. You’ve made it this far in life, and that in itself is an accomplishment!
Celebrate all the good things in life. There may be the bad, but you can always find the good. Focus on those things and you’ll be happy you did.