When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

by Jessica Mishra on February 27, 2012

On Monday I was at the beach. This beach has become a favorite of mine recently. It is sort of my little safe haven, a peaceful place to think and get away from the noise of the city. This beach has beautiful black sand, views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco off in the distance, and there is rarely anyone there. I had a friend unexpectedly drop in from out of town, and I decided to share this sacred place with her.

We had the most amazing time jumping all over the rocks, hiking around, doing yoga, drawing pictures in the sand, chasing the waves, and basically acting like we did when we were kids. We are both entrepreneurs, so we sat on the beach for a while, just talking about the futures of our growing businesses. It was a wonderful day.

Sometimes adversity sneaks up on you when you least expect it, right? Without going into too many details, I got into a car accident on the drive back to the city. Nothing like a huge jolt, the sounds of scraping metal, and the moment where you wonder if you are ok, to terrify you. My friend and I were quite shaken up. We were ok, but post-accident I was so sad, worried, and left wondering why this had happened.

When difficult life situations occur, the most interesting part is what happens next. I would like to share some of my learnings that helped me through this difficult situation. I hope these tips will help you with any difficulties that might be impacting your life right now.

A Time for Reflection

After the accident, I spent some time thinking about everything that happened. What could I learn from this situation? When we experience difficulties, it is easy for us to beat ourselves up or just wallow in the sadness of the situation. Really the best thing we can do is to examine what we can learn from it.

In this situation, I learned to pay more attention and to be more present. I didn’t realize until after the accident just how distracted I often am in life. Distracted with thoughts, technology, you name it. I even noticed how distracted others are around me. Walking through cross walks without looking, checking text messages while walking down the street. This experience really heightened my awareness, and was a great wake-up call.

When you go through a difficult situation like this, it is often a good time to examine the current condition of your life. My friend referred to this experience as “Jessica’s Jolt”. I am so happy with my life, but this situation made me want to reevaluate my goals, and really set more action plans in place to reach them. I love this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” To me this means that a time of suffering is sometimes the clearest moment for evaluation.

The moral of the story is, when life gets tough, take this as a time for learning. You can also think of it as a fresh start. Not only do you come out a stronger, more aware person, but also I believe that you attract more positive circumstances into your life by facing lessons head on. I like to think of suffering as a quicker, more intense way of getting to a better place in my life. That always makes it easier to handle.

Appreciate What You Have

When the going gets tough, it is really easy to focus on what is going wrong in our lives. “Poor me, my life is really terrible right now”. A good way to get through a difficult time is to shift your mentality to a positive one. Yes, things may be less than optimal right now, but focus on what you do have. Having some sort of gratefulness practice is a great idea for your everyday routine, but it becomes particularly important when things are difficult. If you like to write, write a list of all the things you are grateful for. Or call your friends and tell them how much you appreciate their support through your difficult time. Whatever it is, acknowledge just how much love and support you have in your life.

For me, I was so blessed to have the support of my friend during the accident. She was so calm and collected, and handled everything like a pro. I also had several friends support me after the accident, checking in and calling me to make sure I was ok. I was sad about the whole experience and the loss of my car, but I realized just how many wonderful people I have in my life. That was such a blessing.

I would love to hear from you. Have you had any difficult situations lately? How did you handle them?

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Sonya Kanelstrand March 28, 2012 at 10:35 am

>Ah, what a coincident! First, your beach resembles ours so much and second, today, a month later than you I posted about quite similar stuff about the beach! Are we in the same vibe or what :) http://blog.kanelstrand.com/2012/03/simple-living-tip-make-way-for-idle.html

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Beaming with Health March 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

>I noticed your beach post on your blog as well! Great minds think alike! ;) You have a wonderful blog! I love those swans.

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