A lot of growth and change has taken place in my life, which meant I had to take some time away from my passion and life purpose. But as I said in last week’s blog post, this happens to everyone once in a while, even life coaches.
I went through a divorce in 2011 and 2012, while also dealing with an injury that tested my mind/body balance. Even though it was an amicable split, it was still an extremely difficult time. At this same time, I suffered a prior injury I had gotten while working overseas several years ago. It put a crimp in my training and exercise regimen, which meant I couldn’t be as healthy as I wanted.
For the last two years I’ve been working in the United Arab Emirates, where I have taken away some valuable lessons, lessons that can be a great reminder for anyone going through a rough time of their own.
When these events both happened at the same time, I felt like I was going through hell. But I remembered a quote from Winston Churchill that I took to heart: “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” I knew this Hell was going to end, but it was going to take work and perseverance on my part. So I decided to take some personal time to heal, and let my life realign itself.
It’s important to know that everyone is human. We like to think that we are superheroes, even life coaches — especially life coaches — but the sad truth is that we’re not. In order for us to help ourselves and then be able to help others, people must take time to heal while going through painful transitions in life.
It’s okay to go through these events, because it’s a part of the human experience. There’s no job that makes you exempt from life’s pains and problems. We’ll all experience them. The question is whether you recover, or let them beat you down. I chose to take time to recover, realign myself, and come back stronger than before.
Another lesson I learned from my time away is to be grateful, even for the little things in life. It’s easy to become discouraged when we don’t get what we want right away. But it’s important to be grateful for the food you eat, the air you breathe, the friends you have, and being alive and healthy.
While going through my depression, I realized that it could be worse and that there are a lot of things to be grateful for in life. This thought was a huge golden nugget for me; I took my life one day at a time, so I could realign myself with my purpose.
I believe that going through hard times isn’t a bad thing. They may be setbacks, but they aren’t failures. No one ever got stronger when everything was going smoothly. These times give you the opportunity to see what you really want out of life. This is when you can look deep inside yourself to see if this really is the path you want to be on or not. This is exactly what I did during my turbulent times. For me, 2011 through 2013 was my time to to recover, realign myself, and see that coaching was still something I wanted to do; I needed to get back to that, and I made sure the aspects of my life aligned with my purpose, so I could return to the work I love.
The most important lesson in this is to pay attention to your feelings. While all of the above lessons are essential — take time to recharge, being grateful for the little things that you do have and getting clarity on what you want out of life — more than anything, paying attention to your feelings will aid you in your journey through your rough patches.
Photo credit: Ben McIver (Flickr, Creative Commons)