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Challenges arise in life

Whether we seek them out intentionally or whether they come upon us without planning. Storms of school, work, relationship conflict, parenting, abuse, grief, moving, personal challenges, and life transitions.

We can all think of storms, trials, and struggles that have hit us and sucked the energy right out of us. Sometimes are storms may even start out as a good or pleasant pursuit, though end up needing more energy than we planned. Storms can envelop and consume us, taking every attention, thought, and moment of our day. Whatever our storm, we crave relief and respite. Normalcy. Routine.

The actions and choices we take depend upon our resources, options, energy, and will to fight. In many instances we may choose to duck and cover until the storm moves on.

How can we prepare ourselves to move through a storm with some amount of success?

  • Realization – This realization can be exciting or crippling. You may feel energized and ready to fight, or exhausted at what you are up against. Notice the new challenges and changes that are coming. Notice your reactions. Notice your surroundings.
  • Identify your goals and intentions –Allow yourself to imagine beyond this moment to a day, week, year, or decade in the future. Give yourself permission to dream and name your goals for this storm or the rest of life. Use your skills of creativity, passion, or logic. Make a list of everything you can think of, no matter if it is outlandish, only possible in a dream, requires hard work and perseverance, or easy as eating pie. What do you want? What’s the best case scenario? What would you lose or gain? How will your actions create a ripple effect on the rest of your life or those around you?
  • Every step we take moves us in one direction or another, and being in charge of those steps helps you to get what you want out of life.

  • Assess – Assess your storm, take inventory of your resources and abilities, and evaluate your energy and will. Assessment will help narrow down your goals and intentions to what is best for this situation.
  • Remember what has worked – Think about other situations and successes. Truly take time to think and remember. You have done well enough in life to make it this far and have done some things right. Remember your characteristics and traits, your strategies and successes, your resources, your support network or acquaintances. Even try to remember what other people have done in similar storms or research it now.
  • Strategize – Make a plan. Pull it all together. You’ve realized you’re in or approaching a storm, you know your goals, you’ve assessed your storm and your resources, and you started remembering your strengths and abilities. Make this plan by yourself or with others. Your plan may develop overnight or it may need time to develop and mature. You may need to let go of some of the idealistic hopes or dreams of perfection
  • Prepare – Gather your resources, thoughts, frame of mind, energy; gather whatever you need to start to finish your storm.
  • Start – Ready, set, go. Start implementing your strategy and plan.
  • Improvise – Expect that some things will not go as you planned. So improvise, make it up and do your best in the moment with what you know. Flexibility will help you to focus on what needs to be completed.
  • Grit – Muster up your determination and use your stubborn side to your benefit. Keep doing what you know, follow your plan, and improvise when you need to. Know if you need a break and then get back at it. Keep going until your storm is finished, passed, or settled. Keep going until you find relief, accomplishment, or success.
  • Enjoy a moment – Breathe, relax, sleep, scream for joy. You made it through your storm. Enjoy your moment.
  • Reflect – Are you proud of yourself? Exhausted? Relieved? Think you could have done better? Taking a moment to reflect back on the storms of life can help prepare you for the obstacles and storms that are yet to come.
  • Every step we take moves us in one direction or another, and being in charge of those steps helps you to get what you want out of life. We can achieve our goals, though we will have to weigh the costs. Sometimes we may have to approach the storms of our past that are unsettled and unresolved.

    Completion can lead to feelings of accomplishment and pride, greater self-respect, stronger character, traits of resiliency, and self-confidence.