I’ll never forget the day I heard those three words, ‘You have cancer.’
Those words carried the weight of 10,000 lbs of steel across my chest. I was at the height of my career and successfully launched my tech startup. Life would never be the same after that moment.
Looking back the question wasn’t will I survive the physical turmoil. It was will I be able to navigate my way through uncharted territory. Thus, marking the beginning of the biggest fight of my life—the battle between my ego and heart to find peace amidst the storm.
Life’s challenges come in many different forms—usually when least expected. The key to overcoming these struggles is a perspective shift and having an action-plan ready when life throws a curveball.
Whether you are going through a major life crisis or managing the day-to-day struggles of entrepreneurship, this article is for you. Here are 3 exercises to weathering the disappointments of life.
Get quiet and still your mind.
One of the hardest things to do when in the midst of struggle is to calm yourself to a place of peace. Your mind goes into overdrive trying to locate solutions to remove feelings of self-doubt, worthlessness, anger, fear, and shame around whatever is causing you pain. It’s a natural response mechanism that kicks you into survival mode.
One way to calm this is to stop whatever you are doing and practice taking some slow, deep breaths for 30 seconds. It’s just enough time to recenter and quiet the mind—then provide a new action.
Give your brain one command, “Find the stillness,” and remind yourself that at this moment, you don’t need to have all the answers.
Continue deep breaths for another 60 seconds until your nervous system has time to feel the difference between fight mode and relaxation.
Journal your thoughts.
Journaling does not need to be a strict exercise with self-limiting rules. Think of it as a creative playground or safe space for your mind to unload. Locate a quiet spot to complete.
Give yourself 5 minutes to quickly jot down every thought, feeling, frustration, and emotion that comes to mind. Set a timer if you need to but don’t stop writing if there is more to be expressed.
Write words such as, “I am angry,” or “I feel worthless because…” Access to these emotions can cause a temporary release in the form of tears but remind yourself you are in a safe, private space and no one needs to know what’s coming up for you.
Society teaches us that feeling our emotions is a sign of weakness—in fact; it’s a sign of strength. Use this time to handle everything that’s been building up in your system for years.
Sometimes, it’s not until we’re in crisis mode that we realize our response to challenging situations is directly related to unresolved past wounds. True peace and happiness comes from within—not an external force. It’s a state of being independent of what’s happening in your outer world.
You may be asking, “Why do I need to forgive myself? I didn’t cause this circumstance to happen to me.”
Often you’ll hear that when someone has caused you harm or some form of disappointment has occurred—you need to forgive the person or situation and move on.
Unfortunately, this type of forgiveness only brings temporary relief. Everything in life occurs based on decisions. Every single instance predicates on a decision made moments prior. You may not realize it because you’ve been doing it your whole life—it’s called living. You’re wired to make decisions. It’s as natural as breathing.
Your brain knows somewhere along the way; it made a decision that is still affecting you in this very moment. Maybe the decision did not necessarily cause your current challenges—but it’s affecting how you’re reacting to it.
Forgiveness is an act of deep-rooted soul work. It’s a powerful exercise that cuts deep into your core. It opens up access to unresolved issues that you’ve never healed. It’s through forgiveness work that you can clear your mind and soul to handle any obstacles—without heavy burdens of the past.
The freedom of forgiveness allows you to see any situation for what it is—an opportunity to return harmonic balance between the mind, body, and soul while releasing your expansion into areas of the mind you’ve never been before. It is there that you find the peace, strength, and resilience to access infinite wisdom to weather any storm with beauty and grace.
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Cherie Aimée is a near-death survivor, heart transplant recipient and ranked #6 of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Blockchain. She’s been featured in major media outlets such as The Dr. Oz Show, NBC TODAY Show, NBC News, Megyn Kelly TODAY, ABC News, FOX, Forbes, Thrive Global, BossBabe and Influencive. She travels the world speaking about leadership, innovation and community. Cherie’s one simple mission is to impact 1 billion lives. She is listed as the Top 18 Woman You Need to Know Now and recently named Female Leader of the Year.