Goals

Writing Despite Setbacks: Redirecting Personal Challenges Into Our Stories

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In an ideal world, only positive things happen to us. We have all the time to write and are in the best psychological mindset. We’re free of stress, always in a zen-like state, can jump into our WIP, and immediately get into a flow. We never let anything get us down, have never experienced writer’s block, and are always in a perpetually creative mood.

The truth is most of us have bad days. We have days where we don’t feel like writing. We have days where if writer’s block doesn’t impede our creative process, circumstances outside our control land on our front doorstep. Some weeks we might be on top of the world, and then all it takes is an unexpected traumatic event to tear it down. We saw the unexpected with the pandemic and how it changed the world. There is a whole list of stressors that experts rank as being the hardest to overcome. Some of us have dealt with illness, career change, moving, the untimely death of loved ones, and more. What they all have in common is that life goes on despite hardships. Relying on good times or our feelings is as reliable as driving a 1970s Ford Pinto. The gas tank could rupture during collisions, not only a scary thing but a potentially fatal one.

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How Almost Losing My Son In 2022 Helped Me To Define 2023 Goals

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September 18, 2022, was like any other late summer Southern California day. The weather was nice, and my family and I were excited to use our Disneyland annual passes. As we prepared to leave, we noticed our then 15-month-old son was extra clingy and kept wanting to be held, which wasn’t unusual. But soon, clingy behavior turned into favoring one leg, and then he wasn’t willing to walk.

At first, we thought he strained his right leg trying to climb out of his crib. He was normally our little Tasmanian Devil, climbing up on furniture and running around. So, the fact that he suddenly wasn’t willing to walk was worrisome. We almost went along with our plans to go to Disneyland, figuring he would spend most of the day in his stroller, anyway. But we followed our parental instincts and took him into the emergency room. We had no idea what was in store for us. My husband and I expected to be in and out of the hospital, possibly with a prescription for pain meds. We hoped it would be nothing more than our son being needy. While my daughter was advanced and an early speaker, our son was born premature by 6 weeks. He was trying to communicate with Mommy and Daddy as best as he could. He was telling us something was very wrong, even as he couldn’t speak.

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Don’t Talk About It, Be About It

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We’re in the age of sharing…everything. Whether it’s checking in to Yelp to report what we’ve eaten for lunch to posting our sweaty workout pictures on Instagram just to show off our abs. After all, we worked hard on them, didn’t we?

Oversharing is more than what we post on our social media platforms. Have you ever been in a situation where you’re compelled to discuss your project or goals? Sometimes people feel that by sharing, we are holding ourselves accountable. But, I think there is strength in working hard in silence instead of boasting to anyone willing to listen. There isn’t anything wrong with taking pride in our work. There isn’t anything wrong with sharing our success stories or opening up about our daily lives with the world. Many influencers, content creators, and celebrities out there do just that. In fact, that’s how some creators make money by sharing their every waking second of success or failures with hungry fans.

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Don’t Break Down, Break Through

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Many things break down: communication, relationships, focus, & more. #WritingCommunity: Rather than breaking down, we can #breakthrough2022. Small changes = lasting impact which can improve communication, productivity, #writersblock, & all life ares.

When we hear the words “break down,” we automatically think of a nervous breakdown, a mental collapse, or a slump in our life where we reach our lowest point. But breaking down isn’t always so melodramatic. In fact, it can be a simple breakdown in communication, having to relearn how we remotely work with others.

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Positive Reframing: A Simple #Mindshift Exercise That Works Wonders

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Over the years, I have leaned on certain group therapy sessions, back in the day when being in groups wasn’t a scary thing. What stuck out to me while doing these pre-pandemic group therapies was the most basic exercise that a leading therapist would do. It’s called positive reframing, and it can be a powerful, simple tool to create a mind shift that works almost instantly.

Regardless of where you are in your professional pursuits, the simplest thing that hinders growth is our own negative thoughts. This is especially true for vulnerable, creative professionals such as aspiring authors.

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