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Down but not out

In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.

inspiration with Cynthia C Hakutangwi

Don’t let setbacks, even major ones, derail you completely.
Don’t let setbacks, even major ones, derail you completely.

According to some sources, the phoenix dies in a show of flames and combustion, although there are other sources that claim that the legendary bird dies and simply decomposes before being born again. When you’ve been knocked down, do you know how to get back up again? As human beings, we are all going to feel defeated at some point in our lives. Have you ever experienced your life falling apart all at once? Sometimes life hits us fast and hard and knocks us off our feet for a while. Everyone has times when they endure setbacks, disappointments, and failures.

What are you dwelling on?

Life can be a complex journey with many ups and downs. It is filled with both challenges and accomplishments. No one is successful at everything, just as no one fails at everything. We all have at least one thing we are or can be good at doing. However, when we go through challenging phases, we often dwell more on the bad experiences and end up feeling self-loathing and judgmental. Pitfalls are a part of life, whether we like it or not. What matters is that we don’t bury ourselves in the grungy old pit and decide to spend the rest of our lives there. When life knocks you down, there are always two choices: Get up and move on or stay in that dark pit and live the rest of your life with resentment and regret. The latter will take you nowhere and things will probably get worse with time. Resilience is what makes the difference between those who survive and thrive, and those who don’t.

There is life after the curve ball

Whenever I conduct any personal development, leadership or goal setting seminar, I always dedicate an entire session to focus on dealing with life’s curve balls. Initially the participants are hesitant to share their encounters because they feel that their experiences are only unique to them and that perhaps they will be perceived as being weak because of the “all together” look that they wear every day. Whenever one individual eventually braves to stand up and share their experiences and how they have been coping, the mood completely changes. Sometimes it is painful bitter experiences of loss, unexpected news, rebellious children, chronic health issues or fatalities in their family or tragedies from accidents. Immediately afterwards, a deafening silence fills the room and then an applause from one corner of the room reverberates across the room as people give the participant a standing ovation for their courage to open up and share. Thereafter other participants also feel compelled to share about their crushing curve ball moments in life. Depending on the dynamics of the group, there are times when no one is willing to share about their life’s curve balls until I share my own experiences. From those experiences I have learnt that most people strangely assume that individuals who specialise in people development are immune to life’s challenges and have a supernatural proactive response to life’s events before they occur. This is not quite possible because curve balls are exactly that — they appear from the least unexpected angles and can completely disfigure, discomfit, shatter and completely change the trajectory of anyone’s life.

Dealing with curve balls

A curve ball is an unexpected interruption in the normal routine of life. Life’s curve ball’s come from a variety of sources. We need to expect the curve balls and the interruptions in our lives with the understanding that changes will happen. Even if you are a creature of habit that thrives on routine, there will be times when routine goes out of the window and reality takes on a whole new shape. Some changes will be challenging. Very challenging. These times can be trying, but they can also be rewarding. You might discover a hidden talent you didn’t know you had. Or you might just impress yourself with how much you are really able to handle when it’s thrown at you. These are all awesome self-discoveries waiting to happen. When a change is looked at as a fresh opportunity and a chance to learn something new, it’s no longer quite as scary. Even if you had no intention of ever pursuing this new direction, embracing rather than resisting is always the method of least resistance. You should always keep an open mind because what initially sounds like a complete disaster might end up being the best thing that ever happened to you. Without an open mind you could miss the opportunity. While you may feel like curling up in a ball and staying inside forever, getting out there because embracing your new reality will actually feel a lot better. Your life is an adventure worth pursuing, so don’t let setbacks, even major ones, derail you completely. Take the time to acknowledge and embrace the change and then get back to take on life again.

Motivate yourself

With so many things that could have come your way so far this year, sometimes you find yourself wondering whether your dreams and goals are still worth pursuing after all. Discouragement and distractions can come from so many directions and formats. How do you keep going when the odds are against you? How do you renew your faith to achieve your set goals? What do you tell yourself when there are so many other voices within and around you encouraging you to throw in the towel? How can you grow your mental stamina so that it can fight for you when you don’t feel like going on anymore? Goals are meant to be revisited. If you feel so far off path that thinking about your original goal only brings up feelings of guilt and overwhelm, it’s time to establish goals and a plan of action that propel you. Sometimes setbacks occur because we need to rethink where we were going, our attitude about a certain area of our life, old thought patterns or beliefs that we’ve let fester — the list goes on and on. Let this be a stepping stone to greater awareness and don’t play into the idea that it’s a stumbling block.

Cynthia Hakutangwi is a communications and personal development consultant, life coach, author and strategist. Want more great tips and resources on improving balance, energy, organisation, health fitness, relationships, focus, faith and happiness? Wholeness Incorporated Coaching offers you strategies and simple steps you can implement today to become a better, more balanced, happier version of yourself. E-mail: Facebook: Wholeness Incorporated.

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