How to Pull Through Even When You’ve Been Punched in the Face

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Mike Tyson, professional boxer

Even if you think you’re prepared for the worst, there are times when life throws you a curve ball that smacks you right in the face. Here are a few reminders to help you pull through when you’re at your lowest. 

  • Reach out for help. Sometimes it’s hard to admit just how hard life is right now but hiding from the world isn’t the answer. Talk to a friend, clergy, therapist, or coach. What do you have to lose?
  • Even small changes can make a difference. Set small goals so you can experience progress and gain momentum. This forward movement will give you a boost of confidence and optimism. Make your bed, go for a ten minute walk, schedule lunch with a friend (even if you don’t feel up to it).
  • Are you strong enough to be grateful when you’re at your lowest? Think of one thing you’re grateful for even while you’re in the “pit.” Gratitude shifts the focus.
  • Remember the setbacks/crisis/challenges you’ve overcome in the past. Pat yourself on the back for coming out strong. You’ve done it before and you can do it again!

Affirmation: I can make it through this!

Coaching questions: How have you overcome severe life challenges in the past? How can you use this experience to address what is happening now? What’s one step you’ll take today to move  forward? 


Photo by Baylee Gramling on Unsplash

Advice From Wilma Mankiller

Cows run away from the storm while the buffalo charges toward it—and gets through it quicker. Whenever I’m confronted with a tough challenge, I do not prolong the torment, I become the buffalo. Wilma Mankiller, the first woman elected to serve as chief of the Cherokee Nation.

“Do the hard thing first” is a common business productivity tip. “Feel the fear and do it anyway” is a mantra I frequently use in difficult situations. As we emulate the buffalo and run toward the sad feelings, difficult choices, or other challenges we face, we will not prolong the torment. We will gain peace of mind.

Life is short, take care of the difficult business of your life. Become the buffalo.

Affirmation: I can become the buffalo.

Coaching questions: What challenges in your life do you need to run towards right now? What step will you take today? How will you feel after you’ve faced the challenge?


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Values vs Differences

Our shared values define us more than our differences. And acknowledging those shared values can see us through our challenges today if we have the wisdom to trust in them again. John McCain, American statesman and military officer who served as a United States Senator until his death.

One of our greatest challenges in the U.S. today is learning to get along in our divided political landscape. For me, shared values and true friendship trumps (sorry for the pun) political differences. Yesterday, one of my best friends called to acknowledge how I’m using prayer for our president as a way to bring about change and inner peace for myself. She knows I’m taking action in other ways as well and supports my need for involvement. 

This is what friendship is all about! Overcoming our political divide has actually brought us closer as we have had to talk about the hard questions and define our common values. To her credit, it is my friend who has called me, not the other way around. Although our politics can occasionally be the “elephant or donkey in the room,” our friendship has survived and even thrived in spite of it. 

Affirmation: Shared values define my friendships.

Coaching questions: Do you have relationships that need repair in this environment? Are they worth it? If so, what will you do to heal in spite of your differences?

Erasing the Footprints

Have you ever walked along a shoreline, only to have your footprints washed away? That’s what Alzheimer’s is like. The waves erase the marks we leave behind, all the sand castles. Some days are better than others. Pat Summitt, American women’s college basketball head coach who holds the record for the most career wins.

Every 66 seconds a new brain develops Alzheimer’s. Two-thirds of them belong to women. In addition, women make up two-thirds of all the caregivers caring for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis. That’s why we must be at the heart of the solution. 

Much attention is given to the support of cancer and heart disease research which is necessary and important. We need to add Alzheimer’s to our list. If you’re a woman over sixty, you are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than you are breast cancer. Support the cause and support caregivers. It takes a community to stand up to this devastating disease.

Affirmation: I support Alzheimer’s research.

Coaching request:  If you’ve swept Alzheimer’s under the rug, take another look. Become informed, support the research and caregivers.

24/7 helpline – 1-800-272-3900

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Building Muscles

There are uses to adversity, and they don’t reveal themselves until tested. Whether it’s serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strengths. Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

I believe the growth spurts of my life have been when adversity has reared its ugly head. At times the testing tapped into unexpected or latent strengths, as Justice Sotomayor suggests, and, at others, adversity created a Me who was stronger than before.

When I go to the gym, my exertion on the muscle building machines tears down my muscle so that when it repairs itself, it is bigger and stronger. I believe this is what happens when life brings us challenges. We are temporarily torn only to grow again,  stronger than ever.

Affirmation: I am strong.

Coaching questions: In what ways have you been tested? In what ways has the testing changed you?