Written by: Amanda Cottrell, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you think that you have no idea how you are going to make it through. Then a few days, months, or years later you look back and you are amazed at how the struggle you went through actually made you stronger. You may even look back at times that you struggled and still wonder how you ever made it through.
Right now each and everyone of us has gone through a year and a half of unique struggles either personally, relationally, professionally or a combination of all three, as the world navigated the pandemic. When I look back on this year I am amazed at how truly strong and resilient people are. Even our smallest members of society have shown a tremendous amount of resilience.
Businesses had to quickly learn how to continue to do thrive while their employees worked from home. Parents and teachers had to promptly step up and learn to teach and learn online along with the students. Children had to learn in a very different way then ever before in history. Doctors and nurses had to navigate unknown territory and many small businesses had to pivot the direction of their business in order to survive the downturn the pandemic brought on.
Yet we all made it through and are truly stronger in some way. Maybe you learned a new skill. Maybe you learned how to enjoy the simpler things in life. Maybe you had a relationship fail and now you are learning to rebuild your life. No matter what you went through or are going through as we begin to emerge from the lockdowns and isolation each and everyone of us is stronger in some way from that experience.
I look back on many aspects of my life and realize that I am way stronger than I give myself credit for. If you look back on your life I am sure there are aspects that you will find that you can, with 100 percent certainty, know that you are stronger for that experience. For example, when my daughter was two, I went through a divorce while teaching full-time and completing a master's degree. When I look back now I have no clue how I made it through that time, but I know that I did. I am also very grateful for that experience because I know that it made me stronger. Now, whenever I am struggling with something, I make a joke saying, “I survived completing my masters while working full time with a toddler in the middle of a divorce… I can achieve anything I put my mind to.”
Even with surviving and thriving through that, I still find that life has its ebbs and flows. There are times when I am very motivated to achieve my goals and take the next steps towards what I want to achieve and there are times when I feel at a loss and really unproductive and don’t know which way to go next. When these situations arise it is important to be gentle with yourself. I know for me, that the pandemic really took a toll on my mental health and my drive to achieve my goals around my writing and illustrating books. It almost felt like a time of nesting and rest was needed and I feel as though my goals sat on the back burner.
Now as we emerge from what felt like a time in limbo, there seems to be a new sense of drive and hope. If you also felt like the last year and a half was like living in a groundhog day and life was not really flowing the way you had hoped, know that you made it through and you truly are stronger than you think. With this newfound strength maybe it is time to step up and start taking action towards whatever goal you have personal, relational or professional.
Strength comes from within. You always have a choice in any situation. If you are feeling stuck find that inner strength to take the first step. Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back. Trust in your strength and begin to daily take steps towards what you want to achieve and believe me in five years you will look back in awe at how far you have come.
Amanda Cottrell, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Believe! Create! Inspire! Amanda Marie Cottrell is a woman who wears many hats with a BA in Political Science, B.Ed in elementary education, M.Ed specializing in creativity and technology, Reiki master, yoga for young children instructor, artist, mom, author, illustrator, and teacher. She also runs an arts-based business teaching art and mindfulness workshops. As an educator of young children for over 14 years, Amanda’s passion is education and creativity. She believes that everyone has creative capacities. Her mission is to empower people by tapping into their unique creative gifts through connection and mindfulness. Namaste!