Sometimes life knocks you down when you least expected, when this happens it’s not about how hard you get hit, it’s how you find the strength to keep moving forward. I’m a big believer in “fail to plan, plan to fail”, but at some point in my life, I realized you can plan and still struggle to succeed. In this post, I’m going to be sharing some of my tips that helped me through tough situations in life, and I believe this could work for anybody as well. I will be using a piece of my life as an example. As some of you may have known I’m currently serving in the United States Navy and just before I head off to Basic training I signed myself up for swim lessons for about 14months, this is because I don’t know how to swim and the best way out was to take swim classes. My swim instructor was great, she put up with my fears and tears, often times I would cry and chicken out of the pool, surprisingly almost 4 months into my lessons, I began to love The Water, I got so comfortable in the pool and I fell in love with jumping off cliffs. On getting to Basic training I was ready for the challenges, just because in my head, I am well prepared. Swim test in the Navy consists of 3 modules of which you must pass all 3 ( i would talk more about Navy Bootcamp in a future post). My walls came crashing when I began struggling with one of the modules called Prone Float(This is when a person stays afloat in an open water, legs can’t touch the bottom of the pool, I believe its 12ft deep, neither can your hands touch the wall, for 5 minutes without a use of flotation device).
These are some of the Tips that helped me to keep moving forward
Take full responsibility
Taking responsibility means acknowledging both your weakness and strength. Blaming others for our mistakes and mishaps sometimes can be the easiest way out and a lot of us are guilty of this. I have come to realize taking responsibility allows me to focus and identify what went wrong so I can rectify it. You are where you are because of you, your behaviors, words, and actions. Learn ways to let go of fears, accept who you are, let go of feelings of victimization and most importantly develop a spiritual life. Who was I suppose to blame for always quitting on myself at the last few seconds to passing, at some point, I blamed my Mother,(lol), she never would let me go to the swimming pool, I remembered when she whooped my ass because I took my little sister to a pool party, I also blamed the instructors at the pool for always yelling, oh yeah, I remember blaming the cold swimming pool water, I keep making excuses for my failure. Not until I quit making excuses and took 100% responsibility for my actions, then I started figuring out what I can do to make the situation better.
Learn from Failure
Failure can make us feel passive and helpless, and often times makes us believe that we’ll never succeed no matter what we do or try. We all must have heard this popular saying that “experience is the greatest teacher”, it’s either you learn from your own experiences or others, but figuring out a lesson learned from a failed experience can never be easy, considering the disappointment and demoralization felt from the experience. Looking back at a circumstance to figure out what went wrong will allow you to evaluate what worked and what didn’t, and more importantly, why!?. Each time I cry my way back to the ship, I try to learn from my failure, I asked myself series of questions like “what techniques is best for me? how can I breathe better under the water? what exactly am I doing wrong?” sometimes I get clarity and sometimes I don’t.
How bad do you want it
How badly do you want to achieve what you are working so hard for? I knew passing prone float was a crucial part of succeeding at Bootcamp. Strong determination often leads to success, regardless of how tough things get, do not give up. remember what the consequences of failing will be. Passing my prone float was a do or die for me, 9 out of 10 times, I was always a few seconds away from passing the test, This a five minute test, and since the first time I tried floating, I was always over 4 minutes. I knew giving up wasn’t an option, I kept on going until I made it. It’s one thing to say you want to do something or be something, but to walk through the pain to get up and keep moving forward knowing there may be more pain ahead is a test of determination.
Keep the Faith
Faith doesn’t mean you never have doubts, it means you wrestle with does doubts, and don’t let them beat you. It’s a strong believe in something without proof or evidence. I’m a religious person, and for every time I felt like I was forgotten by God, something keeps pushing me forward, I knew this trying times would pass, the whole training was hard enough, knowing all could go in vain if I end up not passing before the deadline makes it harder, but I kept believing in God and Myself. Eventually, God worked his miracle and I passed at the very least expected time. For no reason would I want to spend an extra day in training because I couldn’t pass 5 minutes prone float? I ended up graduating with my division and I couldn’t be happier.
I hope this post would help one or more people, feel free to share with me what helps you through down times and leave some love in the comment section below.
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