The toughest time in my life was exactly 7 years ago.
It was the summer of 2011, and I became best friends with my local pawn shop.
I was dead broke, but I had to pay private school tuition for all three of my kids. So, I constantly made trips to the pawn shop, pawning off everything I had.
Well, almost everything I had. There were two things that I held onto.
One was my engagement ring.
The other was a heart necklace with a peace sign in the middle. I used that necklace as an anchor, a way to stay true to myself even in that tumultuous time.
Whenever I looked at that necklace, I thought, “You can do this, Loren. You don’t have to give this up. You just have to go through the shit.”
And go through the shit I did.
Today, I wear that heart necklace during every one of my speaking engagements as a reminder of who I am, what I went through and what is truly important to me in my life.
Now that I’m on the other side, I can appreciate that rock bottom time.
You really do need to go through those tough times to learn about yourself, find out what you really want and build the strength to make it happen.
But when I was in that moment, when I was struggling that summer, I didn’t love the process. I just wanted a solution.
We’ve all been there, when life feels too hard and we just want some relief.
Here’s what I did to get through that tough time and emerge stronger than ever before:
During that summer, I had so many of those moments when I got down on my knees and said, “God, just tell me what you want me to do, and I’ll do it.”
I didn’t want to struggle anymore. I wanted guidance.
But when I stopped trying to figure out what was going to happen and just surrendered to the process, that’s when everything changed.
We never know what’s going to happen. And sometimes we try so hard to change our lives, but it turns out we’re swimming upstream, exhausting ourselves and getting nowhere.
When you surrender—when you truly let go and stop trying so hard—you start to feel a sense of calm.
You stop beating yourself up for not making more money or for still being single.
Instead, you accept yourself for where you are. And many times, that’s when our next step becomes clear.
2. Hunker down.
After I surrendered, I was able to see things clearly for the first time in a long time.
I knew what I needed to do: Hunker down and do the work.
It was then that I came up with the idea of being “laser focused.”
I got a pair of goggles and hung them on my computer to remind myself to put my “goggles on,” get in the zone and get to work! Seven years later, those goggles still hang on my computer as a daily reminder.
In that new, laser-focused state, I created a Life Tuneups membership program and delivered monthly content to my subscribers. I was building momentum and nothing could stop me.
Well, almost nothing …
3. Don’t give into the criticism.
When things started going well for me again, people inevitably started criticizing what I was doing. And I sometimes listened … big mistake!
I know now that when people question what you’re doing and try to drag you down, you can’t listen to them!
When you know in your heart what you need to do, you MUST follow that pull!
You just can’t listen to those people who say you can’t do it. Move them out of the way and KEEP GOING.
When I stopped listening to the criticism and just did what I knew was right, my business took off.
Today I look back at all the people who I’ve helped with Juice Plus I just can’t believe it.
These people are making an extra $1,000 to $50,000 a month and improving their lives—all because I stayed in line. All because I didn’t give up on a bad day.
All those people’s lives are changed because I didn’t buy into the BS of “It’s not possible.”
Don’t buy into it. Stay in line. Follow your heart.
4. Trade your expectations for appreciation.
When things don’t go as we expect them to go, we sometimes get disappointed. But if we appreciate the journey instead, we often find that the end result is just as good … if not better!
When my son Quinn and I went to Vietnam with Starkey Hearing Foundation, we thought that he would take a lot of photos, since landscape photography is his passion.
But when we showed up and found out that we were the only two volunteers, we knew that Quinn had to devote all of his time to fitting people with hearing aids.
It was not the trip that Quinn expected, but he ended up loving it!
Expect less and appreciate more, and you’ll end up in a much happier frame of mind.
5. Know that it’s temporary.
Your tough time does not have to be permanent. It’s just what you’re going through right now.
Tell yourself that the place you are in right now is only temporary. You don’t know how long it’ll last, but the end will come.
Remind yourself of this on your worst days. This is only temporary. Better days are coming.
I hope this helps you get through the rough patches in your life.
Please leave me a comment and let me know what resonated with you and what you have done to get through the tough times in your life.
When you’re struggling, remember that we all go through it. Even the people you see on TV or on social media who look like they have their lives perfectly put together struggle behind the scenes.
Use the tough times as a way to learn more about yourself, get focused and further your growth as a person. They may not always be fun, but these challenges are a gift. Accept them and move forward with grace!