This is a guest post by Katie.
Katie Lamb is a freelance writer, affiliate marketer and digital nomad currently travelling in the Philippines. She helps other aspiring entrepreneurs make money online by building passive income and learning digital skills.
Life is a rollercoaster and while it would be nice if everything was just easy all the time, now I look back on my life and realise all the good times came after I’d been through a struggle.
When bad things have happened to me in the past, I used to think ‘’why me, this is so unfair’’, ‘’I’m sooooo unlucky’’, ‘’the world hates me’’, ‘’everyone else has it so easy’’ etc etc….
But as I’ve got a little older and a tiny bit wiser, I see life like a game. A game where we are pitted up against many different challenges and only people willing to learn, improve themselves and never give up will win.
And by winning, I mean be happy, whatever that means to you.
How Being Evicted Turned My Life Around
Rewind a couple of years ago, I was living in London England, in a flatshare West of the city.
I was edging towards 40, living with people I didn’t want to live with, I worked long hours in a gym building someone else’s dream and I had a landlady that was a power freak.
I hadn’t been happy for a while and was always dreaming about leaving to travel again and set up my own online business. At the time, I was earning some money freelance writing and I was trying to set up an online personal training business.
While I was trying to make things happen with an online business, I wasn’t really getting anywhere.
I would think to myself;
‘’Just six more months to save up money and build up my freelance earnings and then I’ll hand my notice in and go travel and work on my business.’’
But the thing is, I was in the dreaded ‘comfort zone’.
Even though I was unhappy, my life was comfortable.
Months would come and go and I’d say the same thing again and again!
I knew I needed to change something in my life to make things happen. But I just couldn’t get the guts up to do it.
So I carried on….. being unhappy and doing the same things in a big circle…. getting nowhere fast.
Things had got quite bad in the flat, with awful flatmates making life unbearable and I used to avoid going home for as long as possible, sitting in pubs and walking around shopping malls.
One flatmate finally left, but blamed something that had gone wrong in the flat on me. This prompted the landlady to talk to me like I was a piece of dirt threatening to evict me from the flat. I seriously was at my wits end.
I’d never seen myself hitting 40 still living in a flatshare, being pushed around by an awful landlady, still being single, having no money and still being a slave to the clock.
I thought things would just magically all work out by the time I hit this age!
Fate took over anyway and my landlady gave me notice on the flat. Even though I was angry and upset at the time, I was actually relieved to get out of there.
I spent days agonising over what to do. I wasn’t earning enough money from my writing to survive and if I moved to another flat in London, I’d have to blow all my savings on a new deposit.
After a few days of stressing, I’d just had enough.
I had to stop thinking about what could go wrong and think about what could go right.
The next day I booked a one-way ticket to Nepal.
Lessons I’ve Learned from Struggle and Failure
I believe you only reach your true potential after working through hard times.
If you haven’t had to face struggles or failures, you either have a very blessed life with a rich family or you have never touched your toe out of that snuggly warm comfort zone.
Here are a few things to remember;
1. The Comfort Zone is A Dream Killer
I don’t regret my life. I’ve actually had a really great life despite a lot of struggles and now I look back I’m glad these tough times happened.
The only thing I do wish is that I’d jumped out of my comfort zone a lot earlier on in life.
If I’d had the guts sooner, I’d be closer to my goals now.
There’s been many times when I’ve been stuck in a comfort zone too scared to make the leap into something new.
My advice is to always be brave and go explore the world out of your comfort zone. It’s usually full of surprises and rewards.
2. Embrace Failure and Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
By staying in your comfort zone, you avoid ever feeling uncomfortable or the possibility of failing. I think we do this to protect ourselves as no one likes to fail really – I know I don’t!
I was so scared of failing and looking stupid when I was growing up, that I put so much stress on myself.
If I failed at something it was like the end of the world!
But now I realise that failing teaches you so much. If you’re not failing at something, you are probably not trying anything new.
All the mistakes and failures I’ve had, I now realise they have actually improved my life in many ways.
3. Success Comes to Those Who Continually Strive to Better Themselves
You get what you deserve in life and this relates to many things.
I believe we are all exactly where we should be in our lives, due to the decisions we made 6 months ago.
Like I mentioned, I’ve tried and failed with two other online businesses but when I look back honestly, I don’t think I put in enough effort to make them successful.
At the time, I just thought I’d tried and it wasn’t for me. But you get out what you put in and if I’d not given up I could have found a way.
People who are successful in business, do more than just create an awesome business. They become better people in every way and do more than anyone else is willing to do.
It’s just we don’t normally see their struggles and sacrifices; we just get to know them on the other side when they are enjoying the rewards.
You talk to any super successful person and you can bet they; work out and look after their body, they give to others less fortunate, they spend years honing their skills and becoming better when everyone else has given up or gone to the pub and they take time to study, invest in themselves and manage their mental health.
4. You Have to Continually Adapt to Survive in Life and Business
It would be nice if we could just keep everything the same and still achieve all our life and monetary goals, right!?
The thing is, the world is going to keep evolving whether we like it or not.
So, you can either stick with what you know and there is nothing wrong with that if you’re happy.
Or, if you have goals you want to achieve, you have to stop blaming the world, the government, society, your parents or your personality and learn to adapt to become whatever you need to be to make things happen!
5. The Only Person that Will Stop You Being Successful is YOU
This is a big one for me, because I use to come up with all sorts of reasons in my head as to why I couldn’t achieve my goals.
I would say to myself; I’m too shy, I’m not techy enough, I don’t have enough money to invest in a course, I don’t have time, I’m not clever enough, successful people are different to me etc etc….
But, these are all just self-limiting beliefs we make up in our heads.
Yes, you might not have enough money to do the course you need to do at this moment. But, if you really want to achieve something you will find a way to raise the money.
Yes, you might not be techy or super knowledgeable about a subject. But, if you want to set up an online business that is successful, you will find a way to learn the right skills.
An athlete is not born a gold medal winner, they have to train every day even through hardships to reach their peak 3, 5 or even 10 years from now. They focus on their goal and will not stop until they’ve achieved it.
Our brain is wired not to help us be successful, but actually to protect us. Whether we like it or not, our brain doesn’t care whether we earn a million pounds or not, it just wants us to be safe, healthy and in that dreaded COMFORT zone!!!