I never considered myself a lucky person. At least, that's not how I used to think of myself. You see, after completing college and graduating with a degree, I still felt as lost as I did when I was in school. I wanted to write scripts for TV and film, but as luck would have it, I never got any script commissioned, and for three years, I only earned $1,000.
That's not enough to live on, even in Kenya.
I tried approaching a few TV stations and applied to numerous jobs, but no matter what I did, nothing came my way. I even applied for a journalist job once, but I never got an interview, let alone the job. It was the lowest ranking writing job at the station. I pitched TV shows and film ideas to companies, but I saw a few of them on TV, and I wasn't even selected to write for shows.
I was angry, stressed, and depressed. Things got worse when the only thing working in my life, my family almost broke. I was suicidal by then, because, if the only thing that ever worked in my life was failing, there was no point in living. I had hit rock bottom.
One thing I've come to appreciate about rock bottom is that the only way to go is up. One day, by chance, I saw a video by Tom Bailey on YouTube. It just popped up out of nowhere, and for some reason, I clicked on it. Tom Bailey was interviewing the phenomenal Lisa Nichols, whose story, though not close to mine, sounded familiar. I watched it several times, occasionally wiping tears off my face, and as if by sheer luck, something dawned on me when she says, "I will never be this broke or broken again."
Decision shape our lives!
That's when I knew that blaming the world around me wasn't going to solve my situation. That's when I knew that, like Lisa Nichols, I had to be my own rescue. No knight in shining armor was coming. Every decision I made after that was geared towards changing my mental state. From that video, Google algorithm started bringing to my timeline other speakers from Tony Roberts, Jim Rohn, Abraham Hicks, and Neville Goddard. I started keeping a journal and meditating first thing in the morning and before sleeping. I even joined a Facebook group that teaches about Neville Goddard. I was obsessed.
But, as you might have guessed, things didn't really change just because I was repeating a bunch of affirmations. In fact, things seemed to get worse because my emotions and my thoughts were so far from each other. I said one thing and felt something completely different. I was still defeated even when I wanted to be a winner.
Things only changed when I finally change not just my thoughts, but also my emotions. How did I do it?
1. I accepted that it was my fault
This was the most painful part of the process for me, accepting that everything that had happened in my life was my fault. I was to blame. Not the government, not my parents, and definitely not anyone else. I was to blame, period. But, if I was to blame for all the mistakes, then I was to blame for all the great things happening in my life. I was to blame for having a great family, I was to blame for having great kids, and I was to blame for having killer writing skills. That, too, was my fault. It all depended on what I chose to focus on.
2. Focus on the strengths
I stopped throwing pity parties and instead focused on telling myself how awesome I was for having such a great family. I focused on how I enjoyed writing and how great it was to play with my kids and laugh with my spouse. These are things I already believed to be true, so all I had to do was enforce them. For the first time in a long time, I started looking for freelance writing jobs instead of looking at the film industry back home. Since I was already a great mom, by my own standards, I decided to write about it and share my knowledge and tips with other moms.
I opened an Upwork and Fiverr profile, and I was able to get my first client within a few days. The rest, as they say, is history.
3. Affirmation and changing my habits
Granted, affirmations are helpful if you use them correctly. That means you have to couple them with feelings of gratitude and peace. If you feel one thing and think another, you'll end up in the same cycle I was in. I trained my mind and heart to work in harmony, but instead of refuting what I thought was true, I gave it a different meaning.
For instance, whenever I felt like I was coming in short, I would tell myself, "That's true, I feel pretty bad today, but that's because my body is resisting change. It's not used to this, and the only way it's letting me know is by taking me back to the 'default' setting. But I will win. My body is not the master; I am." Even when it took a while to accept it, I still said my affirmations and fought to change my thoughts. Eventually, I won.
4. Improved my skills
"You are paid for the value you offer, not for the number of hours you work. There is no exception. If you want to earn more, offer more value." I learned this from Jim Rohn, and it changed my life. Every day, I start by reading something that will improve my skills, whether an article on grammar, sentence structure, or writing tips from renowned bloggers and authors. Whatever it takes to sharpen my skills and offer more value. I learned SEO, how to use WordPress, pitch my services, write engaging content, and capture different styles and tones. If the client needs it, I learned it.
It doesn't matter where you are in life, how broke or broken you are. You can get up, dust yourself, and make it work. Start by believing in yourself and move from there. Today, I make enough for my family to live on, and I can’t be happier with my career. And, when I face challenges, I know how to get out a winner because I’ve been to the bottom once. The process of getting up is the same; all I have to do is repeat the steps.
Shalom is an expert parenting content writer, mom to two of the most adorable girls, and psychology enthusiast. When she is not writing or playing with kids, you will find her traveling, hiking, or enjoying a glass of wine.