Bestselling author and motivational speaker Rachel Hollis recently published a new book, Didn’t See That Coming about how to put your life back together when your world falls apart such as facing the death of a loved one, a divorce, ending of a friendship or the loss of a job. We all have moments like this, and 2020 tested all of us.

Similar to Rachel, my world also fell apart (last year), I was blindsided by it (which my regular blog readers know) and I used that painful experience to build an even better life for myself, while sharing some of my experiences and lessons learned along the way with my readers to hopefully help others.

I thought I knew what I wanted, as Rachel says as well in the book. My life looked great from the outside, but I was unhappy at work, in an unhealthy relationship with a controlling and insecure partner who did not want the same things as me and who kept trying to change me into someone else, and was surrounded by friends who did not have my best intentions at heart.

Instead of taking charge of my life, I pretended everything was fine and let things happen to me. I ignored red flags both professionally and personally, and I didn’t trust or listen to my intuition.

When I finally started to take charge of my life and cut ties with toxic and abusive people and situations, things finally started to fall in to place for me. I finally put up boundaries. I finally stood up for myself. I found the courage to start my own business, end toxic friendships and get out of a relationship in which I never should have been.

Me today – more resilient and stronger with a new puppy

Rachel says in the book, “unless we experience hardship, we will never truly appreciate and remember the good that was always good.”

She also says we should make peace with the idea that we really don’t have control over anything in life but ourselves, and that our life can change in an instant.

“We don’t ever truly know what life is going to look like from one day to the next. Even from one hour to the next. We’ve never been able to accurately predict the future. I want you to understand that you haven’t lost control of life . . . because you never had control to begin with…We are only ever in control of ourselves and our actions in the moment. That statement holds utter limitation or ultimate opportunity, and the only thing that will decide which way it lands in your life is how you choose to view those words.”

If you are looking for a book to help you process and move past hard times such as being betrayed by a significant other or friends, accepting the abrupt end of a marriage or long-term relationship, the death of a loved one, dealing with your career going off course, and to make sense of things that just don’t make sense, check this out. If you’re someone who doesn’t do well with sudden change like me, it’s a great resource.

I’ve always been a fan of Rachel’s straightforward approach in empowering and motivating women both professionally and personally. She’s a great example of someone who strikes the right balance between being vulnerable, authentic and real while professional.

It took me awhile to feel like myself again but now I couldn’t be happier and more thankful to have my life turned upside down so that I didn’t wind up on the wrong path

Remember, it’s okay to not be okay all of the time. If anything has been reinforced for me during the pandemic, is that nothing is perfect, no one is perfect and it’s okay to say you need help sometimes.

Books are of course helpful to help make sense of a hard time, but there’s no substitution for personalized counseling, so if you feel that you need more help than a book can provide, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a trained professional for help.

Many of us have had to do that at different inflection points in our lives. When my mom passed away from cancer four years ago, my therapist very much helped me move past the different stages of grief.

No one’s life is perfect no matter what they portray on social media. And as someone who is often thought of as a social media “expert,” I want to make that very clear.

There’s such an opportunity to use our platforms for good, and to share both the highlights of our lives and also sometimes when things go off course. These are often times the moments when others will best relate to you, which is why Rachel is someone I turn to over and over.

Let me know what you think of her book.