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Time to Level Up

Time to Level Up

October 03, 2022

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” -Dolly Parton

Growing up, my parents never focused on what couldn’t be done.

Instead, they encouraged us to think about what we could do to change a situation we didn't like.

So as an adult, when challenges strike, sometimes seemingly unfair ones, how do you make it fair? What positive action can you take to change the trajectory?

It hit home again for me recently; over the last couple of months. I’ve been going through some real challenges. These weren’t challenges I was expecting, of course, and my first response was to say: “Hey! But wait! That isn’t fair.  

But then I realized – so what?  

And then I thought: “So, what do I DO with these current challenges?”

Here’s what I came up with – and maybe it’ll help you, too.

First, the next time YOU find yourself up against an unfair or, frankly, unjust challenge, talk about it. Don’t keep it inside and don’t pretend like it doesn’t matter or it’s no big deal.

It DOES matter and it IS a big deal.

So, share it. Engage with your team, with your colleagues, with your family, with your best friend. Don’t be scared to share it on social media, if you feel like it’s appropriate.

Acknowledge the unfair challenge. Ask for advice. Ask for help. Ask for ideas about how to deal with it, how to move forward from it, how to let go of it.

In your acknowledgement, also acknowledge that there are certain groups in this world who are ALWAYS going to have it harder than others. Acknowledge that while we might all be on the playing field, the playing field is NOT the same for all of us.

In other words, this playing field of life that we’re forced on to…is not fair.


That’s ok.

Keep these things in mind:

  • In the end, it doesn’t matter whether or not life is fair or unfair. Just be aware of it and be prepared to work within the parameters you’re given.
  • Being angry won’t help you in the long-term. Trying to maneuver through or trying to leverage the unfairness WILL help you.
  • You’re not defined by your circumstances and you can make changes.
  • Give yourself grace and share it with those around you, too
  • At the end of the day, trust yourself. 
  • And of course, if there are ways you can LEVEL that playing field – not just for yourself but for others who are experiencing challenges – it’s important that you do so. 

Now, back to my recent and unexpected challenges.

Like most challenges, it took me to the edge of fear. I was scared – legitimately frightened. And for a moment, I froze.

When I was able to move again, though, I started to notice some things about my fear. I realized that what was scaring me the most were the things in my past that I’d thought I’d already dealt with!

These things, leftover effects from lingering trauma, were clearly something I still needed to pay attention to. I was being pushed against strengths that I’d been taking for granted.

At that moment, I realized: ah. There’s more to do here. There are more opportunities for me to show up differently – more things to push TOWARDS instead of AWAY.

In short, these unexpected, frightening, and unfair challenges told me that I was looking at a brand new opportunity to grow. And it was an opportunity that presented itself to me because – you guessed it – life isn’t fair.

A final tip? Something I hope you find valuable?

Remember: Be fluid. Be flexible.

Don’t get fixated on what you THINK an outcome should be. Instead be aware of what’s going on around you and realize: when you’re nimble, you’re allowing for the best possible outcome.

Life isn’t fair – for some more than others. As I continue to face challenges and fears (which are, as a human being, simply unavoidable), I look forward to the opportunities to shift and grow. I hope you will, too.