Minor Setback for a Major Comeback

March 11, 2017

Portlandshopping MaineWe’ve all had moments where we felt as if our life was falling apart around us, or that our world has completely turned upside down. These hurdles, setbacks, roadblocks, or whatever you prefer to call them, test our self-confidence, raise doubt in your capabilities, and even have us questioning our own worth. I know I for one have felt every one of these forces and this winter has been one of the hardest transitions of my life. With the help of therapy, friends, family, and A LOT of self-help books I’m finally feeling more positive. I thought I’d use this post as an opportunity to not only continue to discover better ways to cope, but also share my insights with you too and hope that they can benefit you in some way. More and more I’m realizing that there are many things we do not have control over, but we do ultimately have control over how we respond.hannah

Your identity is not tied up in labels.

Having experienced a decent amount of professional growth during college within my industry, it’s been a major let down to move from Los Angeles back to my hometown in Maine. My strides in the fashion industry appear to have come to a screeching halt and I’m left wondering what’s left of me now?

As humans, we tend to define our character and sense of worth through titles, careers, and relationships. And when one of those ceases to define us anymore it can be very disorienting, or even lead to us questioning our whole essence. Instead, embrace your new reality. Remember that so many people before you have gone through major setbacks and that it is perfectly normal. You’ll need plenty of time to rebuild whatever comes next so don’t rush it. Instead of moping, use this time to get as good at your craft as you can.

These challenges that you are facing right now do not reflect your inner value, but rather are merely a part of life. Remember no job or relationship can determine your worth. You have been and will always be worthy.

smilesfloralsdetailswinterflorals Portlandmaine

Treat yourself the way you would treat a friend in the same situation.

Ask yourself, would I degrade, criticize, ignore, judge, or think negatively of a friend who was going through a difficult situation? Absolutely not. You would listen, be supportive, kind, loving and offer helpful advice to that person.

When we criticize or judge ourselves, we end up convincing ourselves that we are not worthy or that we are not good enough. In the end, we are only adding to our own pain and suffering. This is the perfect time to offer yourself the same kindness and compassion you would offer a friend. When we see our friends struggling we tend to remind them that this too shall pass. Tell this to yourself and remember that you are stronger than you think. A very powerful exercise it to write down what you would say to a friend who was going through a tough time and offer those same words to yourself.


Seek evidence of your strengths.

During times of great struggle and when you’re feeling like you do not amount to much, it’s so important to remember that you do possess strengths. Think long and hard about what those strengths are. Remind yourself you’ve been faced with challenges before and that you made it to the other side. They were times before that you felt like things could not get better and look at how you are standing here today.

Identify strengths you used to get through a challenge in the past or to achieve things you’re proud of. Ask yourself, how can I apply these strengths to support myself now? What does this say about me? Also, identify resources that can offer you help. Remember that there are people in your life who love you and want to help you through dark times. Sometimes, during big transitions, we push people away. I know I for one recently felt like I was imposing or that I was somehow too much for others to handle. Not only did I end up feeling isolated and alone, but I hurt my friends by pushing them away. Practice vulnerability and allow yourself to receive community and love from others. Being able to share and commune with others can be a powerful way to recover from big change.

arabicacoffee curlscoffeetalk

Set and maintain healthy boundaries.

During times of great difficulty and when your emotions are shot, it’s essential that you not add extra stress to your life. Instead, focus on self-care and putting your own needs first. Perhaps you trade in a night-out for a night-in of watching your favorite shows on Netflix. This is a time where you need to shield yourself from negative people and unnecessary drama. Instead, utilize stress-management practices, such as prayer, nature walks, yoga, and journaling to relax and recenter.

When one door closes, another opens.

In between my senior year and graduate year, I applied for a variety of part-time summer jobs and kept getting rejected. I remember being so distraught, however, I had no idea what was in store. Just weeks later I found out that I was accepted for an internship with Tommy Hilfiger in New York City. Had I gotten those other jobs and accepted those positions I would not have had the opportunity to work my dream job. This story reminds me that you never know what is to come. I constantly try to remind myself of this when I’m feeling lost and hopeless in my current transition.


What I’m wondering is what major life transitions have you gone through, and how did you deal with it? Do you have any advice?


Outfit Ingredients: hat- Free People | dress- Forever 21 | necklace- Arthlin | sneakers- Adidas Originals | wallet- Needless Society


 Photography by Chelsea MacLeod of El Photography

 P.s Even though I just finished writing this, I have a feeling that I’m going to be rereading this post often for I still have a long way to go.





  • Linda Martin

    Very well stated!

  • Stephanie Hanscom

    Love your honesty! If we didn’t struggle we would not need a savior. Last year I was 37wks pregnant and started having heart problems. I delivered a healthy baby boy early and found out I was in heart failure at 38. I was in cardiac ICU for a few days. My husband took care of the baby a the hospital because our baby could not be on my floor. I was put on medication and was able to go home. My Savior carried me through all of this and today I can praise him even for that trial..I have learned so much. Praying for you..

  • Beth

    Lovely blog. Redefining myself is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Knowing that you are on the right path only helps the journey, there are still many ups and downs. Thinking of you.

  • Cassidy

    Lovely Hannah, you are dearly loved and you have always been loved. <3 May you find hope and beauty in all you see, and most importantly, in yourself. <3 Best wishes and much love in your transitions and processing, and hope that you can follow your dreams under palm trees again. (:

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