The Breakdown before the Breakthrough…

If you are in the North East as I am, I hope you have rode this winter storm safely!

You know when life feels pretty good and then you suddenly experience a string of random negative events that turn your happily humming schedule on its head putting your life on sudden hold? I refer to these as the breakdowns before the breakthroughs. They happen to my clients fairly quickly and if I had to put my finger on the WHEN it’s usually between 3 and 4 weeks of working together.

A sudden injury will stop them in their tracks, a relationship is tested and soon ends, a colleague or manager begins overstepping their boundaries…. you get the picture.

I used to write these off as mere coincidences years ago but what I’ve come to realize is that these are all placed in our path because we have put ourselves in a place of growth which becomes our new normal. With that comes the flip side, contrast. Things around you start to pop up where you are being tested, but here’s the rub. You will never go back to where you were, it’s a non-negotiable; you are being called to step up.

A voice will whisper, your ego usually,

“So if you’re really ready to move to a new senior role or break out and start your business or present to an audience, then let’s see what you got. Here’s a little test of how strong you are….”

Random events and breakdowns begin to happen and there you are standing out in the cold, wondering “how did I create this????!”

The answer is simple, because you made a choice, banking on you. Now you have to go through a little period of tribulation to come out the other end and show you are ready.

Let me share some breakdowns I  experienced yesterday.  I was on a Skype call with someone in Italy, firming up details for the retreat and all of a sudden my computer froze and shut down suddenly.

Strange, I thought. Must have needed to be rebooted.

Turns out – my computer crashed along with all my files with it. I have several large corporate events coming up for Women’s history month beginning next week and prayed my presentations were safe.

Soon after I received a panic text from my assistant who said one of the platforms we use to store and schedule our content was suddenly erased.

Then my phone began wildly ringing with strange calls from people I’ve never met – wrong number perhaps?  Not sure, but it felt quite intrusive.

The list goes on and on. Ear infection, have just begun to hear again. Even here, I normally write to you on Tuesdays through Thursdays but alas I was so backed up unable to get any work done, so here I am on a Friday.

I woke up in a pretty joyful state yesterday morning despite that two-week long ear infection, just now getting my hearing back and yet here I was caught in a virtual and physical thunder snowstorm. First time I’ve ever seen lightning during a winter storm.

And I can’t make this up if I tried. Just as I hit save on this e-mail my son called me outside – one of our favorite pine trees in front of the house fell down in the storm.  It was one of my favorite calming trees.

It’s easy to get frustrated, spiral into panic mode and begin lashing out in resistance, isn’t it? I invite you to laugh in the face of these circumstances, something indeed is on the way.

Change is happening around you because you are in a growth stage and it’s a big one. There is something coming around the corner and yet just yesterday everything seemed perfect. The sharp contrast can cause it to feel even more that you are in the eye of a storm. You are being called to step into the breakthrough on its way. Hold the reigns because you are ready. You are ready for transformational growth.

What I tell my clients, rather than resist, consider it a trial and tribulation period placed there for a reason and believe it or not you asked for it by choosing to GROW. Whatever path you go on, as I tell those I coach, make sure you do a little litmus test to ensure you’re aligned with what you need.  Is your decision rooted in faith or fear? Faith is where you are being called which will require you to be uncomfortable and act in spite of what’s in front of you as the gutsy leader you are. Leading not from what’s visibly in front of you, but from your gut. Not easy is it?  We have to *feel* our way through the storm. The fastest path to what you want is in those impulses of thought. Keep moving your feet.

A formula I leave you with today which I give to my clients when they experience the breakdowns before the breakthroughs and ask: “Marisa, what’s happening over here? Things are falling apart!” to which I say: “Life is happening, you made a choice to invest in you and is a non-negotiable to achieve what you want. Stay the course, we have lots more work to do, hang on, this too shall pass…”

Your Gutsy Formula to withstand the Breakdowns before the Breakthroughs:

E + R = 0

Events + Response = Outcome.

Events? You can’t control them, they show up when they want. Your point of power is always in your response – that royal letter R; taking action, making gutsy moves, leading from faith, leading from your gut creating a WILD NEW OUTCOME.

As for me, I look forward to see what more surprises show up next.  I hope they end soon!

Stay safe and stay warm.

With guts, grace and determination, you know what to do, you know what to say. Lean into your gut, you’ve got this. 

Ready to accelerate your breakthrough business goals? Reach out to have a quick call and we’ll see if we can help.

The theme of our Tuscany retreat is


Food. Life. Olives. Wine.


Dinner in the vineyard.

Like-minded positive energy.

>>Joining us in Tuscany, Italy? June 2018 Retreat!

Would you like to invite a Gutsy Leadership program into your organization? Looking for an external resource to keep you on track  with your career goals?

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