Most of us have all been through challenges, and it is often in these difficult times that we grow.  To deal with difficult time here are 8 tips that I have reflected on which help me to navigate that period, and come out even better the other end.

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  1. Define where you want to be.  Take it as an opportunity to ask 'what do I really want,' and 'what matters.'  You may be surprised that the answer was far from where you were at.
  2. Ask what barriers are there to me changing the situation to where I want it to be, and how they can be overcome.  Be realistic to manage your time line and make a plan of what needs to change.  In my case there were a lot of barriers: language, visa (I was not marrying for a visa), discrimination, you name it!  I broke each one barrier down step by step.
  3. We often hate to have a 'plan B' because it alludes to failure, but sometimes life has a funny plan which is not what we intended.  Are there other options?  This flexibility to do anything can open up new possibilities.  In my case doing a Masters in Applied Research and Doctorate gave me access to expertise, coaching and resources for entrepreneurs.
  4. What needs to change in you to be successful.  In these periods there can be a lot of internal learning.  In my periods of change I have appreciated life and realised I am not defined by my work, met my match (now husband), had 2 beautiful children and started up 2 businesses.  A lot of what changed was internal.
  5. Be open to the plan 'I never thought of that.'  In my 1st experience I ended up in a different country.  I was open to saying yes.  In my 2nd experience I really initially did not want to go through a startup again, I now had kids.  However, the DNA inside me compelled me to take a risk, work my butt off and work again from conceptualisation to commercialisation.
  6. Share and meet with people with the strength of charachter 'this is me.'  Whatever your situation talk to your friends and network to see how they can support you.  It can be hard at first to think what will they think of me.  Once you remove the self judgement, and stop worrying about others perceptions doors will open.
  7. Have no fear.  The best advise I ever got from my gay best friend, is "what is the worst thing they can say, 'No' and it was already a 'No' because you hadn't asked."  this advice was for men but it actually applies to all areas of life.
  8. Tenacity.  My Dad always told me "there is no such word as can't" and "don't give up."  I find myself repeating this to my daughter, as these attributes have given me the strength in both good and bad times.

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