How to Navigate the Unexpected

Chances are the last two years have taught you a thing or two about managing the unexpected. Every one of us has experienced some level of disappointment throughout the pandemic. And while this time seems extraordinary, the truth is setbacks happen all the time.

In 2016, Maya Roffler had checked off all the boxes – fancy corporate job, reality TV star, and podcast host. But the sudden loss of her brother to homicide put her in a tailspin. Through her grief, Maya completely relaunched her life – and found the resilience she needed to carry on.

Now, she’s an entrepreneur and the host of two podcasts, including one on how to manage the loss of a sibling. She has 4 key steps to navigating the unexpected:

  1. Take your time

Shortly after her brother died, Maya jumped right back into her career. She also made some lifestyle changes, including getting a tattoo and buying a new dog. And while these things brought her some measure of comfort, she realized she’d moved too fast.

Dealing with the unexpected – from the death of a loved one to a divorce to a life-altering diagnosis – takes time.

In the aftermath, don’t feel the need to rush. Grief and acceptance happen the way they’re meant to, and the time it takes to feel steady is different for everyone. It’s okay to go it slow.

  1. Don’t wait for closure

Due to the nature of her brother’s death, Maya no longer believes in closure. She may never know what truly happened to him, and that has given her a new perspective.

Often, when something bad happens in our lives, we focus on what life will be like when it’s behind us. We all want a resolution so we can move on.

Instead of waiting for closure, look for answers along the way to help you live life as it is now.

When you start to focus on the small things that help you keep going, you’ll begin to accept where you are in the moment. And before you know it, you’ll be living your best life – with or without true closure.

  1. Use your experience

Today, despite her loss, Maya she sees the beauty in what she went through. As a result, she found her life calling. She knows she would never be helping others learn how to lead and how to grieve if she hadn’t experienced it herself.

The fact is, bad things will happen. It’s how you use your experience that matters.

The choices you make following the unexpected can be life-changing, propelling you forward in positive ways. This is the true meaning of finding your silver lining.

  1. Embody resilience

For those experiencing setbacks and loss, it’s common to run into one word as a goal – resilience. But in the moment, it can seem either elusive or downright impossible to attain.

Maya’s advice is to focus on one step at a time. If like her, you’ve lost a loved one, a shower might be the best you can do for the whole day. That’s okay. That in itself is resilience.

Put one foot in front of the other and you will learn to embody resilience.

Keep the perspective that your walk won’t look like someone else’s. But once resilience lives in the moments of your day, it will come easier and easier.

Life is bound to hand you the unexpected, but learning to navigate the hard times can help you use them to live your best life yet.