Victoria Burcea: How can you make challenges, some of the greatest things that ever happened to you?

Instead of seeing challenging times as the moment when everything in your world falls apart, allow yourself to sit with another possibility. Challenging times might be the moment when you begin to foster a better relationship with yourself and maybe even grow closer to those around you. Think about it: When we look back on our most difficult experiences (after enough time has passed), we usually feel a sense of pride that we prevailed, that we somehow proved to be resilient, that we bravely asked for help and support (and maybe even offered it to others). ⁠

We are living in a moment, when things are constantly changing, one week we may be in lockdown, another week reintegrating back into community and trying to understand what the ‘new’ normal is. We all faced and are still facing many challenges from the pandemic. Perhaps you live alone and are isolated, are learning how to work from home and still be on a team, how do we connect with friends and family, caring for others from a distance, looking after the kids who are also doing home school… the list goes on.  

Trying to meet societal expectations before COVID-19 arrived was challenging enough. Now, as we face the profound uncertainty as we try to transition back into some sort of normal life with new standards and expectations, some of us are barely hanging on by a thread as we contend with trying to balance our lives in this new world. 

But would you believe there is a silver lining in the way we are living right now, in the midst of so much chaos and uncertainty? Much of the world has learned how to press pause. That means we have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to continue to find ways to press pause without judgement or guilt.  We learned that our health and the health of others is priority – we learned that if we are sick to stay home, get better and not risk getting others sick – that is community based thinking! We started learning about right relationships with ourselves, the people in our lives, and the planet.  So let’s not stop this journey we are on, let’s keep going!

Instead of worrying about how things are returning to the ‘new’ normal, why not use this time to reassess which parts of normal are even worth going back to? What parts were you able to live without that you don’t need to bring back into your daily life?

Before starting to answer these questions, tend to yourself with some self-care and spend a little time reflecting on what you truly value and prioritize in your life. ⁠

Here are some ways you can start to reflect: 


Take the time to observe and interact with your inner self and your relationship with your lifestyle. Self check-ins are one of the best ways to ground ourselves, empower ourselves, and boost confidence. My favourite way to check in with myself is the 2-minute wall stare.  Yup literally look at a blank wall for 2 minutes and listen to what your inner monologue is saying.  You might be surprised with what you hear. ⁠Journal about what you notice and keep track of any changes.


Many studies have shown that journaling can help reduce stress and in some cases prevent depression and anxiety. It can be a safe space just for to express your emotions and talk to yourself without judgement. I know if you haven’t done it before, it can sound like a daunting task.  It’s good to start with a question that will motivate your brain to think deeper about your relationships.  Here are few journaling prompts that are great for reflecting on what your true priorities are: 

  1. What did you used to worry about that you no longer worry about? 
  2. What are you able to do with your time now that you weren’t able to before?
  3. What are you doing now to feel fulfilled that you thought wasn’t possible before and that you now realize is totally possible?

If you notice that you have adopted a more negative outlook and you want to change, language is one of the ways we can easily send a message to our brain to shift the pattern of negative outlooks and thinking.  The simplest way is THE POWER OF YET… if you find yourself thinking “I can’t do that’ or ‘I”m not good enough’ simply add on the word yet and notice how you feel.  I can’t do that yet, however I am going to work on that skill.


Talking to yourself and setting goals is like a telephone call to your subconscious brain.  Your actions, attitudes and behaviours are your subconscious brain telephoning you back.   Your brain is an amazing computer doing all this work for YOU in the background, it is constantly observing and absorbing the world around you and your emotional reactions to it.  Give it some information to help guide it to where you want to be. Here are some easy ways to achieve this: 

  1.  Practicing gratefulness: say 10 things out loud that you are grateful each morning
  2. Simple affirmations that are spoken or written in the present tense: I AM safe.  I AM happy.  I AM Worthy. 
  3. At the end of the day say to yourself ‘I have done everything I can do today and that is ok’. 

Seek support, mentorship, in a friend or professional and talk about what you observed.

It’s important to have an outside person to talk to about what you discover about yourself when you practice reflecting.  If there is anything that we have learned during this pandemic is the importance of giving and receiving support for our mental and emotional health.  It’s just as important as our physical health and you are worthy and deserve support. 

Soak up some more inspiration from Victoria Muir-Burcea at or follow her on instagram

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