As we all know, sometimes life situations can get in the way of what we would like to achieve. Personally, I know I have gotten discouraged to the point that I have felt lost and can’t figure out how to achieve my original goal anymore. When this happens, my motivation declines, and I get depressed and everything starts to feel overwhelming. Eventually, however, I am able to push myself back up, and continue down the yellow brick road. To stay motivated, here are some tips that have worked for me that may help you when obstacles come your way.

First Step: Have a Support System

Around the time I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology I wanted to continue right away with my Master’s degree. However, the program I was in told me they were no longer going to pay for my education. When I heard this news it hurt me because my dream was to get my PhD early in my life. The program told me I needed to get a job in the field I want to be in to get more experience. So, I updated my resume, got some professional clothes for interviews, and practiced with my support systems I had around me. I had a lot of interviews that went well and some that didn’t go well. A lot of the places that got back to me told me I needed a driver’s license; however, I have a physical disability so a lot of the jobs that I could apply for I had a physical boundary that limited me in a lot of ways. I ended up feeling stuck, my depression hit, and I stopped being motivated. I was in a mindset that said “Well they don’t want me…there’s no point.” I would stay in bed all day, but my support systems helped me once again remember my self-worth. They reminded me that some things are just not meant to be. I kept looking, and eventually found a wonderful internship.

Second Step: Stay Active, Get Engaged

I needed to stay active and keep moving forward, so I applied to my internship, and even though it wasn’t included in my original plans, sometimes we have to take another pathway to reach the goal we want. I learned patience and gratitude. I was accepted into the internship and it was the best opportunity I have ever taken. I’m glad that I had an obstacle because I wouldn’t have been able to network with so many great people, learned so much about diversity, community, racial awareness and how to be a true leader. I am also placed with Mental Health Association in Delaware which is part of my career goal. Getting engaged in my community, helping people, staying active with the people around me has helped keep me motivated.

Third Step: Accept You for You

To live life to the fullest it’s a beautiful thing. I have learned not to take life for granted. Life is too short to be upset over people who haven’t chosen you or has made you feel bad about yourself because of who you are. Now I am working and I feel fulfilled. I have a long way to go to get to my end goal, but I’m happy. I have an internship, networked, received professional training, gotten a job out of it and I’m accepted for who I am.

Life situations can get in the way of our goals and pathways, but having a support system that knows of your goals can help you stay motivated. Stay active, keep moving forward, and engage in things to continue your ultimate goal. Even if your path leads you to the left for a little bit, remember you can always change gears and go right. Remember to always accept you for who you are, and don’t let anyone tell you any differently. Remember you make your destiny. You got this!

Guest Blogger: Golda Duncan, Public Ally

Golda Duncan is an AmeriCorps Public Allies Apprentice, interning for MHA. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a passion for the mental health community and wants to make a change.