The Art of Fighting Back
Four years ago, just a few days before Christmas, I lost my access to write for an online freelance writing platform.
I made the mistake of dropping an unreasonable client and got the whipping for it.
After five emails of asking for assistance from the platform’s support system and then having to defend myself for asking for help, it was over.
My case was handled by someone hiding behind layers and layers of impersonal emails.
It was also a quick process.
There was no “Okay. We value what you bring to our business and our clients’ businesses. Let’s fix this issue and move on.”
All I heard was, “You’re out.”
I was devastated.
It was also Christmas which made being grumpy amidst all the festivities seemed like a transgression of unfathomable proportions.
For one month, I took it hard.
I stopped writing and aspiring to land jobs from other freelance writing platforms. I even stopped pitching to direct clients. I was depressed. I thought if something as simple as that platform could not take me in, who else would?
But thanks to You Tube, I came to my senses.
After hours and hours of listening to Rascal Flatt’s “Stand”, I bounced back.
Today, I’m a successful tech copywriter and I only write for businesses and startup clients I can work with whose goals are aligned with my own goals as a writer and a professional marketing strategist.
I also don’t need to go through an invisible middleman to communicate with my clients anymore. I and my clients uphold honesty, transparency and prompt communication to ensure we’re always on the same page to eliminate unnecessary conflicts.
And best of all, I am treated with respect for what I can bring to the table and vice versa.
It Happens to the Best of Us
In your life, you must have been in the same situation.
At some point, you’ve lost an opportunity without being given a chance to defend yourself. Or you’ve been treated unfairly by people who did not have a strand of compassion in their DNA - those who found joy in pushing you to the limit until you faltered and failed.
You’re not alone. We’ve all been there and done that. And most of us have stood up and fought back.
How I Coped
I’m going to share with you how I rose from the ashes and fought back.
(Excuse the language. I am still a rom-com author, after all.)
Now, whenever I feel like the evil side of Jar Jar Binks or Cruella de Vil is hanging out in my neck of the woods also known as my own personal space, these are my go-to steps.
My personal take on handling the crappy things and people that mess up our lives.
But first things first.
If you’re looking for sword fights, UFC-WWE-Bruce Lee attacks, tire-slashing, and hate posts on social media, you won't find them here.
Although we must fight back when we find ourselves with our backs to the wall, there’s a better way than just being hateful, bitter, vengeful and destructive.
The art of fighting back and winning is founded on positivity, self-improvement, discipline, letting go, and achieving what we’ve invested in.
Not really once you’ve seen where I’m going.
Now without further ado, let’s do this.
If you fell and broke your bones, no one should tell you not to wallow in pain because, hello, you’re already in pain. You need to give your mind and body the time and the opportunity to grieve. Acknowledge you’re hurting. Cry and scream if you need to. That’s okay. Remember, you need to take the heavy load off your back first before you can get up.
Pain is temporary.What you feel when you’re hurting will go away over time. Nothing is permanent.
Sit Down and Evaluate
After you’ve taken your load off and rid your body of negative feelings especially towards your aggressor, find a quiet place to sit down and assess what has happened.
What did you learn from the experience? Were you partly to blame? Do you need to improve? Do you need to stay away from the people that hurt you or should you still mend your broken relations? What can you do to make the situation better?
Sometimes, when we’re too focused on ourselves, we forget to see the bigger picture. It doesn’t make things better now and in the long run if we keep taking ourselves and our shortcomings out of the equation. Look in the mirror and face yourself. If you are absolutely sure that you are not the problem, then it’s time to tackle the next step.
Let Go But Don’t Hold Grudges
Once you’ve assessed that no matter what you do, your Kylo Ren (sorry, I love Star Wars) is a hopeless case and will not improve no matter what you do, then you have to let go.
You can only endure so much beating in your life and if you keep waiting for things to get better, you will lose track of time along with all the opportunities you could have pursued while waiting for the universe to re-align your planets.
Remember, if you were able to take the load off of your back after you’ve grieved, you’ll be able to part with your aggressors as well without holding any grudges. Let go of them and be free so you only have yourself to carry as you go through the rest of your journey.
Seek Other Opportunities
The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence.
Cliché but true.
In my case, I was trying to succeed in the wrong platform whose communication model did not comply with my expectations. Until I realized I should not have allowed myself to be in that imperfect environment, I would have still been hustling for something lesser than I was capable of achieving.
Sometimes, we love to hang on to a place or a person just because we’ve gotten so used to them without realizing it’s already time for us to move on.
If you find yourself in a situation which does not give you joy the way it used to when you first started, it’s time to evaluate if you have already overstayed your welcome.
Set Goals and Improve Yourself
When people were able to push you to your failure, it’s because you were probably “pushable”. It means you may have lacked some attributes that would have helped you resist the disappointing outcome.
Fight back by improving yourself.
Study, be healthy, pamper yourself, learn new skills, meet new friends, find your passion and have fun with it, do something to make yourself and your life better than before.
The stronger and more prepared you are to tackle your next steps, the more successful you will be in achieving your set goals.
I don’t know how spiritual you are but when I’m weary and anxious, I pray harder. Prayer is a gift, a destination, a resting place where we can find peace and joy that will help strengthen our worn out spirits. Acknowledge that there is someone bigger than us and that everything and everyone has a reason for being.
The Story of Your Eggs
Remember when they told you not to put all your eggs in one basket?
It’s because you shouldn’t.
Distribute your eggs - your dreams, expectations, aspiration whether or not they had to do with your personal relationship, businesses, employment, beliefs, hobbies, or any personal pursuit - in as many baskets as you can find.
One day, some of your eggs will go bad.
When that happens, you have to throw them away and replace them with new ones.
Don’t let toxic environments and people who do not contribute to your well-being hold you down.
For the Win
The beauty in fighting back does not solely lie in the outcome of your battle.
It’s all about your journey.
The path that took you from darkness to light, confusion to understanding, pain to wellness, and inadequacy to empowerment.
Your journey towards achieving true happiness is what matters.
So be happy.
As in happy happy.
That’s how you win the fight.
And don't worry how your detractors will be affected by your big wins either.
They're already out of your league, my dear, and thankfully, none of your business.