Why the pandemic could be the perfect time to change your life

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This present pandemic is certainly proving to be challenging while rocking the foundations of our society in many ways.
While things may sometimes seem grim, I like to contend that with the right attitude and the right mindset, a crisis actually can be a perfect springboard to make radical (and beneficial) changes in your life.

To illustrate my point, I’d like to take you back with me down memory lane to the previous financial crisis in 2007-2008 to share with you my story and show you how tough times can be the foundation for great times.

While things may sometimes seem grim, with the right attitude and the right mindset, a crisis actually can be a perfect springboard to make radical changes in your life.. Click To Tweet

How the crisis of 2007-2008 almost wiped me out and helped me rebuild my best life

The collapse

At the time, I was working as the #2 of a small company. We’d been doing really great before the crisis and the downturn really took us by surprise. 
All of a sudden, things became very complicated and keeping the company afloat was an everyday challenge for months. 

Because of my position I was forced to take the brunt of it. Going to the office was like going to war each day: drama, panic, catastrophes, nasty calls, threatening letters… 

A complete horror-show!

The fight lasted for months and resulted in massive anxiety, massive stress, massive hardship and a big financial mess but made it… barely.

The recovery

As we began to recover, I finally was able to breathe, rest and reflect.
That’s when I realized I was burnt out and that had done too much, invested too much and lost too much for something that wasn’t my real dream.

Sure, I was in a good situation on paper: living in the best part of town in Paris (that’s my hometown, but it’s still something special), having an interesting role at work, enjoying a simple but comfortable life.

But I realized the trade-offs were too high.
I was giving away my life for something that didn’t matter so much to me. 

This didn’t raise any red flag when life was fine, but when everything collapsed it really burned to find the foundations of my life shaking because of drama that I didn’t create,  that had nothing to do with me and that really wasn’t connected to any of my big dreams.

That’s when I took the decision that if I ever had to fight another crisis, at least it would have to be on my terms and for something I believed in.

The rest is history. 

The rebirth

Soon, I was given the opportunity to start over along with plenty of time to plot my comeback.

At that point I had 1 leitmotiv: ‘How can I do something that is honest, useful, 100% beneficial to the world while being fun, fulfilling and exciting to me?’
I stayed with that question for sometime and eventually the idea for STRETCH+BLOOM began to form.

I have had an eventful life away from the beaten tracks and I had gathered a wide range of experiences. I had also developed specific tools to navigate difficult periods in life and I thought it would benefit others.

I began to organize my thoughts and ideas, and STRETCH+BLOOM was born.

Over time, I have created a variety of programs based on those experiences and tools to support other women sharing the same desire: ‘How do I create a thriving, purposeful, happy life that is 100% beneficial to others?’.

Because I am aware that transition periods can be challenging on every level, I always strive to offer a lot of free actionable content along with premium solutions.
This way anyone can benefit. 

It’s fantastic to get financially supported to help others. But what’s really amazing is to hear from all the people who tell me how they have changed their life just using my free content.

That’s priceless!

So now, looking back I realize this financial crisis has been a ‘blissing’’ in disguise and had actual been very beneficial for me.
It was the fire I needed to be done with complacency, realize the traps I had fallen for and find the resources to take massive action to correct the situation and create a life I could get behind 100%. 

To go further, I wanted to share with you some of the lessons I have learned.

How a crisis can help you change your life. Click To Tweet

Why I grateful for the last financial crisis:

  • The financial crisis helped strengthen my identity

When life is good, you just don’t realize how much nonsense you pick up from your peers.

I was getting complacent, caught up in my story of the right schools, the right job, the right part of town, the right brands that I wasn’t always able to see my intrinsic value or able to stand up for what really mattered to me.

It hard to chase 2 different balls: one being what society expects of you and one being who you truly are.

The crisis kind of blew right through all that BS taking away a lot of the toys I had invested my identity in. It left me with 2 choices: collapse from confusion and shame or pick myself up and find my intrinsic value without the toys.

I picked myself up and I must say I’ve been living happily-ever-after without a lot of that nonsense in my life!

It’s like that song: ‘I am not my hair’.
Nor, am I the color of cards in my wallet, nor my clothes, my job, what part of town I live in.

My intrinsic value is in me: my personality, my skills, my talents, what I can contribute,…

  • The crisis helped me detox from BS

Since I had lost access to a lot of my toys, I couldn’t participate in my favorite distractions the way I used to, I was forced to get back to basics and become comfortable with less.

The downsizing certainly wasn’t voluntary but overtime I have come to love the simplicity.

And most importantly, I have come to see the trap in my former lifestyle: less is certainly more!

  • It helped put things in perspective

Having everything in life being in jeopardy certainly puts things in perspective.

– Is the career you’re investing in really worth it? 

– Are the trade-offs really justified?

It’s easy to say yes when everything is going your way. The real price tag only reveals itself when things get tough.

Ideally, you would want to get wise before s**t hits the fan. I wasn’t that smart… 😉

I had to catch the wave full frontal to realize that I had fallen for a big trap. (That’s why ever since then I have been waving the flag so you can avoid the same trap!)

In any case, having to pick your life back from the bottom of deep hole is not something you enjoy and certainly helps you see what/who matters and what/ who doesn’t…

  • Crises have helped me build resilience

I am not a spring-chicken and I have gone through a few crisis in my life: I’ve had to start over quite a few times. 

It really sucks when it happens but you know what?
Now it takes a lot to shake my foundations: I am so zen!

These days with the pandemic, I sometimes catch a video of someone completely losing their mind over toilet paper, over wearing or not a mask, over 6 feet social distance and I am kind of amazed.

You can see fear is getting the best of them…

That’s when I am really grateful for the hardships I had to endure. Hardship gives you resilience and makes you agile.

Very appreciable!

  • The 2007 crisis was a wake-up call

Before the crisis I didn’t realize that I was sleep-walking. 

I was dreaming but not in a good way, I thought I was building my dreams, however I was completely disconnected from reality.

That’s a pretty bad combination!

It’s a bit like geeking out on building a majestic mansion but not doing a land survey and ignoring any hint that you’re actually right, smack in the middle high-tsunami-risk area.

It might work for some time and you might twirl yourself silly singing ‘la-la-la, I am so amazing, my house is fantastic, I am so brilliant, etc…’ only to find out one day the hard way that you’d be playing yourself all along when your mansion suddenly gets washed away by a 20 meter tall wave.

The crisis certainly taught to pay attention to the world and to become better at deciphering what was happening around me. It forced me to educate myself and look at the world for what it really is and not through rose-colored glasses.

Many times I have been criticized by other women for being dark and negative, simply for pointing what’s happening in the world. 

As far as I can see, though, many women have fallen for trap of avoiding any form of negativity at all cost even if that means avoiding the facts of life. (Interestingly, these often seem to be the ones losing their minds over toilet paper and masks these days…)

Like I said, I was sleep-walking too so I do understand where they are coming from. I am just a bit ahead: I fell for the trap before them and took the rose-colored sometime ago.

And now I can assure you preparation certainly beats delusion!! 

Being aware of your surrounding helps you avoid the negative consequences of crises. Click To Tweet

What have you learned from the pandemic and lockdowns so far?

While the situation with the pandemic is different from the 2007-2008 financial crisis, it still bear a lot of resemblance to it.  Depending on where you are in the world you may be navigating comfortably or being completely shaken at your core. 

But, no matter what I think it’s very clear that the world has fondamentally changed and that’s probably a good to make an assessment of your life.

As the world begins to return to some form of normalcy with an easing of the lockdowns and restrictions, what is the takeaway for you so far?

– What did you learn?

– What have you changed?

– What do you need to give up?

– What do you need to upgrade?

– What do you need help changing?

My experience (as I’ve shared above) has been that it’s always better to be pro-active in making changes instead of waiting for life to makes changes for you… 

Mistake made, lesson learned!!

That’s why, if you’ve started to realize that your life needs changes, I am urging you to make changes proactively rather than being forced screaming and kicking to do so.


Thinking about making big changes but don’t know where to start? 

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Edited on May 22.

Dominique
Bonjour!

I am dominique! I help smart, sassy, successful (but unfulfilled!) women manifest soulful lives that feel as good as they look. (Learn more about me)

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