Not every day can be a perfect 10 – or can it?

It’s hard when you’re changing careers, launching a new business or going through a major transition in your life to be positive 100 percent of the time. I certainly have had my ups and downs along the trail, and it’s tough to be “up” sometimes—even when you’ve got plenty of self-confidence.

View of the Blue Ridge

View from the trail along the Blue Ridge.

Doubt seems to creep in—can I actually do this…and will I be able to make ends meet? When that happens, you have to reassure yourself that the path you’ve chosen is uniquely yours and that your life’s experiences have prepared you for this particular path. It is not necessarily the path that your parents would have taken, that your colleagues will take, or even some of your friends will understand. So try to surround yourself with friends and people in your line of work that DO understand. Use them to give yourself a “pick-me-up” and to boost your morale. There’s nothing more negative than someone who constantly chides you about the choices you’ve made. You need to separate yourself from negative people and stop them from sucking all of the positive energy out of you.

Even when I have my deepest doubts that I may not be able to pull off the goals I have set for myself, I still recognize that what I am embarking on is the right thing for me to do at this point in my life. It is not necessarily a final decision, rather it is the beginning of a journey. What keeps me going is that I know I will learn, grow and be more self-directed and fulfilled. Whether I succeed by the conventional measures of wealth and fame is immaterial. I will have succeeded immeasurably just by marching to the beat of my own drum.

What gets you through your “dark days”? Is it reaffirmation of your faith, consolation from a friend, reading a motivational book, taking a walk, spending time with your children or a pet?

Mike Michalowicz, in his blog The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, invited readers to describe how they survive their darkest days. He got over 100 responses, many of which are worth checking out. For example, when’s the last time you reviewed your goals to see if you’re still on track? Went to a networking event? Or did something nice for a client or customer?

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