On Leadership and Handling Difficult Life Challenges

My life has been filled with very difficult challenges. Some of them could be used to excuse myself from being anything but a victim. 

I made a decision 30-years ago that I did not want to be a victim, or depressed, or any other term used by “damaged” people to describe their lives. 

I set out to do something about it.

Difficult Choice

I will say that it has been the most difficult choice I have ever made.  I know from experience the difficulty of choosing to get up and move over sitting down and giving up. I have done both. I prefer the first.

I am not a person that dwells on pain and difficulty but I am a person that has experienced both.

Discovery Of Truth 

I lived a childhood of multiple step-fathers and each had abuse du jour. I did not want to accept that these experiences had made me a sad, angry and depressed person; but, the truth is they did. It was the discovery of this truth that moved me forward. I chose to be a person with a purpose. I wanted the things that had happened in my life to work to my benefit and to the benefit of others.

Painful experiences, especially those that are inflicted on us at the hand of another can overcome us. They feel heavy and dark.

Desire Arrives As Action

The first thing we must have is a desire.  A desire to do something, anything to help ourselves. It does not have to be something big, in fact it will be small and minimal until it grows and gets bigger.

Step by step we move a little farther each day and just like exercise builds our physical strength, mental and emotional exercise builds our brains.  We overcome weakness with action.

Seeking Wisdom

I did not have any great teacher or person that said, get going.  There are people who will be there to comfort us and that may even remove us from the situation if it is harmful.  There may be no one.

I discovered that there are people who I have never met who have written their wisdom, guidance, and experiences to share with someone who is looking for a way to grow.

I would find books, written by great leaders and read them. I would think about how to apply their words to my life. How could I use the things I read to move myself forward. Then I would take action to apply it.

Sometimes I was successful; sometimes not so much.

Moving Forward

I found that the key to continuing to move forward was not feeling like I had failed just because I did not get it right every time. No one ever will. No one expects that. A perfect analogy is that of sending a 5-year-old to kindergarten.

When they came home on the first day did you expect that they would know the entire alphabet and be able to read and write just because that is what the teacher talked about?  Of course not.  So why would you expect that of yourself, and yet we do.

Failure is only one thing to me.  Giving up!  Stopping with no intention of going on.  The only way to fail is to quit!

 Control Over The Now

I believe that the experiences I had were unfair and wrong. They should never have happened. I did not cause them and I did not deserve them.

Now there is one of my favorite words.  Deserve.  I will just say this, I pray everyday, I NEVER get what I deserve.

Even though I had no input or control over the things that happened to me then, I have every control over what I do with those experiences now.  I hope that I can use them to grow and to strengthen others.


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Phyllis Rodriguez

Phyllis Rodriguez is a Producer at Insphere Insurance Solutions
She serves as an Associate Broker, Short Sale and REO Specialist
Email | LinkedIn | FacebookWeb | Personal | 520-220-4021

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L2L Contributing Author


  1. Ian Johnson Infinite Group on June 5, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Wonderful Post. Thanks first of all.

    The values are the things that I believe that are important in the way I live and work which applies to leadership qualities as well.

    They determine my priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures I use to tell if my life is turning out the way I want it to.

    When the things that I do and the way I behave match my values, life is usually good – I’m satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with my values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.

    This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important.

  2. Doug Ramsey on June 14, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    An inspiring, heartfelt and courageous story. Your attitude, determination, perseverance and kind heart is a lesson in grace to us all. Thank you. Blessings… Doug