I'm excited that Amanda Abella of Grad Meets World volunteered to be part of my interview series on perseverance. I can relate to her experiences and she has inspired me. Amanda Abella is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Miami, Florida. Her day job consists of interviewing job candidates for a small employment agency while she moonlights as a personal development junkie. When she's not at work or at her local yoga studio you can find her running the popular Gen Y blog Grad Meets World or writing copy and blog posts for clients. Her mission is to help Gen Y see the potential they have while providing practical tips and resources to help them create their post-grad lives. Thanks Amanda for sharing with us and motivating us to NEVER GIVE UP! Check out her interview below!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Who did you receive it from?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was actually from my mom. She has this habit of reminding me that perseverance is very powerful, so whenever I get really stressed about my job, my side business, my blog or life in general she just kindly says “Remember, perseverance is omnipotent.”
How important is mentorship in terms of your success?
To be honest I guess I’ve never had a very formal mentor, although I do consider some people in my life to be mentors. My boss, for example, has taught me a lot about running a small business. Then of course there are my many blogger friends who I consider to be mentors in their own right - not just for me but for their readers as well. And finally, I have role models I look up to like Gabrielle Bernstein and Danielle LaPorte.
It’s important to have people to look up to, and it’s very important to soak up as much as you can from people who’ve already been where you are. It helps you realize that a) everyone starts in the same place and b) you have the potential to be just as successful as they are.
What has been the best moment in your life so far?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Business wise it was making my first dollar with my own skills. Life-wise, graduating was a pretty big deal, but I’d say the best moment was when I climbed to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and took in a panoramic view of Rome. It was surreal.
What tips would you have for living a healthy life?
Find something that really resonates with you. I spent a year experimenting with different kinds of fitness programs to find that yoga was my thing. Now I can’t imagine not going to my Tuesday and Thursday yoga classes!
To put it simply, If you actually enjoy it you’ll be more inclined to show up.
How do you motivate yourself to persist despite setbacks?
I used to be really bad about this. I’d scream, I’d cry, I’d get really stressed out and then I’d feel like giving up. Now I’ve cultivated some more patience and have learned be less controlling.
Now whenever I encounter a setback I’ll still get stressed, but I’ll take a few breaths and say “If it’s meant to be it’s meant to be. Don’t try to manipulate the outcome.”
What has been your biggest setback? How did you deal with it? What did you learn from it?
I guess being unemployed for a few months with no plans after college was a pretty big setback (thank you Great Recession). I was crippled by my fear to the point where I was suffering from some very severe anxiety. It felt like I couldn’t even breathe sometimes, which in turn made me very depressed, and enveloped me to the point of not taking any action.
I dealt with it by writing. Whether it was for myself or my blog. Through my blog, especially, I essentially created a space online where I could out myself on my issues while learning to overcome them and sharing what I find with others.
I guess in retrospect it’s a very good thing that I went through that. I never would have attempted to start making money as a freelance writer if I hadn’t been unemployed for so long. I also never would have started Grad Meets World in an attempt to start getting my life in order.
How do you deal with critics?
This is something I’ve been sitting with lately, at least in terms of how to approach it in a video blog for my readers. Fortunately, my day job has desensitized me to critics because you never know what will walk through the door of an employment agency (Seriously, I’ve got some great stories).
Aside from that, I’ve learned with time to accept my own voice and my opinion - after all, I put it out there for the world to see! If you don’t agree that’s your deal, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I’ve accepted that there’s no way you can please everyone - in fact, pleasing everyone would make life rather boring, wouldn’t it?
How important is social support in overcoming obstacles?
Very important. One of my biggest issues when I was dealing with my severe anxiety attacks is that I felt I had no one to turn to - not necessarily because they weren’t there, but because I felt like I had to do it all on my own. Boy was that stupid.
Now I’ve come to accept support systems in my life again, and they make a tremendous difference!
What advice would you give others about goal setting?
It’s all about baby steps. If you have one big goal split it up into smaller tangible steps. It makes a world of difference and makes big things seem less scary.
What life lesson have you learned that you would like to pass along to others?
Happiness is a choice. Although we do live in an imperfect world, and sometimes we become victims of circumstance, it’s our decision whether or not we dwell on it and let it cripple us. Feel it and release it, yes, but don’t confuse that with replaying the same old record in your head.
That is a lesson I work on daily.
Thank you Amanda for sharing with us!!!! If you would like to share your story - please feel free to contact me.
Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.
See you at the beach!