How to Find the Light at the End of the Tunnel

I need these tips for overcoming despair, defeat, and discouragement more than anyone! Here’s how to find the light at the end of the tunnel, inspired by my frustration and helplessness as a blogger who used to make lots of money from her sites, but now makes little bits of money…

But first, a quip:

“Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.” ~ Tori Amos.

Where do you dig when you need hope, healing, and courage? Where do you turn? I love reading books like Unstoppable: 45 Powerful Stories of Perseverance and Triumph from People Just Like You by Cynthia Kersey.

And, here are my…

Tips for Finding the Light at the End of the Tunnel

I’m discouraged, defeated, and full of despair because of my Quips and Tips blogs. Only a few months ago, I was earning more than $4,000 per month…and now I feel like I”ll be lucky if I earn $4,000 this quarter! Maybe it’s not quite that bad…but it’s close.

I started my Quips and Tips about three years ago, and have enjoyed an upward trend in page views and income every single day. But since February, I’ve been riding a downward spiral that doesn’t seem like it’ll ever end.

So, to inject myself with strength and hope, I asked my Twitter friends what they do when they feel discouraged. Here’s what they said, plus my own tips for finding the light at the end of the tunnel (which better not be an oncoming train!!).

Take a step back. Look at the Big Picture

“[When I feel discouraged], it usually means I need to slap on some progesterone cream,” says freelance writer Susan Wilkinson. “Or cry. Or pray. Or be alone for a while to process my thoughts.”

Well, I’ve cried twice so far about my downward spiral – once in a blind, angry rage when I found out about a scraper site’s dastardly deeds (which I describe below), and once in grief because my business doesn’t seem like it’ll ever recover.

It helps to cry, I guess.

What else helps is to look at the big picture. If you think you need tips finding the light at the end of the tunnel, you may really need to look at the forest instead of the trees.

For me, the big picture is that I love blogging, I love working from home, and I love how my Quips and Tips sites have impacted people’s lives. And, on a business level, I know that constant upward growth is impossible to sustain. All businesses struggle through periods of stagnation or downward trends…it’s just the nature of business. Plus, this blow could make me a better blogger, writer, and businesswoman in the long run.

If only it didn’t hurt so much.

Find ways to be proactive

To overcome despair, we need to take action. One of the reasons my Quips and Tips sites has been losing traffic is because a “scraper site” has been stealing every one of my articles from my RSS feed, and publishing them on his website. No credit to me as author, no link to my site at all. When I search for my articles, sometimes I get his website instead of mine…even though my site is the original source, and all the content is original.

This person has been stealing my content since the beginning of February…and I just realized it last week. Dirty rotten #$%%^&&!!!!!

So…back to taking action and finding the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel…I filed a DCMA on Google, and am waiting for their response. Basically, I asked Google to remove their urls (my articles!) from Google search results. That’s my way of being proactive and protecting my business…and hopefully reviving it.

Another tip is to make sure you’re not sabotaging your personal or professional goals. To learn more, read What is Self-Sabotage?

Find the silver lining – a way to get closer to the light

Think back to the other times of your life when you felt discouraged, depressed, and despairing…what was the upside? For instance, my literary agent couldn’t sell my book to any of the publishers he pitched (though he only pitched the big names)…and so I started my Quips and Tips blogs.

Good often comes out of bad. And, it helps me to remember that it’s the times of crisis, hopelessness, and pain that are the most valuable. That’s when we learn, grow, and hone our talents, wisdom, and strength.

If only it didn’t hurt so damn much.

Quick Tips for Overcoming Despair From My Twitter Friends

When they can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, they…

  • “Pick myself up and read something really motivating, set a new goal and charge ahead,” says Prerna of TheMomWrites.
  • “Huggles! I count all my good qualities & blessings, and list all the things I appreciate.” ~ Heiddi Zalamar, of the Freshman Writer.
  • “Enjoy mountains of chocolate.” ~ Beverly Hill, of Northwest Florida Outdoor Adventure

What about you – how do you find the light at the end of your tunnel? Comments welcome below…

If you’re struggling with loss, read Words of Comfort When Your Heart is Broken.


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6 thoughts on “How to Find the Light at the End of the Tunnel”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Sally ~ Thanks for sharing your story here. It really does help to know that others are going through problems…and that we CAN find the light at the end of the tunnel! I wish you and your husband good health and financial prosperity.

    Sydney ~ I appreciate your taking the time to comment…and your uplifting words! You’re right, that we spend a lot of time hiding and protecting our image. We don’t often share how bad life can get, and how much we struggle. I hope this can be a place for people to share their hope and dreams, struggles and weaknesses. Goals, no goals…it doesn’t matter. What matters is living our best lives possible.


  2. Hi Laurie,

    Thank you so much for this article. Words cannot express how moved I was by your honesty. The internet makes it so easy to be disingenuous and it is rare that people have the courage and the grace to be open and honest when things aren’t going well. It’s so easy, and the Internet makes it even easier, to allow others to see only the carefully crafted persona we want them to see.

    I’m sure this post has and will make a difference in the lives of many who read it. In it, you’ve demonstrated that life isn’t fair, people can be cruel, bad things happen to wonderful people, there are days when nothing other than a long, deep cry seems to help and that’s OK, and then we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and go back out there to try again.

    You will get through this, and be even stronger and more successful as a result. You’re an inspiration, Laurie!

  3. Hi Laurie,

    Hope you are well. I was really sad to hear about the scraper site stealing your articles. I’m really glad that Google took action!

    I’d like to share how we, as a family, went through a really bleak time last year and are still reeling from the effects. I just wanted to share how “there’s always light at the end of the tunnel”.

    Year before last, my husband was diagnosed with TMJ that resulted after a faulty dental treatment. He was in a lot of pain and we didn’t really know what to do. Not many doctors in our area know about this. Months passed by, he had a desk -bound job with American Express and sitting kind of aggravated the problem. We heard of a TMJ specialist/surgeon and visited him. He advised surgery. We got that done. Didn’t work, plus the other side of the jaw flared up too.

    Long story short, he had to quit his job in December last year and he was the breadwinner. My earnings from occasional clients were just a supplement. We’d just bought a house, had no job, no source of income, a toddler, HUGE medical bills. Was I depressed? You bet!

    Plus, he was depressed. He’d never been so unwell. Plus, the pain and inflammation just kept spreading. From the jaw to the neck and shoulder to the feet. Soon, he couldn’t drive as well. Doctors kept (and still keep) giving differing diagnosis – TMJ, Gout, psoriatic arthritis and the latest, fibromyalgia. We’re still looking for a treatment that works.

    But we couldn’t sit around , we had to eat and live, and raise our daughter. So, in March of this year, I plunged into writing for clients full time. I pitched like crazy and the jobs started. First a trickle and then, a steady stream. I love it. I love working from home, earning good money to support us and looking after my husband and daughter.

    I’m not saying I’m super or anything. Far from it. There are still days when I get exhausted and overwhelmed with everything that I have to do – housekeeping, parenting, driving, caretaking, writing. There are still days when I cry buckets in the morning when I pray for strength and wisdom.

    But, most of the time, I’m happy to see that light at the end of the tunnel.

    Now, my husband will also be joining in and offering consultations to existing and new clients on marketing and people management skills. We’ve had a good response and am hoping things will get better.

    I just thought I’ll share my li’l story with you to help you feel a little better.


  4. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks Prerna and Susan, I really appreciate your support.

    I just got some EXCELLENT news from Google!!! They emailed me, and said:

    Hi Laurie,

    In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have completed processing your infringement complaint.

    The following domain has been removed from Google:

    Please let us know if we can assist you further.

    The Google Team

  5. OMG!! That is awful. Please, please let me know if I can do anything. I’ll be happy to email the DRT{dirty, rotten, thief!} and tell him to take your articles off the site.

  6. :( I’m really mad and sad for you, Laurie. What a jerk! I’m being kind. Thief is worse and more accurate. I pray that Google acts quickly. Email me this person’s site and I’ll happily go put my 2 cents there.