We’ve all felt stuck before, or defeated. Or in a spot where we couldn’t go on. It sounds like this…

“I walked into work and they told me I had lost my job.”

“I got in a yelling match with one of my kids.”

“I looked at my bank account and it was as low as it had ever been.”

“I lost my marriage.”

These are real things people experience every day. We’ve all been there. The most dangerous part of being in these situations? Staying there.

We need to turn those periods into commas.

“I walked into work and they told me I had lost my job, so I starting looking and found a new job where I’m so much happier.”

“I got in a yelling match with one of my kids, so I went to them and we apologized to one another.”

“I looked at my bank account and it was as low as it had ever been, but I kept hustling and finally my business took off.”

“I lost my marriage, so I spent time working on me and eventually found the love of my life.”

In those moments, when we’re at the end of our rope, we have two options. We can either stay stuck or push forward and start writing the next chapter of our story. We need to turn the periods into commas. 

You may be reading this and thinking to yourself, “It’s not that simple. You don’t know my story, what I’m going through, or what I’m dealing with.” You’re right. I don’t. 

I do know there are people just like you, going through the same situation you’re battling right now, who haven’t given up. I’d venture to guess that I could even find people who are in a worse spot than you, still fighting. 

I’m not trying to minimize your struggles – I know first-hand how challenging life can be. All of those examples I shared in the beginning are from my own life. I’ve endured job losses, parenting challenges, financial lows, and a divorce that left me tired and bruised. Life has thrown challenges at me, some big and some small. Over and again, I’ve had to choose how I was going to react when I felt stuck. I’ve had to ask myself, “A period or a comma?”

It hasn’t been easy. Even for someone with a naturally positive attitude, it can be hard not to slide into the negative muck when life gets chaotic. And once we’re down in the muck, it’s hard to see anything positive. 

Turning periods into commas is all about perspective.

In those moments when life was the hardest, I had to choose not to look behind me or at my current circumstances. Instead, I had to keep my eyes locked on the future, beyond what I was dealing with that day. It was a day by day exercise, sometimes hour by hour, and occasionally minute by minute.

Periods come from looking backward and where we’re at today. Commas show up when we look beyond where we’re at toward tomorrow.

There’s another simple spin on this I’d like to share. Many times in my life, my commas came to me from someplace higher than myself. I started calling those my “Then God… “ moments. I would be facing a massive mountain with no way to climb it on my own. Then God would show up and completely change my circumstances, providing a solution I could have never seen coming. 

Whether your comma comes from something you did to change your situation, or it looks more like a “Then God…” moment, the key is that we’re never truly stuck. Our challenges are always temporary, never permanent. We just need to turn those periods into commas. 

The Takeaway

We’re all just moments away from our next breakthrough. The problem is, many of us stop before we get there. We accept the periods instead of chasing the commas. Whatever you’re facing today, change the story you’re writing by inserting a comma where that period used to be.