Have you been dealing with stress and the unknown? So, have I! And, I’m still here! 🙂

As it happens, life sometimes gets in the way. Namely for me, an audit by the IRS got in the way. (cue dramatic music) This all-consuming challenge I faced, managed, and pushed through since August of 2016 and felt like FOREVER has finally neared its end.

Without going into detail (I’ll leave that for my next book or just keep in my journal), the challenge included:

  • Having an accountant to whom I had given power of attorney to handle my audit who didn’t submit the paperwork to the IRS as he said he was going to. (insert curse words)
  • Dealing with an IRS agent/case manager who was claiming that transfers between my accounts were income and logging cash wedding gifts as income, and claiming that insurance claim money was income. (more curse words)
  • And, having an IRS agent not knowing what PayPal is or understanding how PayPal works, let alone what PayPal is in the first place. My accountant (had to fire the first accountant and hired the second accountant) and I spent 20 minutes explaining to the IRS agent how PayPal works. IRS agent was claiming that the positive amounts on the PayPal report were income that I had made when in fact, they were amounts I had paid for networking events. (at this point…invent curse words)

I’m still pushing forward

I am still pushing forward and still finding the funny. I am still living life. I am still travelling, going to speaking engagements and networking events. Life has not stopped. It just got a tad bit complicated. Getting through a stressful time is about accessing resilience, fortitude, and strength. It’s about pushing through when you feel—and think—that you have no more strength left. It’s about getting something done when you think you can’t. It’s about doing what needs to be done to get the job done.

Life is full of challenges…adventures…and fun

Life is definitely what you make it. And that means even in spite of what happens. I will admit that sometimes when I’m in the throes of extreme stress, I may struggle “finding the funny” exactly in that moment. I find that there is a formula and a timeline between the stressful moment and fully getting through it. The more stressful a situation or challenge AND the most impact it can have on my life and my loved ones, the more wrapped up in the stress and in the stressful moment that I can get. The more stressful the event = more time needed to find—and embrace—the funny. When I’m in the stressful moment and I attempt to find the funny, I tend to use more dark humor. But, hey…whatever gets us through in the moment.

Once I am more removed from the situation (i.e. I see the light at the end of the tunnel), I am able to look at the situation from a more positive perspective. That is usually when I can fully embrace the lessons I have learned in that situation.

Pushing through to a stronger you

As we embark on another new year, we can look back on the past year and assess where we were strong and where we pushed ourselves beyond our limits.

It is when we push beyond what we thought we could that makes us stronger than we ever thought we could be.

About the author: To find out more about Julie Ostrow, please click here.


‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’

Find out more about positive psychology courses and training at 

Share This