In this episode, Megan shares five powerful questions to help shift our perspective during challenging times and help us find clarity.

What do you do when you are experiencing a tough time in your life? It is when we face challenges that mindset shifts can really make a difference. Megan talks through the diverse range of challenges faced by entrepreneurs and emphasizes the importance of embracing difficulties as opportunities for growth. She shares her recent experience with a significant challenge and reveals how she navigated through it using mindset strategies.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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  • Who would I be without this thought? Challenge your thoughts during a rough time and envision a perspective free from negativity and embrace acceptance and peace instead.
  • What if it’s a gift? Challenges can be potentially life-changing in a positive way. Recognize the unexpected gifts that emerge from these times in your life. 
  • Who would I be without this challenge? Consider the personal growth and resilience cultivated through confronting challenges. Envision yourself without the current challenge, can you recognize your strength and adaptability?
  • How can I take care of myself? Self-care is a foundation for resilience and emotional well-being during challenging times. Which self-care practices can help you pull through adversity?
  • Who can I lean on for support? Seek support from trusted individuals during difficult times or engage with supportive communities and reach out for assistance when needed.

Resources Mentioned

Food Photography and Blog Writing by Nadia Tariq

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EBT514- Five Questions During a Challenging Time

Intro  00:01

Hey food bloggers. Thank you so much for joining me in this mindset and self-care focused episode here on Eat Blog Talk. One of the reasons I started a blog talk was to hold a space to talk about the importance of mindset and self-care. Being an entrepreneur can be a lot. If we are not taking care of ourselves, then getting actionable information about SEO Pinterest or whatever else is all moot. I will meet you back here every Wednesday to discuss various mindset and self-care topics. So you have the energy and space to tackle the rest.

Sponsor (Nadia Tariq)  00:34

Are you tired of spending countless hours behind the camera? Don’t let food photography and blog post writing hold you back. Hi, I’m Nadia food blogger and photographer behind With over 13 years of experience, I specialize in baking desserts and snack recipes and love to create stunning visuals of food. Because let’s face it, they are a key factor in the success of your blog, and as to say you eat with your eyes first. I work with bloggers on a personal level to select the theme, props and backdrops to suit your blog style. Because uniqueness stands out. I help you make your culinary vision come to life. I’m a trained pastry chef and a professional food photographer. So you know your recipe is in good hands. Let us handle photography as well as SEO content writing and watch your content reach new heights so you can focus on what you do best creating and developing more mouthwatering recipes. Visit and witness a visual and written proof that we bring to the table or get in touch with [email protected].

Megan Porta  01:38

Hi food bloggers, welcome to another self-care and mindset focused episode of Eat BlogTalk I am loving these episodes. And I hope you are too. In this episode, we are going to talk about five questions to ask yourself during a challenging time. So first of all, let’s define what a challenging time might be. This could encompass so many things, because we’re all humans. And most of you listening are also entrepreneurs. So a lot of different things can fall into those categories. It is currently a little bit of an emotionally volatile time for us, especially as food bloggers with the helpful content update and the aftermath of that. I know we have another Google update looming over our heads right now, a lot of you have experienced traffic loss. And whether we’ve experienced traffic loss or not. There’s kind of a general worry about how our businesses are going to do this year and in the following years. And there’s a lot of pressure on us to make our businesses work and to be profitable and all of that. There are also just human challenges that pop up from time to time. They can be more personal, maybe relational, financial, I mean, life really is full of challenges, which is actually a good thing. It means we’re human, it means we’re living life. It means we’re growing because without challenges, we don’t grow. And that is not the goal. We don’t want to stay stagnant. We want to keep growing. I listen to and read Eckhart Tolle’s spiritual teachings, I often seek out his teachings when I think of adversity and just going through challenges. He has such a great perspective on this. I pulled this quote from an article that he wrote, and I will include a link to that article in the show notes. Here is his quote, “We need to understand that disorder or adversity is inevitable, and is an essential part of a higher order. From a higher perspective, a higher level, the existence of order and disorder, or order and chaos is a necessary part of the evolution of life. Many people have found that they experience a deepening or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after an as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos.” I love that quote, Adversity is inevitable. And he’s saying that good things come from it. So embracing that mindset that challenges help us to grow and to be better people is really important. For a lot of us resistance can often play a role in dealing with challenges, which only leads to more challenge and distress. Sometimes we just need to stop in the middle of the challenge to break the pattern. That is the purpose of this episode to help you pull yourself out of any resistance that you’re feeling about challenges that you are experiencing. 

Megan Porta  04:56

The idea for this episode came to me this morning because I had a very challenging week. So the topic at hand is very raw. It’s very fresh, and very real to me today in this moment. So I can truly be here telling you that these questions really did work for me after experiencing a challenge this week. Prior to this week, I had been so diligent and so good about taking care of myself, I was in a really good place, and I am in a really good place. But I’ll get to that story in just a minute. I’ve really been focusing on my morning routine, and just all of the self-care things that I do on a daily basis, and that plays in to the story. On a professional level, since I’ve been taking such good care of myself. I had the clarity to know that I needed to start outsourcing some things in my business, that opened up space for me to actually work on my blogs, again, I had been ignoring them since fall, I have felt so good lately, like I’m not just treading water, like I’d felt last fall. And like I am actually in this place for I’m thriving in every area of my life. Then, a letter arrived in the mail from the IRS saying that my business was going to be examined. It’s the letter that nobody wants to get. But once it was in my hands, I knew it was in motion, there was nothing we could do to turn back, it was happening. So this past week was filled with preparing a lot of documents from a previous year of operating my business. And when I’m saying a lot of documents, I mean a lot of very specific documents, emails, you name it, there was a lot of time and energy put into this. The week also entailed an interview where an IRS employee came to our home and sat down with my husband and me. After the interview, there are more documents that they need to look at. So a lot more time and energy is going to be going into this situation. I fell into a lot of negativity for a couple of days this week. I felt so discouraged. I felt like I was guilty and had to prove my innocence, which is not a great feeling. I also felt inconvenienced and because of all of this, I was just depleted of energy. I was sad, I was crying a lot. I felt angry. And I was massively resisting everything going into this situation. Then, too little questions fell into my ears that jolted me out of this negative perspective. And this negative mindset that I was in those two questions changed my whole energy, and happiness and mood. I’m sitting here just a couple of days after those questions came to me feeling like a completely different person. Those two questions were so powerful that it got me thinking, there have to be more questions that we can ask ourselves, when we’re experiencing something challenging that can help to jolt us out of a negative mindset we might be in. So let’s talk through these questions. You’re probably wondering what they are. Here are five questions to ask yourself when you are experiencing a challenging situation.

Megan Porta  08:37

Number one, who would I be without this thought? I had a coaching call with my amazing business mindset coach on Thursday of this week. It was the day after our IRS interview and it was so timely it had been pre-scheduled. I can’t believe how that worked out. But I was so grateful to have a call with him because he always does such a good job of helping me see things more clearly and pulling me out of any negative mindset that I find myself in. So we talked a little bit about the perceived challenge on the call. And Cliff prompted me with a few questions. The first one is what thoughts are you thinking because of this challenge? And I immediately blurted out, this is unfair, I don’t deserve this. Some sort of injustice has just occurred. So his follow up question was, who would you be without these thoughts? This floored me, I never would have thought this question on my own. Again, it just flowed out of me. I said I would have more energy. I wouldn’t feel angry. I’d have more joy. I wouldn’t be crying. I’d feel happy and peaceful. And I wouldn’t be resisting. I would surrender to the present moment. After saying those words hearing myself say them out loud. I completely shifted my perspective of the entire situation. And I realized that it wasn’t the challenge that was presenting me with mental chaos. It was my thoughts about the challenge. Having put words to that made me really not want to have those thoughts anymore. I wanted to get rid of them. So I could experience the energy, the increased energy and the joy and not feeling angry any more. Like I said earlier, once the letter arrived, I knew I was in it, there’s no turning back. You can’t run from this. This is a situation that you have to face. Even if it’s scary, no matter what, you’ve got to do it. I knew I had to do it. So with that in mind, how in the world are my thoughts? This is unfair, and I don’t deserve this serving me. They absolutely were not serving me. So I thought, What if I just stopped resisting? Because that’s what those thoughts were, they were resistance? And what if I just surrendered and accepted happiness and peace despite this, quote, challenge. So after more talking on my coaching call, I saw very clearly that my new perspective should be to just accept that I’m going to have to dig into my numbers and business probably weekly for the next little while. And if it’s expected, it’s not a disruption. It’s just something that I have to do like other tasks in my business and life. So I will ask you, do you have a thought related to a challenge that is making you feel something that you don’t want to feel? Maybe you’re feeling worried about something or angry or pressured? Or sad, whatever it is, pinpoint the thought, and then ask yourself the question, Who would I be without this thought? And then I would encourage you to think through it. Or maybe even more powerfully, writing through it or talking to a trusted person through it, most likely, you’re going to find clarity. 

Megan Porta  12:05

Number two, what if it’s a gift, that same night that I had my coaching call, I was talking to my husband about everything that had been going on? He always has such great words of encouragement for me as well. He channeled his inner Tony Robbins, and he asked me the question, what if it’s a gift? That question stopped me in my tracks. You know, those moments when you hear something, and you just go, Whoa, that’s what I did. Because up until that point, I definitely had not seen anything in the situation as being a gift. In fact, quite the opposite. And I want to acknowledge that it is very hard to see challenges as gifts when you’re in the moment, because we get caught up in those feelings and emotions. And it’s like this powerful vortex that just won’t stop spinning. That is really hard to get out of. I started thinking back on other challenges that I’ve experienced in my life. And I thought of two main ones. One was a personal challenge. And one was a work challenge. The personal challenge that I thought of is about our oldest son, Elijah, when we found out about his heart condition and medical issues, before he was even born. That was a major thing that did not feel anything like a gift. It felt like such a huge roadblock. Like it was only negative. At that point, there was nothing good that I saw coming from it. It felt awful, it felt sad, scary, like you name the negative feeling and emotion and I was feeling it. There probably is not another time in my life where I felt so much negativity, about a challenge. Now, I mean, 17 plus years have unfolded. So I can look back and very clearly see the whole way that scenario played out for us and Elijah. And I can see the gifts in that for sure. My husband and I are so much closer than I believe we would have been without this challenge. I’m doing air quotes right now. Everything in my life feels so sweet. And I know if we wouldn’t have gone through all the stuff we’ve been through with Elijah, my life would not have felt this sweet. I love my life so much. I approach every day with gratitude. And a lot of that comes from what we’ve been through with our boy, there’s no way I would be such a grateful and appreciative person if we hadn’t gotten through all of that. 

Megan Porta  14:51

The other challenge that came to my mind was my big traffic tank back in February 2018. That heart sinking moment when I realized I’d lost 80 to 90% of my traffic, thanks to a Pinterest change. That was a really awful moment for me. I remember feeling like I got punched in the stomach. I had gotten so much traffic from Pinterest up until that point, and it was gone, wiped out. That challenge definitely did not feel like a gift in that moment. But now, from my perspective, here, and 2024 looking back over all those years, I can see that it was such a gift for that to happen. Because of that, I started going to conferences, I started getting connected with my fellow food bloggers and entrepreneurs, I started seeking out knowledge and information like I’d never done before. That challenge is part of the reason I started this podcast, which has been so fruitful and great for me, but also really valuable for a lot of other people. I feel like I’m a way smarter blogger and entrepreneur because of that challenge and how it forced me to challenge myself and learn and grow in new ways. So in retrospect, it’s really easy for us to look back and see those perceived challenges as gifts and all the good things that come out of them. 

Megan Porta  16:17

If you are going through a challenge right now, imagine your future self looking back at this moment, you know, you’ll see the gift. That’s how it always works, right? So why not believe it now? The other night when my husband posed this question to me what if it’s a gift, I started thinking about the possibilities of what those gifts could be that are currently appearing as challenges. So here’s what I came up with. I’ve been forced to do some really scary things this week. And the gifts from that can be growth and a huge boost in confidence. I also had to really examine my bookkeeping, which is going to lead to me stepping up my bookkeeping and organization showing another human my bookkeeping and numbers and files, I thought would never see the light of day has felt really vulnerable. So I know gifts will come from that. The in-person interview that I mentioned, was not my favorite thing to do. So I can see that leading to sharpened people’s skills, which is really important in what I do. And the whole experience of it, like all of it put together I’m certain will show up as a gift of just being able to share about the experience with other people, and potentially helping them either avoid audits or deal with them if they are going through them. If there’s a challenge that you’re facing right now, that feels insurmountable, overwhelming, like you just can’t tackle it, I’d encourage you to stop and just ask yourself, What if this is actually a gift, step into your future you? And imagine what that gift could look like? And believe it because I promise you it is a gift. 

Megan Porta  18:11

Number three, who would I be without this challenge? And for this one, I’d really encourage you to write this out versus just thinking through it. Because the answer might not be obvious. This question is different from number one, which was Who would I be without this thought? Thoughts can be changed really easily. I mentioned my conversation with my business coach, by the end of our chat, my thoughts have been changed. But with challenges, you can always change the challenge or perceived challenge. So who would I be without this challenge? Speaking about my challenge this week with being audited by the IRS, who would I be? So I wrote a few things out, and I’m going to share those with you know, without this challenge, I would be a person who hasn’t experienced an audit firsthand, I wouldn’t be able to talk about this experience as someone who has actually been through it, I would be less unique. I’d be less brave, less competent, and less equipped to show up as a badass entrepreneur. I would be less organized. I would have messy bookkeeping habits. I do have messy bookkeeping habits, and those are going to change and I’d be less resilient. And I definitely wouldn’t be as well rounded. As a small business owner having experienced this. Keep that perspective of this is a gift as you’re writing it out. And you might really be surprised about what comes out I was and then maybe read it to yourself daily or print it out and put it somewhere where you can see it often. Just to remind yourself who you would be without this challenge. 

Megan Porta  19:51

Number four, how can I take care of myself? This one has nothing to do with the challenge yet it has everything to do with the challenge. Taking care of yourself is like having insurance against distress or prolonged distress. When I am taking care of myself, I am so much more likely to bounce back from challenges quickly. Remember, I told you earlier how I have been taking really good care of myself lately. Thankfully, because I only pouted and kicked and screamed a little bit, just for a couple of days. If I had not been on top of my self-care and taking good care of myself, this could have been a month long situation that led to dark things I have been there before. So I know how this plays out for me, when I’m not taking care of myself. If you’re in the midst of a challenge, whether you have or whether you have not been taking care of yourself, it’s okay. Just start to do those things that you know you need to do. And if you have been continue to do them, don’t stop doing them. We all know those things that are good for us. And I think they’re different for all of us. So pick one out of the hat and do at least one of those things consistently, preferably more than one. For me, there are a few things I fall back on regularly. And sometimes I just have to go through the motions with these things, knowing that they’re helping, but not necessarily wanting to be doing them. Those things for me are hard workouts, walks outside, getting sunshine on my skin, spending time with family and loved ones, meditation, and visualizing my dreams and goals. distress for me can lead to that deer in the headlight syndrome that I think some of us can get from time to time, I feel like I get this a lot, it can really stop me from doing the things that I know are good for me and that my soul needs. Sometimes we just need to reach our hands in pull ourselves out and start doing those things that we know we need. So start with the question, How can I take care of myself and then answer it and then follow through? 

Megan Porta  22:03

Number five, who can I lean on for support? With without the support of my coach and my husband this week, I might still be swept up in that mental chaos that I found myself in? Most likely I would be the questions they asked me help to pull me out, not out of the challenge, but out of my own mind, and thinking, it’s so important to have those people who will not only listen, because we do need to vent sometimes I believe, but also have the boldness to ask you those tough questions, knowing that you don’t want to hear them, who is going to challenge you and encourage you to shift your perspective. If someone comes to mind, or a couple of someone’s go there, seek them out and lean on them for support. If you don’t have those people, this might be the encouragement you need to find those people. There are so many great groups in our space that are really positive and filled with good people and good things, find one or form your own group. So you can establish that positive vibe on your own. This point of leaning on positive encouraging, supportive, kind people comes up a lot in these mindset episodes. And for really good reason. It is extremely important. If you feel like you need people, you know that you acknowledge it, but you really don’t know where to start with it, reach out to me, I’ll ask you the tough questions and point you in the direction of some really great groups that you can be involved with. To conclude and recap. If you are going through a challenge right now. There are five questions you can prompt yourself with to jolt yourself out of your thinking and your negative mindset and put you on a path to clarity and growth and success and seeing the situation as a gift. Number one, who would I be without this thought? Two what if it’s a gift? Three, who would I be without this challenge? Four, how can I take care of myself? And five, who can I lean on for support? I hope you found this episode helpful. Thank you for letting me vent about my week. This was a really therapeutic episode for me to think through and speak through. So thank you for listening, and I’ll see you next week. 

Outro  24:29

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