When things go wrong, and what to do by @SallyEkus

Milkby Sally Ekus | Featured Contributor

Sometimes life just doesn’t go as planned.  When life throws curve balls at you, it doesn’t necessarily mean something is going wrong, so make sure you have your eyes and ears open to try to determine where the difference is. It is all about perspective. What may be terrible for one person is manageable for another.

I like to think of curve balls as those times when life makes you whip your ahead around to catch something unexpected. If life hits you in the side of the face, well then you have a problem on your hands.

Whether working through an author crisis, navigating friends and family relationships, or facing health issues, here are some tactics I have learned along the way.

  1. Permission: Give yourself and those around you permission to recognize that something is off course. You would be amazed at how much it easier it is to think of a solution once you have allowed yourself to recognize things may not be going your way.
  2. Be Present: Show up, focus, and be present in what is going on around you.
  3. Acceptance: Try not to let denial work against you and allow yourself to trust that there are some things you just may not be able to fix or change.
  4. Taking responsibility: Whether the problem is completely out of your hands or completely your fault, take responsibility for getting it back on track.
  5. Swerve into the Curve: Rather than resist the issue, try leaning into it. Go to the uncomfortable place. Like a car spinning on ice, steer into the spin.  Don’t try to overcompensate in the opposite direction and you will end up headed in the right direction. It’s scary at first, but trust the turn. The straight road will appear ahead.
  6. Ask for Help: This can be the toughest part for many people but if you can seek out help from friends, family, co-workers, or even professionals you may just be exposed to a solution that you wouldn’t otherwise think of on your own. Sometimes just having someone sit next to you during tough times makes a big difference.
  7. Patience: Patience is key in times of crisis. Give yourself the time to sit with your immediate reaction or impulse before acting. Our inclination is to try to rush through the pain but time in the discomfort can lead to a clearer understanding and more balanced perspective.
  8. Action: Much like having patience, we also have to know when it is time to act. Once you think you have a solid understanding of the approach you want to take, implement the solutions.
  9. Lessons: Once you are out of the weeds, take a moment to reflect. What have you learned for next time? Not all problems are the same but there are seeds of solutions that may come in handy down the road. Sometimes this doesn’t come until many years later.

Times I have forgotten these is when the heat really gets turned up. We can’t always do all of these things, but at the end of the day, I always try.

What helps you get through?  Feel free to leave a comment about what you would add to this list.


Sally EkusSally Ekus, Agency Manager and Literary Agent, joined The Lisa Ekus Group in 2009. She represents a wide range of culinary talent, from first-time cookbook authors to seasoned chefs, professional food writers, bloggers, and television personalities. Sally loves being the liaison between an author and their publisher. She takes great pride in guiding authors towards their dreams of publication. From concept to contract, she has brokered more than forty book deals.

After graduating from Ithaca College, Sally worked in the mental health field. An unexpected turn of events, and some great food along the way, led her to return to New England (Massachusetts) to join her mother, Lisa Ekus, in the eponymous family business. Sally often credits her formal training in listening, communication, and negotiation in the mental health field as her foundation for success with her authors.

As part of the first official culinary delegation, Sally has made two trips to Vietnam where she cultivated a deep love of phở. Sally spends what little free time she has cooking spicy food and running marathons. She is a dedicated supporter and advocate for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and especially their Team in Training program.

The Lisa Ekus Group is a full-service culinary agency, the only agency of its kind to offer Public Relations, Media Training, Literary and Talent agency services, as well as Career Consulting, all within the culinary realm.

For pictures of tacos, phở, spicy food and an occasional sunset or tree follow Sally on Instagram and Twitter.

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