Navigating The Rough Road Ahead | By Angela Gaffney

Last Updated: February 22, 2021By

We were driving from Colorado to Michigan to enjoy a summer vacation with extended family and as we approached the construction zone there was a very large orange sign with bold black letters that read: WARNING: ROUGH ROAD AHEAD. I wish I would’ve taken a photo of it, but I was driving, and we passed by too quickly to alert my husband to do so. Two thoughts instantly came to mind as I read the sign; 1) I need to increase focus and manage the rough road with ease as to not put my family in a compromised position. Two hands on the wheel, I slowed my speed slightly, stayed focused on the road ahead and made it through just fine. The second thing (2) that immediately came to mind is I wonder how we’d respond to rough life events if we were always given a warning sign ahead of time. Would we slow down, put two hands on the wheel and stay steady as we navigate the situation?

Nine years ago, when the doctor provided me a diagnosis and said I wasn’t going to survive the rare neuromuscular disease that consumed my body, I was shocked. The worst part of all of it is that I never saw it coming. Looking back, there were so many big orange signs that would’ve told me “Rough Road Ahead” had I just been aware and listened!

In all aspects of life, we are provided warning signs that we often dismiss in the name of carrying out all the demands and responsibilities of life.

There are struggles in relationships, symptoms that present in the body, red flags that show up in our professional life . . . but do we slow down, put two hands on the wheel and give extra attention to the situation? All too often we speed right by the warning signs until we’re forced to stop.

What big orange signs exist for you? And what can you do to proactively tend to the situation in a healthy, focused manner? Consider these quick tips to assist you in the process:

  1. What does your big orange sign say? Maybe you feel that something is off with your body or are sensing challenge in a relationship. Whatever the matter may be, first identify the warning sign that lies before you.

  2. To address the situation in a healthy manner, take a step back and assess the big picture. What has led you to this place? It’s not often a challenge just pops up overnight; it’s taken time to build, strengthen and grow. It will also take time to rehabilitate, repair and rejuvenate. If you see the big picture, you’ll better understand your role in creating change and helping to rebuild.

  3. Put two hands on the wheel and stay steady. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the details, worry the days away and feel overwhelmed. Center yourself with affirming thoughts like “I have all I need to thrive” and release any need to control the situation to keep yourself steady in mind and body.

  4. Be sure to give thanks and celebrate your growth.

We have all we need to succeed and be healthy; listen intently, respond gracefully and continue to thrive in all areas of life. You so deserve it!

Photo Credit: Kim Fuller

Angela Gaffney, CHC, is a catalyst for healthy transformation. After overcoming a disease she was told would take her life, Angela teaches others simple strategies to achieve health and excel in their career. Angela is the best-selling author of Feel Good, Look Good, For Life. To hire Angela to speak at your next event, discuss a wellness program for your corporation, or take advantage of complimentary health tools, please visit

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