At Rock Bottom? Remember 3 More Things (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 266)
“It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties.”
— Abigail Adams
The mountains are there not to strike fear in our hearts. They’re there for an entirely different reason. The mountains are tests to challenge us. They are invisible and visible forces that pull us and push us to either move forward or stay stuck. The mountains in our lives desire to be climbed. They are the chance we’ve always wanted to prove how strong we can be and how seriously and desperately we want something. Overcoming challenges takes both faith and courage. And those who dare to have both are rarely disappointed.
Here are 3 things to remind yourself of when you hit rock bottom:
1. Allow yourself to reflect on the situation.
When difficulty presents itself, many people tend to wish for it to go away very quickly. They spend time and energy hoping for things to be different and imagining that things are not the way that reality proves they are. Not taking the time to reflect on the present situation closes doors and shuts off many opportunities to seek and find a solution to the dilemma one is in. True change is often preceded by reflection. We reflect to understand, to find meaning, and to learn some lesson that the situation has presented.
Giving yourself space and time to reflect on the trouble or the obstacle allows you to face it differently than you would if you just instantly reacted to it. Don’t seek to respond to everything immediately. Immediacy often involves irrational and unreasonable thinking. It pushes us to seek for an outcome that we don’t really want all in an attempt to solve a problem quickly. Allow yourself to understand what the situation is trying to teach you, how it is affecting you (and even those around you), and how you should handle it better the next time around. Focusing on what you can do better instead of how painful the situation is will help you get through it with an easier mind and a lighter heart.
2. Identify your emotions and let them hang around for a while.
Too often when we are facing an obstacle or a particularly difficult situation, we feel the urge to push through and get on with life. When we’re feeling blue, we tend to distract ourselves from the real issue. We spend time doing other things when we really should be allowing ourselves to feel our emotions. When we allow ourselves to feel our emotions, we are able to process tough situations more effectively.
You must be able to identify the emotions you are feeling and not push them away so quickly. A part of healing and overcoming is being able to feel our way through the grief, anger, hurt, disappointment, frustration, depression, and pain so that we can eventually let go of those emotions. Once we release those negative emotions, we can understand ourselves and the impact of the situation on us at a deeper, more meaningful level. A better understanding almost always leads to a more successful outcome.
3. Be compassionate to yourself.
You’ll never overcome a defeat by being viciously hard on yourself. The only way to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start completely all over again if you have to is to love yourself enough to do so. Failure is not the end of the world. A less than happy situation is not the end of your life. If you want to wallow in self-pity you can, but it’s only going to keep you right where you are — never closer to where you want to be.
There is a big difference between telling yourself “I’m a screw-up” and telling yourself “I completely screwed-up; I’m going to fix this.” The first idea keeps you down. The second idea acknowledges that you’re down and begins the necessary work to make the trek back up the mountain. If you show yourself some compassion, even when it’s hard to do so, you may find that over time, you would have built the emotional and mental stamina and capacity to pull yourself up no matter the situation, stand yourself up, and do better tomorrow.
“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson