Most of us have been there at some point in our lives. Those dark times when there seems to be no way out and nothing good seems to be coming our way. So, what do you do when it seems like all the cards are stacked against you? How do you break the cycle and pull yourself out of a dark time?
These instances might bring themselves about in correlation with job related stress, poor health, family discord, economic challenges or any combination of unsettling events.
Even when things are going well, there are times when self-doubt creeps into our soul. Even the smartest, most talented, most creative and most prolific minds of all time have noted that they’ve experienced the Imposter Syndrome. They’ve questioned their own abilities and wondered when the rest of the world would figure out that they weren’t all that they appeared to be. That can be a real mood dampener.
Here are some points to ponder when you feel like your back’s up against the wall:
1) Put together a plan
I remember as a little kid watching a musical bit on Captain Kangaroo where they sang “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.” That song was composed in 1936 by Jerome Kern, with lyrics by Dorothy Fields.The song was written for the film Swing Time (1936), where it was introduced by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. And, although the tune and the words date back a long time, they remain just as relevant in the current world.
When things seem like they’re at rock bottom, it’s time to call on all of your inner strength and come up with a plan to make things better. You need a step-by-step solution that will render positive results. The plan should include actions, goals, and timelines. And, it should be written down and reviewed throughout the process.
2) Ask for help
Seeking support is NOT a sign of weakness. It’s the smart thing to do. And, if ever there was a good time to suck up your pride and ask for help … it’s when the chips are down. If you are struggling to assemble a plan, reach out for advice from a community support group, your clergy, your friends and / or your family. Those same contacts are great resources for help with everything from job hunt networking, to healthcare help, to addiction support services.
Most people want to help others. It’s amazing how many people will respond in a positive way when asked directly for their assistance. It makes them feel good.
Also, nobody can help you if they aren’t even aware that you need help.
3) Take it one day at a time
Rome wasn’t built in a day. And, your problems won’t magically disappear overnight. It’s important to set sub goals along the way that provide milestones, a sense of accomplishment, and some immediate gratification. They might be as minor as making face-to-face connections with people who can help your cause eight times per week. That might seem like a lot, but it’ll get easier as you go along.
4) Do the small things correctly
Nobody does everything right every step of the way. We all make mistakes. We all have miscues. And we will all have set-backs. The important thing is to try to do as many of the small things right every day as you can. Just like a stream of water that slowly carves its way through the mighty rock …those small steps will eventually have a positive impact.
5) Have faith
You have to believe in yourself, in your process, and in whatever greater power it is in which you find solace. It’s OK to question things along the way. In fact it’s healthy. You might ned to consider a pivot in your plan at some point. But, that’s still part of the process. And you still need to have faith in your ability to reach the ultimate goal.
6) Make yourself “lucky”
You need to put yourself in places and situations where good things can happen. When things are at their worst, you can’t just sit around at wait for good fortune to come to you. Fortune comes to people who take constructive actions that put them in the right place at the right time. You can’t win if you aren’t in the game. So, go to meetings. Network with meet-up groups. And, apply yourself every single day in ways that will help improve your chances for success.
Finally, please know that you’re not alone. There are no problems on the face of this earth that are unique to you. Your story might have some unique variations. But, somebody out there has had it worse than you and fought back to a better place. So be kind to yourself, and help yourself to find your way out of what ever life throws at you.
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