“Life experience is what defines our character, even if it means getting your heart broken or being lied to. You know, you need the downs to appreciate the ups. Going on the adventure or taking that risk is important”
– Nev Schlman
I have felt discouraged and defeated many times in my life. I have had life deliver blows that have knocked me to the ground. The pain and the feelings of hopelessness and despair have consumed my life for many months.
I wondered if I would ever survive this, or if I would live a life where I felt happy and safe. Slowly, over time, my life got better and I got stronger.
When I look back I realize that these events, though they were painful at the time, were the catalysts for me to change my life.
1. Remember To Accept & Anticipate Change
“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”
– Dr Leon C. Megginson
In today’s world of constant change it is hard to hold on to who you are and manage the complexity and unpredictability of life. The one constant thing in our lives today is change.
Instead of fighting the inevitability of change, learn how to accept it. Embrace change and know that by doing this your life can only get better.
Resisting change will fuel the negative energy that keeps you feeling broken and discouraged about life.
2. Remember To Embrace Your Power Of Choice
“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.”
– Kevyn Aucion
Using your power of choice will enable you to change your approach to life from one where you languish in pain to one where you flourish with joy and hope.
Using your power of choice empowers and strengthens your ability to take action and to make decisions.
Your power of choice is a gift within you and if you choose to use it, it will transform your life.
3. Remember To Ask For Help
“Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.”
– Anne Wilson Schaef
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. When we are feeling so broken inside, we want to hide away from the world. Sometimes it is because we feel embarrassed or we believe that people won’t understand what we are going through.
The support, advice and encouragement from others help us to overcome adversity and solve problems in our life.
It is the energy and wisdom from friends, family and supporters that fuels our courage and our desire to take action to change our lives for the better.
4. Remember To Be Present
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
– Mother Teresa
Your thoughts fuel how you feel about your life. When you feel discouraged and defeated in your life, it will be your negative thoughts that dictate your feelings of sadness, disillusionment and unhappiness.
When you feel joy and happiness, your positive thoughts will dictate your feelings of happiness, contentment, optimism and hope.
The key to managing your negative thoughts is to practice trying to distance yourself from these thoughts and observe them rather than react automatically to them.
Identify those thoughts that will draw you in and create confusion and inertia within you. Accept that these thoughts do not serve you well and work towards having more control over them.
Label the type of thought you are having rather than paying attention to its content. Observe your thoughts and if you notice a thought that is judging (how good or bad the situation is) label it “judging.
If you are criticising yourself for doing something wrong then label that thought “criticising”. Then ask yourself how long you want to spend criticising and blaming yourself. My suggestion is that you spend zero time doing this activity.
5. Remember To Focus On What Brings You Joy Right Now In The Moment
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain”
– Joseph Campbell
When you are feeling despair, frustration and hopelessness it is easy to forget the good things that are happening in your life. In fact, if you are consumed by negativity you will start to believe that there is nothing good in your life.
Focusing on what is good in your life right now and what activities you can do that bring you joy is an important step to you changing your life. The more you focus on the good in your life the more hopeful you feel.
Positivity and hope are contagious and the more you celebrate this the better you will feel about your life.
6. Remember To Be Hopeful About Your Future
“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time”
– Abraham Lincoln
It is understandable that when you feel broken in life you can become consumed by the concern that this is what your life will be like forever. It is very hard to be hopeful about the future when you feel so much pain and heartache. However your pain and heartache will not heal you and deep down inside you want to be healed – you just don’t know how.
For me when I felt broken in my life the one thing that helped me on my journey of healing was to try and keep hopeful about my future. It was important for me to keep perspective on the fact that what was happening in my life at the time was not a part of my future life. That tiny bit of hope I had about my future was enough for me to slowly start to heal – step by step.
7. Remember To Stop Trying To Figure Out Life, Accept That It Is A Mystery
“The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved; it is a reality to be experienced”
– Jacobus Johannes Leeuw
Life is a funny thing and the more we fight and resist it, the harder it is to live our life. Accepting and embracing the mystery of life allows us to heal and look at our pain as only one chapter of many chapters in our life.
Life throws us curve balls. It tests us and challenges us. We survive and thrive in life by embracing these challenges so we that we can grow and live courageous and resilient lives.
When we feel broken inside we need to remember that this is part of our journey and that there is no escaping the pain. We just have to work our way through the pain and despair.
Instead of fighting and questioning life and blaming yourself for how you feel take a deep breath and remember that life is a mystery. Do not make the moments of despair and unhappiness in your life as foundations for how you will live your life forever.
Navigating your way through the challenges and adversity in life is not easy. Accept that all you can do is take one day at a time focusing on using strategies that help you to move forward one step at a time.
Remember your role in life is to embrace it – the good the bad and the ugly and to live your life to its fullest – so go live it!
“Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming the challenges and adversity we face in life”.
– Steven Covey
Author: Kathryn Sandford