Staying Strong When Everything Goes Wrong
I published a poll at the beginning of this week asking what everyone would be interested in reading on the blog and was pretty shocked to discover that the vast majority of people chose the topic of "staying strong" instead of "overcoming judgements." With our egocentric society making us susceptible to more judgement than ever before, I assumed that the topic of overcoming these judgments would be a sure win. But, to my surprise, more people needed answers on staying strong. This got me thinking...what are they staying strong for? What is going on in their world that is challenging their ability to rise above it all? With these questions in mind, I realized that I too was in need of uplifting after the past two weeks have been one challenge after another.
Now, if you're reading this, it's probably because a) you need some afternoon reading to undoubtedly you over, b) you need some "staying strong" advice to get through a particularly rough patch or c) you're feeling stuck, lost, or losing steam and you need some reassurance that everything is going to be alright. Okay, that's fair! So, picture this: you are randomly chosen to fight the best UFC fighter in the world, and before you know it, you're in the centre of the ring, getting one punch after another. When you're down, you begin to scan the crowd looking for some relief or sign of help, but your search keeps coming up empty. You begin asking yourself, "what am I missing? What am I doing wrong? How can I fix this? How can I get up and keep fighting when I'm so exhausted?"
In the grand scheme of things, we are all randomly selected to go through rough patches, times that test us, and times that seek to bring us down. As the good old saying goes, nothing good lasts forever, so then nothing bad should last forever too, right? As a young adult, I have encountered my fair share of mishaps along the way. Although my 22-years of life doesn't amount to much, I feel as though I have accomplished quite a bit and I can be proud of that. But, there is always a part of me that wishes I could go back in time and revisit a particular occurrence or situation, address it differently, stand up for myself. Although the future of self-driving cars and robots are here, for some reason scientists have not been able to develop a time-machine so we can go back and make these things happen...I'm not holding my breath though! So, instead of dreaming of time-machines or dwelling over what could've been, I have compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you get out of your funk hopefully, find your spark, and be your fabulous-self again!
1. Use Positivity (Instead of letting negativity use you)
There may not be an apparent or clear-cut reason to be positive today, heck, being positive ALL THE TIME is a lot of work! But, you don't need a reason to be positive, you simply use it as a strategy, rather than a response. See, the most powerful tool in your arsenal is knowing when and how to use positivity precisely when everything around you is going down the drain (or so you think). Happiness, success, and joy is not the absence of problems, stresses or concerns in the long run, but rather the ability to deal with them as they come. Raising your awareness of your inner strength and positivity can change how you give power to your own life or allow negativity to rule over you and the person you become. So, talk more about your blessings than your problems, be excited over the little things, and wake up each morning as if you were just given a second chance.
2. Focus on Making Tiny Fixes
As the good saying goes, Rome was not built in a day, and surprisingly enough, neither were we. No matter how old you are, it's taken years to grow and learn about yourself and the world around you, which has helped to shape the individual you are today. When everything is broken, you will undoubtably feel broken too. But, you are not broken, you may have a crack here and there, but tiny fixes can mend these cracks and make you start to feel whole again. Times of great adversity are also times of great opportunity, so use this time to better yourself. When everything is going well, it's easy to get lulled into a routine of complacency, and you become a robot in society rather than an opportunist living each day to the fullest. Go on a brisk morning walk, take a different route to work, read a new book, make an effort to talk to someone new, and your world will open up in ways you never imagined. Although you are not moving mountains, you are making leaps to gaining new strengths.
3. Give Yourself the Credit You Deserve
You have to admit, to a certain extent, you have spent too much of your life trying to shrink yourself, trying to become smaller, quieter, less sensitive, less opinionated, less needy....less YOU. Whether it was because you didn't want to be a bother to someone else, you wanted to make a good impression, or you WANTED TO ACT LIKE YOU WERE STRONG, you made a sacrifice for the sake of making others happier. But instead, you suffered. Let me tell you this, it is not your job to change who you are to become someone else's idea of a worthwhile human being. You are worthwhile, just the way you are. Your feelings matter, your voice matters, and with or without anyone's approval or permission, you must be who you are and live your truth.
4. Pay Attention To Your Body
When life is getting us down, we often resist and ignore our own feelings that our body is trying to communicate. For myself, it comes in the form of physical discomfort, almost like the beginnings of the flu or the tension felt in an anxiety attack. Stress can surmount and cause physical pain. All of a sudden, we feel like we have to make a trip to the emergency room or something, but really, it's our body telling us that what we're dealing with is more than we can handle and we need to take a step back. Over the past few weeks, I have personally been feeling this way, and my body was very clear in telling me that it was enough. Sometime's going through new things in life that nobody else can relate to makes you hide away since you feel as though nobody can relate so why should we voice our concerns. But, you can only hold it in before your body lets it out in the only way it knows how, physically. So when you've suddenly felt the flu spring on after some time of stress, take a day to yourself and care for your body. Cozy up with a movie, read a good book, go to the gym, eat your favourite meals, and wind down. Your body needs a break too, and so does your mind. You need to fuel your soul to give you the strength and perseverance to keep going.
5. Remind Yourself That Everything is Temporary
People use the expression, "every time it rains, it pours." But then I got to thinking, everytime it rains, it's bound to stop raining too, right? Like everything in life, there is always an end in sight. Every time you get hurt, you heal. After darkness, there is always light. So, if things are good right now, enjoy it. If things are bad, don't worry because it won't last forever either. Just because life isn't easy at this moment, doesn't mean you cannot still enjoy it. Laugh your way through it, don't sweat the small stuff because a month from now, they won't seem to matter as much. Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new end; you get a second chance with every new day, so don't take that for granted. Find your inner strength by reminding yourself of how fortunate you are to be in this moment, to be breathing, to have a roof over your head and food on your plate, and to have a strong head on your shoulders. You are capable of far more than you can imagine!
I hope these words can deliver to you some strength that you are craving at this moment. I hope I have extended a hand to you through reading this and helped guide you towards finding that inner strength. We all have it, you just have to go searching for it, and it'll be there, sparkling and asking for you to grab hold and embrace it. Finding your strength can be a challenge, but finding yourself in your strength is your reward. For more support or help, please feel free to reach out through email or message on social media!