You know you’re in rock bottom if you feel like life literally can’t get any worse. Unfortunately, life is not always as smooth as we’d like it to be. Things happen and change welcomes itself into each of our lives. Even those that sin the least have devastating things that occur. Change does not discriminate, it is written in the stars for us all. Maybe you’ve lost dear friends, been fired from your only job or perhaps you’re divorced from a 20-year marriage and have no idea how to be alone in this world. Whatever the situation, we can all agree that rock bottom is an extremely painful place to be in all forms – mentally, physically, and emotionally. It is draining and it’s time to get yourself out of the darkness and back into a much happier place.
When you’ve hit rock bottom, you’re stripped of everything. All you have left is what’s inside of you and the emotions you feel. Well, that’s what it feels like anyway. You might ask yourself ‘Where do I go from here?’ or ‘Is there any way out?’.
Believe it or not, great things can come from rock bottom. Almost like a launching pad, it can take experiencing rock bottom and being in an extremely difficult place to access the strength needed to find our innermost wants and needs and have the motivation to push through. Because, well, what else is there to do? We cannot get any lower right?
Incorporate little shifts.
“Little changes can be just as effective as larger changes.”
There is absolutely no pressure to make big changes right away. Always, in whatever you do, go at a pace that suits you – as long as you go! Little changes can be just as effective as larger changes. The fact that a shift is occurring is the point, so don’t let the size of the act determine its value or importance to you.
You can incorporate some mindset shifts in your daily routine. For example, affirmations and empowering thoughts are a great way to train your mind into having an optimistic outlook. Take the below statements as an example:
Limiting belief: “I am a victim of circumstance.”
Empowering belief: “I create my own reality.”
Limiting belief: “Obstacles hold me back.”
Empowering belief: “Obstacles help me grow.”
Make these small changes into a daily habit and before you know it, the habits will become automatic behaviour. You can even try incorporating some physicals shifts into your daily routine like the following:
- Take the stairs instead of the escalator.
- Eat at the dining table instead of the sofa/bed.
- Turn off your phone for the duration of a movie.
- Write a to-do list before you go to bed and achieve 2 of those things before noon the following day.
- Feed your mind with uplifting material over junk and senseless content. We are what we eat, listen to, read, and lend our energy to.
- Look into having a mentor or role model as a source of motivation.
- Be around those less fortunate than you to put things into a wider perspective.
The point is to just watch and be conscious of where you’re putting your energy. This is so important because whatever you focus on gravitates towards you. Whatever you are putting your energy towards, you’re saying ‘I want that’ or ‘That is mine’. You’re claiming that exact thing! So, what exactly are you calling into your life?
Find the opportunity.
In a TED talk given by Taylor Conroy (pictured below) called ‘Reinventing Rock Bottom’, Conroy details the moment he hit rock bottom. In his talk, he shares his story of bankruptcy and losing his social-change company. Did I mention he was the CEO? Yes, that’s a lot of responsibility. Nonetheless, Conroy was able to turn his period of darkness into a place of opportunity and growth.
He explains how creating a list of things he’s thankful for right now was a great way to begin the shift in his mindset and way of thinking. Having a roof over his head, a dry & warm place to sleep, a fridge full of food, and a list of things he has learned over the last 4 years are just a handful of thoughts he had noted down. Conroy states that he learned way more in the collapse as opposed to when things were going great. He realised that he owned every part of his failure as a CEO losing money, and that’s okay.
Adversity is an opportunity. Today, Conroy uses his journey to inspire others to find joy and fulfilment. Here are a few profound and memorable takeaways from his speech that will stick with me forever:
“The reason why failure feels like we’re walking through mud is because it’s so dense with lessons.” – Taylor Conroy
“Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent or greater success.” – Taylor Conroy
Understand that change takes time.
“Change takes time and time heals the heart.”
Despite the changes you make in your life, radical or minor, the effects of those changes will take time. You won’t see your life dramatically shift overnight, it’s just not going to be the case and once you understand that, the better prepared you will be.
Do you remember any other times where your life has been painful and full of darkness? Sure, maybe it’s not as close to what you’re experiencing now but it was a period of life you’d rather forget right? Well, you managed to get through that, and you will with this too. If you think the change isn’t coming, just remember this. Remember the other worst times in your life and know that it too shall pass. Know that how you feel at your worst moments will go away. Just like the moment you’re having of reading this exact sentence, this too shall pass.
Change takes time and time heals the heart.
Visualise your life better than it is today.
Be careful not to limit your affirmations and desires, there is no dream too high. Despite the circumstances, we have to believe that better things are to come, otherwise, we don’t really give ourselves a chance.
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A great way to visualise your life for the better is to find a source of motivation to keep you going. Find your why to drive you forward. For example, Jordan Belfort (pictured below), also known as the original ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, said that he used his kids as a source of motivation to get out of his dark place during the consequences of his infamous fraudulent wrongdoings. With his kids in mind, he was able to muster up newfound strength in order to make a difference for someone other than himself.
Don’t be defeated.
Finally, the most important point of all, don’t be defeated. Code your mind into believing that you will overcome this by any means necessary. And if you’re not seeing any improvement with some of the lifestyle changes that you’ve began to incorporate in your life, simply change your approach. Just like anything, if it doesn’t work, change your approach. Just don’t give up. Like those empowering thoughts I mentioned earlier, it’s the same thing. Think ‘It’s okay, I will just change my approach.’ Allow yourself to ONLY use words that are empowering which will feed your mind to think optimistically about your next decision.
These points are very useful and practical ways to motivate yourself out of rock bottom. Just like anything, it helps to find the lesson and go from there. Keep in mind that this period of darkness is not your end destination, just your current situation. It is important to remember that everyone’s journey looks completely different, and so do each of our pitfalls. Like anything, there are no right answers and the path to happiness is often not always a straight one. Peaks and valleys as they say- smiles one day and cries the next, it’s part of the process.
After all, what is the alternative? It is far more appealing to find the light rather than bathe in the darkness – so try these steps and give it a try. And don’t forget to share and communicate with those that love you if it's all feeling a bit too heavy on your shoulders - they are there to help in times of need. You are not alone in this and you’ve most definitely got the power in you to change it. This period of darkness could very well be your greatest teacher and an opportunity to rebrand yourself.
By Tinisha Savage on behalf of Let's Talk Coaching.
Opinions expressed by Let's Talk Coaching contributors are their own.
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