Have you found yourself struggling at some point in life? It could be in any area of life, and when we find ourselves struggling, life can feel bleak or stressful; it can feel like there is no way out, that we are trapped and destined to be trapped in this situation forever, all alone, without any hope of finding a solution. It doesn't have to be that way! Here's a simple, quick, five-step process to help you turn the corner and start to see the possibilities next time you are struggling.
Step 1 – So Is Everyone Else In Their Own Way
If you are struggling then please take a moment to consider and remember – so is everyone else in their own way! We all struggle. Every single one of us has struggled in life, and very often that those struggles may not be visible to anybody else. Perhaps we may hide our struggle, we may pretend everything is OK; others do exactly the same thing which is why we may not realise they are struggling. However, the fact is that every single one of us faces struggles many times through life. Not that this is supposed to be some kind of schadenfreude to help you feel better; not at all! Far from it – there's no joy to be gained by knowing that other people are struggling. However, what there is to be gained by knowing that other people are struggling, is that you are not alone; whatever you are facing in life, you are not the only person in the world who has faced it, you are not the only person in the world who is facing a struggle, you are not the only person in the world who is having the problems that you are having. Sure, that in and of itself doesn't cause your problems to go away (it would be cool if it did!) But here's the key thing – just by knowing that everybody is struggling in their own way makes a difference; it helps you to realise that you are just like everyone else. It means you are human! It means that whatever you are going through, you are just like everyone else. Everyone has their struggles; even those who are massively successful have their own, often daily, struggles. It's just part and parcel of this wonderful thing that we call life – because without the struggles, how are we going to enjoy the good parts? How are going to be able to celebrate successes without experiencing the struggles which lead to those successes? So just remember – if you are struggling so is everyone else, in their own way. The next thing to do is to focus on the fact that nothing lasts forever.
Step 2 – Nothing Lasts Forever, This Too Shall Pass
Nothing lasts forever, which means that this too shall pass nothing. I know that when you're right in the middle of whatever is causing you to struggle, it can be very hard to see any way out of it. However, the fact remains that no matter what the struggle, no matter what you're going through, no matter what the situation, no matter what the problems and the challenges, nothing lasts forever; this too shall pass. Indeed, when you think back to previous struggles you've had, life may appear to be one long continuous struggle. However, when you think about it, life has actually been a series of different struggles, with non-struggle periods in between. Which means that absolutely none of those struggles lasted forever, they all came to an end; and so too will this one. I realise that just like the first step, this in itself doesn't help you conquer your struggle. It's not designed to! But it helps you get into the right frame of mind for the next steps which do help you conquer it. So whatever is going on, just pause, take a moment to have a nice deep breath, and appreciate that nothing lasts forever; this too shall pass. Right now you may not know how it will pass. That's okay. For now, it is enough to just believe that this too shall pass. It's time to step things up a notch now.
Step 3 – Others You Admire Have Conquered It
Whatever you are going through, it's interesting to realise that other people who you admire have conquered it! Whatever it is you are going through there are people out there, people who you admire, who have conquered this self-same thing. This is important for two reasons. How can do that?
- It emphasises what we've been saying all along – you are not alone. yYou are not the first person to have gone through this. You won't be the last. Sometimes just knowing this helps you to see that it's not quite so bad as it could be.
- Perhaps more importantly, the fact that other people have got through this means that it is possible to get through it.And if it is possible to get through it, that means that you can find a way through it!
Start by looking around to figure out who else has gone through this. Find out who that you admire has gone through this and come out the other side. Once you know that, it's time to figure out what they did – how did they conquer it? If it is someone you know, you could contact them and just ask them how they did it. They may well have enough advice to help you figure out your own path. If it's perhaps a bigger name, such as a celebrity or somebody you don't know, then you can still find out how they did it by researching them. Check for interviews they may have given, or blog posts they've published, or perhaps books or an autobiography. Get really curious about who you admire who's got through whatever you're facing. Get really curious about what they did do overcome it. Even if you can't find out how they overcame that specific thing, the more you look into how they operate, how they work, what they do, the better feel you're going to get for the way in which they think. And when you start approaching your problem from their way of thinking, you're going to start to get some better quality answers because you're going to be approaching it from the sort of thinking that enabled them to break through it. The next thing to do is to realise that you are surprisingly resourceful.
Step 4 – You Are Surprisingly Resourceful
In fact, you are a lot more resourceful than you think you are. How do I know this? We all are! Every single one of us is way more resourceful than we ever give ourselves credit for. You see, we are surprisingly resourceful – when the chips are down, we have this amazing ability to really dig deep inside drag up the resources that we need; resources we probably never even knew were there. Think back to some time when you were really struggling or you didn't really know what to do, and then suddenly, seemingly from nowhere, some resource came and you found a way to do it. Somehow you found the energy and resources you needed to get through it, even though you'd probably thought it was impossible. We've all heard the stories of the archetypal 7 stone weakling who somehow manages to lift the burning car up just enough for their trapped friend to be able to escape. I remember days when I've been hill climbing, there have been times when I honestly thought I was never going to manage it, that I was so exhausted I would need to turn back before we reached the top, yet somehow I managed to press on through it all and get there – because I wanted to so much, because I knew the reward would be so worth it, and because I didn't want to admit defeat in front of my friends. Think of parents of new-born babies, somehow managing to survive for weeks with only a couple of hours sleep at a time – somehow they find the strength to get through it, even though at the time they perhaps feel that they are about to collapse. Every single one of us is far more resourceful than we believe. Not just physically, but mentally too. When the chips are down, if we want to, we can somehow find a way. What is the point in reminding ourselves that we are so resourceful? Think back to the previous step, where we were examining how people we admire have been through the same thing we are going through. They found a way, which means that you can too, even if you don't currently feel like you have the resources, you can find a way, which means that you will find a way and you have the resources. Because you are surprisingly resourceful. This step has been with you the whole way through.
Step 5 – You Are Not Alone
Some spot it from the start, some gradually realise it part way, and others are completely unaware of it until it's brought to their attention. The fact is, you are not alone. No matter how it may seem at the time, there are always others around upon whom you can call for help. Sure, sometimes they can seem hidden and extremely hard to find, but they are there, I promise. Sometimes, those people can offer you all the support and resources you need. Other times, they may be a sounding board which helps you trigger ideas. And sometimes they might just be a much-needed shoulder to cry on. But they ARE there. They can take many forms – some are easier to spot than others, of course. I'm not saying it's always easy; sometimes it can be very hard, absolutely. But you are not alone. You were never totally alone. You're never completely on your own. You never will be totally alone.
- Family members
- Work colleagues
- Biographies and autobiographies
- Inspirational stories (even better if they are true and related to your struggle)
There are people out there – sometimes they're just waiting for you to ask them for help or waiting for you to give them permission to help; other times they may not even be aware of your struggle, but when you let them know then they are there to help you. Sometimes it may be people you've never come across before. It may be reading inspirational stories of others, or it may be may be reading biographies of people who have gone through the same thing. Whatever it is, you are not alone. Reach out! Remember, everyone has their own struggles, so the person who can best help you may not even realise you are struggling. Reach out! Let me know how you get on with this.
Your Next Step
Reach out and let me know how I can help you. Let's connect I'd love to have a chat! Do leave your comments below – let me know what you think, let me know how this has helped. Also please feel free to spread this far and wide – you know who would benefit from from knowing these steps, share them and let's get helping each other to conquer all our struggles! And above all, take action! Follow these steps! They really will help, but only if you use them.