Strength and growth come only with continuous effort and struggle -Napoleon Hill. You could be feeling hopeless walking down the streets of Lagos, or making your way to claim state benefits in Hackney, or you are in Bronx counting what you can get from your food stamps, or trapped in Delhi trying to find a way out of an arranged marriage; its all just but struggles. Welcome to the rock bottom darling!!! What a shitty situation it is. But who hasn’t been there? Struggles come in different shapes and sizes but when they hit you, they hit you good. You start questioning yourself, why me, why cant I be happy and why is my life stuck?
In life we are bound to find ourselves plunging to the rock bottom where the pain is most unbearable. Whether you are trapped at the rock bottom through inheriting generational misfortunes, or you made mistakes, lost a job, lost a loved one or lost life-changing opportunities or business, there is a good reason why you are here today. Start by accepting that there are no problems that can’t be overcome. I know you feel beat down, I know you think you can’t get out of your struggles but today it is time to turn around the situation, and this is how:
When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.
If you think about it carefully, when you have lost everything, then what is the worst that could happen? What else can you lose ?- Nothing!!! When you have nothing, then what can you lose by taking the risk to start a new degree, business, relationship or sport. The answer is Nothing!!! If anything was to go wrong then you wouldn’t have anything to lose because you currently have nothing. So if there is a best place where you can take a new direction and make changes in your life, you just arrived at it. So you wanted to start blogging, write a book or pick on a business, then this is the place. You no longer have the safety net or need to rethink your decisions. There is no more what if it doesn’t work out-I will lose a home, lose my property and lose my reputation. When you have nothing, you have everything to gain by taking the bigger risks, the sort that once scared you.
Look your situation in the eye and make peace with it
No-one likes to be at the rock bottom, its painful alright. When you are making your way down, you try by all means to deny that this is now you. You put on a big fight. I can’t blame you because hey, you were used to the English breakfast, going out with your friends at will, making those shopping trips but as things fall apart, you still want to keep up. That is a wrong move. Where you are now calls for one thing, acceptance. If you can’t accept and remain in denial, how can you take the next step? It is what it is. Tough stuff this is, but if you can’t take the bold step to accept how can you possibly think of ways to take yourself out.If you cant fix what is dead inside, how can you fix the outside?
Don’t be fooled by naysayers who are quick to dismiss and label you a failure – “look at you, where did you think you would end up, you were brought up in a struggling family, struggle is what defines you”. Trust me this can be done. You just have to be hungry enough to want to change. As you begin to accept you can also begin to find ways of overcoming and conquering your situation.
You are not alone
Some struggles make you feel like you are the last man standing. Who can blame you when all the help you can get vanishes. If you once had a lot of friends, they will all soon disappear avoiding you and your problems. To them, your problems will last a life time so they will do everything to avoid contact. Its as if your problems have all of sudden turned into some deadly contagious disease. So there you are thinking where can you go from here, you have no-one to turn to you and can’t bear the pain.
In that moment realise that there is always someone somewhere who is eager to help. This time the help is not just about filling your tummy today. Get yourself up, stop beating yourself because you have been doing this for the past days, months etc. Face up and pick yourself up and be in touch with someone. Find yourself a mentor or a person who can give you guidance and direction. It doesn’t matter where you are located, someone will turn out to know where you can go next, where you can build a skill, where you can join other groups of women doing amazing things and how you can start all over again. Within weeks of bouncing ideas back and forth you begin to realise, ooh jees, I have been sitting on skills I can use to start a career, oh I can start a small project or I can built my cv and change my life.
Own the pain and be determined to turn it into something great
As rightfully said by Oprah you can “turn your wounds into wisdom”. Struggles can make life shitty. Because you are going through stinky stuff it doesn’t mean you are hopeless. There is always a way out no matter how tough your situation is. I don’t intend to burden you or pressurise you but hey there is always something positive out of your situation. In your time, there is need to shift from the blame mindset to what can come out this mind set. Time to drop the why questions, “Why did I mess up, why did they leave me, why am I difficult to love, why can’t I stay in a job and why can’t I break this cycle?”. Time for the why questions its over. If you are fired up and in the habit of asking questions, you need to shift to the how questions ” how can I change this situation, how can I gain the rightful skills, how can I advance myself, how can I make the most out of a relationship?”. These questions will fuel you to think of the next steps.
Power in words,
“You can never make it, you are not cut out for this, you were born poor and you will die a pauper”, such words can cripple anyone. When such words are repeatedly used against you, you can at times start to believe them. You can find yourself feeling like, ooh if they say stuff like this how can I be any different. Who am I to challenge the authority of my teacher, my mentor, friends and family when they point my flaws? Words doing their work. So at least we are in agreement except this time, its time to belt out more powerful positive words. The sort of words that can fire you up and make you own your problems-“I can be in a difficult situation but surely it never ends like this, I am a chosen one and I am going to find a way”. Make it a point to feed on affirmations on a daily basis. There is something about words that make things believable. Speak success in your life and you eventually find pieces coming together. If you feel defeated and find yourself believing that this is it, you will find yourself worse off.
Best things come out of challenging situations
The very things that seem difficult are worth pursuing and doing. Going back to full-time education as an adult is hard so is raising a child alone, finding work in a jobless market and starting a business with no capital. These few examples can fill you on how tough these situations are. But, there is always a but, there is a lot of joy and satisfaction when you make it. Oh my gosh, I landed the job against all the odds, my boy has grown to be the most adorable child and my business got supported by a local sponsor. Amazing stuff. Fast forward, years later, you will look back with immense gratitude for how you got shaped by your struggles. You will notice that the universe never turned away but had your back all along. You were just growing.
Let go of unproductive habits
You are what you do, and unfortunately not what you say. One thing about struggles is it gives us a chance to sit down and think. If I could ever be a psychic, I am confident this is my opportunity. You can tell me your struggles and I will tell you the habits that got you here. However, you think, however you act become part of you. Its almost certain that if you overspend you are likely to struggle financially, your eating habits can make you struggle with health and self-esteem, your sleeping late and excessive partying can lead to struggles keeping a job, procrastination can make you struggle to meet your goals, and quitting could stop you from being successful. So why not start by replacing such bad habits and replace with even just a few good ones. By letting go of bad unproductive habits you begin to take the step in changing your life, change the way you value your time, manage your finances, prioritise what needs doing and have a healthier perspective and vision of what you want in life.
Failure and pain are life’s greatest teachers
Would you learn how to budget and survive a week if you were endowed with millions from the beginning, would you learn how to improvise and survive if everything was on a silver platter, would you go back to college if you had the life you ever wanted? No, No, you wouldn’t be as motivated. You wouldn’t be bothered to grow, you wouldn’t develop but remain. So where you are today is the right place, that place where you can search for what lies deep inside, the very place where you can start to think what is it you can do or offer, that is the place of growth. Call it what you want, hate it or love it struggle is what you need. It is a necessity for relaunching, re-branding and refocusing. Seeds grow in the darkness deep in the dirt where there is no sunshine, flowers bloom after the rains. Just as well you should trust the timing and seasons in your life. You are just about to leap into something great.
One key take away from having been at the rock bottom, is there is only one way–going back up.Going back up only happens when you quit moaning, complaining and just sulking. You need to own the struggle, become its boss and command your way up. When you develop such thick skin you don’t let things happen to you but for you. You are definitely going to come up a different person with a healthier perspective to life. The power to change rests in you. Only you can take charge and control of your life, make those tough decisions, take action and be on your way up. Never ever give up, never take shortcuts and importantly never ever turn to substance abuse because your struggles will never disappear but mount on.
“At times the world may seem an unfriendly place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey” – lemony Snicket
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