How To Use Tough Times For Truly Connecting To Yourself
Tough times are tough.
When you’re down, you’re down.
Life isn’t working out for you as you planned, you are not at a good place.
It’s OK. It’s OK to feel that way, it’s OK to be worried, it’s OK to be sad, it’s OK to even be devastated, it’s a part of life. Everybody’s been there, everybody’s facing difficult times.
Remember that there are ups and downs along the road, it’s natural. You win some you lose some.
You know that good times will come eventually, because you’ve been through this before: you were depressed or stressed about something but the sun shined after all, and you are still here.
Of course, you probably understand all of that intellectually, but you don’t feel that way, as it’s hard for you to see how it’s going to happen, right now when you are at the pick of the emotional storm.
But this storm brings more than just pain, difficulties, and challenges, it also brings opportunities.
It doesn’t matter if you are recovering from a bad breakup, trying to get back on your feet and let go of a painful failure, or even just feeling lost in life for no special reason; in the eye of the storm, you have access to a rare view of your life.
A rare view of what makes you feel good and what doesn’t. This storm might be a doorway for connecting to who you really are and what you really want in your life. To strip yourself away from all the things that are not right for you, and connecting to who you really are.
This process of honest introspection of your life can be done through a few key elements:
We live in a noisy world
Being connected to yourself means truly listening to yourself, and it’s very hard to listen to yourself when there’s so much noise around you. It’s even sadder when you know that everyone around you is facing the exact same situation, of constant distractions and lack of connection, without being able to stop it.
How many times did you check your email today? Your texts? Social media? Stupid games? Reading the news?
Are these things good for you? Are these things something that you’re really interested at, or is it just the force of habit? Where is this habit taking you to?
Every second you give to these gadgets and phones is a second that you are taking away from yourself, a piece of you and your energy that could be channeled to a better place.
Social media is a huge part of it, as you are always judging yourself in comparison to other people’s lives, you are always racing against someone else, judging yourself based on other people’s (fake) lives and achievements.
But the race doesn’t stop there, right? When you’re at work, with your friends, with your family, in your intimate relationships. Have you ever stopped and thought where is this race taking you to? Where is the finish line? Is there a finish line?
When will now be a good time to take a look at where you are going to?
Hard times are unique: You are open to making real changes
This time is a gift. It could even be an opportunity of a lifetime.
In these moments of pain and confusion, you can really make a change, zoom out on your life, you can really be honest with yourself.
If you’re not in a good place right now, embrace it. It’s OK.
It’s OK to ‘lose’ in the race, since this race might be something that’s not right for you anyway, something that you actually never wanted to be a part of, to begin with.
When you’re down, there’s no one to impress, no one to persuade, no one to justify yourself to, it’s just you, my friend.
You don’t have to put in the effort to make people think that you’re cool, strong, attractive, funny, successful, you name it. When you’re down there’s no place you need to go to, you’re free to be alone as much as you want, for good and for bad.
How can you stop looking at other peoples’ lives as a benchmark? To get out of the race, and find your own path? To really be quiet and still, to really listen to yourself?
Enjoy the silence
Can you tell when was the last you could do exactly what you wanted? I know that you feel bad and you wouldn’t want to be in this situation, but surprisingly, this situation also brings freedom with it.
In the eye of the storm there is silence.
You are away from all the distractions of your life. You might be suffering from being all on your own right now facing your harsh emotions, but this silence is a unique time for you. Again, when was the last time you were silent and free like that?
Use this time to really listen to your own voice. I’m not talking about the bad thoughts and the critical inner voice that causes you so much pain. These voices are not who you are. I’m talking about your true self, your so powerful intuition, the things that you know that are right for you, even without knowing why.
Use this time to really get clarity about your life. Clarity about what would you really want to have in life, what makes you feel good. Be honest about what parts and habits of your life are making you feel good, and what parts are not. Take this time to really reflect on everything that you’ve been through that led you to where you are now.
It’s OK to feel unsatisfied with your current situation, to feel embarrassed by mistakes that you have made, crushed by failure, or even be ashamed of some of the things that you’ve done. This cleansing pain might be exactly what you need right now, to get clarity about where you are going to from here on.
Raise your standards
You only have one life my friend, and it’s too short to waste it on suffering from things that don’t make you feel good, things that you don’t really care about anyway.
How can you make your life better today? What changes can you instill in your life, now that you are beginning to better understand yourself and how you want your life to be like?
Use this time to set new standards for yourself, start taking care of yourself.
Cut off people that are not good for you away from your life, or if you can’t cut them off right now, reduce your interaction with them and minimize the effect they have on you.
Cut off bad habits that are not good for you, those habits that are making you neglect your physical, mental, and emotional state. You deserve better than that.
What about the good things? The things that energize you in life?
You don’t have to change the world to start feeling better, just decide that today you are dedicating time for feeling a little better. Does listening to a beautiful piece of music that you love when you wake up, is a lot of work? Can you find time today to go and watch a beautiful sunset? Can you call up a good old friend that you haven’t spoken to for a long time?
No one’s chasing you, take your time. Put your phone aside, ignore the messages, let all the distractions around you fade away, find the few minutes that you need to start feeling better now. Understand that thanks to the miracle of momentum, even small baby steps accumulate into massive results. Be generous with yourself, and you will receive so much more in return, in every aspect of your life.
Have faith in yourself
Have faith in yourself.
Things might not be as you want now so it’s hard to see it coming, but you not only going to get out of this situation, you can re-invent yourself and find so much more inside you.
You might be feeling the pain right now and only seeing the problems and obstacles in front of you right now, but remember, you don’t have to make huge changes or be the toughest man alive to make your life a little better every day. You just need to connect to yourself and to what makes you feel good, and let yourself have more from the good and less from the bad.
It’s going to be a bumpy road my friend, but it’s worth it, godspeed.