I strongly believe in Murphy’s law. For those unfamiliar with the adage, it simply means that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. To what extent they can go wrong depends on the circumstances, but here is the great news: when we hit rock bottom, we can still turn difficult situations around. Life is unfair and will stab us in the back, that is a given for all of us. Difficult moments can show up suddenly from areas of life you least expected.
If history has taught us anything, we have what it takes to get ourselves out of the hellhole and become more resilient at the end of the journey. Basically, moving past those harrowing life experiences and learning from them is imperative for our character development and to ensure smooth progress in our lives.
1. Find out where you are.
Take a moment to self-reflect. Assess yourself and your current situation.
Is what I am going through truly another episode of “life is a pain in the buttocks?” How did I get myself trapped in this situation in the first place? What went wrong? Did I make the wrong choice, or did God decide to unveil his card, and hence there is nothing I can do about it? Is there a way for me to put things back on track?
Presenting ourselves with questions of such nature and being sincere with ourselves is important if we want to stand a remote chance of coming out of these turbulent times. If we are not being truthful with ourselves and refuse to accept accountability for these dark moments, which are the result of our actions, we are not going into the core problem that is fuelling these difficult moments. Without finding the source of the problem, how can we expect to prevent ourselves from seeing “life’s a *****” moments once more or come up with a foolproof plan to avoid similar situations in the future?
It is alright to feel demoralised and sad about your current situation. However, do not remain trapped in those states of emotion. The longer you keep those emotions at heart, the more potential for the negative energy to consume you internally, and thus, the harder it is for you to get back up on your feet.
2. Time to re-evaluate your goals in life.
Once you are fully aware of your position in a difficult situation, the next course of action is to take a hard look at your objectives in life. In what way do the difficult moments influence them? Have your plans deviated from their original course? What must be done for you to put yourself back on track?
As human beings, we make our definition of success and proceed accordingly. To keep track of our progress, we use our goals as a measuring tool to determine how close we are to our intended life destinations. While external influences occasionally influence our progress, we must not forget that our actions are within our control. If we cannot control the situation, it does not mean we lose control over our actions.
Upon observing your life goals, you might learn that there is a more appropriate way to summarise your hardship instead of jumping to the conclusion that “life sucks.” Alternatively, it may be that you have been derailed and this moment returned to help you get things rolling again.
If you have yet to establish any goals for yourself, there is no better time than now to set them. You are never too early nor late to set life goals. Trust me when I say that it is much more difficult to remove yourself from a stagnant situation if you are clueless about where you are heading.
3. Fulfil your needs, always.
Ask yourself, how bad your life actually is right now, considering that you have an understanding of how you ended up where you are and where you must head next? Have you fulfilled your needs? Do you still have a roof over your head? Do you still have access to essentials such as drinking water and food? Are you still living below your means? If the answer is no, sort them out first before anything else.
It is pointless to work for others if you cannot work for yourself first. That being said, always put yourself first before anyone else.
At the same time, do not forget to exhale. Pat yourself on the shoulders for what you have accomplished so far. If you fail to conquer today, you can try again tomorrow. You are strong, worthy and have the power to make your dreams come true.
Are you familiar with the concept called “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?” Simply put, it is a theory in psychology that says that needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before the individual can fulfil the needs higher up. According to the hierarchy, our physiological needs must be fulfilled before our safety needs can be attended to. Those needs then must be fulfilled before we focus on satisfying our need for love and belonging. This mechanism applies all the way to the need for self-actualisation. Obtaining a clear picture of this motivational notion in psychology can help you identify which needs of yours have yet to be met.
5. Having a positive attitude makes a world of difference.
Continuously convincing yourself that “you will never make it out of this alive” or that “life will forever be a b*tch” will not get you out of your sticky situation. In fact, harbouring such a toxic mentality is no different than concocting a recipe for more difficult times.
If you cannot see life through a positive lens, you will eternally paint life with a negative brush, and no amount of positivity will be adequate for you.
By altering your thinking pattern for the better, you will slowly but eventually see everything as positive. However, this is easier said than done. It requires time as there is a learning curve, and patience is something many of us do not have lots of.
Rather than convincing yourself that “life is absolutely terrible,” convince yourself that life is awesome even though things are seemingly out of your control. Tell yourself that things could have been worse. Approaching life with a positive outlook provides us doors of opportunity to develop ourselves further and instils self-confidence, which is a necessary ingredient for overcoming difficult obstacles in life.
Try your best to recalibrate your thought patterns. The more often you try to do so, the greater the likelihood of weakening the existing neural pathways that contribute to your toxic way of thinking. Simultaneously, you will be reinforcing the ones that make you have a positive outlook towards life.
6. “If at first you don’t succeed, try again.”
This phrase was brought to my attention by the hosts of Mythbusters, a science entertainment television program by Discovery Channel. Although the show is no longer running, the phrase is still fresh in my head, and it has been my motto in everything I do.
Regardless of what might have unfolded, keep your chin up, stand on your two feet, and try again. Setting yourself up for an episode of “life’s a b*tch” will not help you positively at all. For as long as you are not giving up, no one can judge you for not trying.
Present life with your all so that when the dust settles, no matter the nature of the outcome(s), you take comfort in knowing that you have done your best.
Final 2¢: There is only one direction from here.
Although you are trapped in a dark abyss, and you genuinely believe that you are going through a “life’s a b*tch” experience, you still got to keep moving forward. That is the only direction that can pull you out of the dark hole. There are numerous methods to get everything rolling again, but it must start with you first. Whether you want to improve the situation or not, I will let you decide.
Occasionally, life is undoubtedly challenging to deal with. Heck, being an adult is exhausting because now you have responsibilities. Nevertheless, that is normal. Everyone is no stranger to it. We can decide for ourselves whether those moments will shape us. So, keep your goals in mind, stick to them and ensure that you are presenting your best and truest self in order to avoid another episode of “my life used to be better” in the future.