Most of us will go through difficult & trying times at some point in life. Times that will throw us off balance. Things that will change us. Things that will sometimes make us feel almost as if we're slowly losing everything that makes us the person we are.
Going through one of those major life changes, feeling like you life & growth are at a standstill, can be very disheartening. Especially when it seem like that only one going through it, while everyone else seems to be growing, improving & moving up in their lives. When I experiences this, it took a huge toll on my confidence, motivation & drive.
I've always been very goal-oriented & had a huge passion for self-growth & personal development. When I found myself experiencing just how 'real' life can get, I wasn't ready. I went through life with my head in the clouds & always thought that it would never happen to me. I found myself having to deal with a lot of things, for the very first time. While you have doctors, nurses, lawyers, friends & family walk you through period of your life like this, what I wasn't prepared for was my self-growth, motivation & drive to come to a standstill & finding myself feeling as if my life was moving backwards. I wasn't prepared for my never-ending need for progress & improvement to remain strong while at the same time being unable to do the simplest of things.
After experiencing those setbacks, you're left thinking, so where do I go from here? How do I start over?
Stop Looking Back
You ain't going that way! Always thought this was one of the most corniest 'motivational' quotes, however every word of it is true.
If you've ever experienced a major setback in life, at some point you're probably going to find yourself thinking, 'I just want to go back to normal.' Well most of the time when life hands you lemons, you can't help but think back to those better days. I've wasted so much of my time on looking back, visiting memories from previous years. I would try to fill my life with the things that used to be apart of my daily routine but those old routines weren't me anymore. It took me a very long time to realise that things will never be the way they were before. Because things change & that's just the way life works. I finally understood that my obsession with getting back to my 'old self' was hindering my growth & recovery. What it is you've been through, whatever you're working on overcoming, stop looking back. Whether it's the 'good old times' or past failures & mistakes - you can't continue to grow if your days are filled with you reliving the past.
Get Some Perspective
Gratitude is one of the things that helped me get through some of my toughest moments. Even when it seems like life is falling apart, you can still find things that make this life a little better, easier, more pleasant or joyful.
I know that it's a chiché thing to say but the point is it works. As you spend more time paying attention to the 'good' things & people in your life, your perspective will begin to shift. The trick is to make gratitude a daily habit!
For A Minute, Forget The Big Picture
Breaking up bigger goals into smaller, daily tasks has always been my favourite approach to self-growth. Looking at the 'big picture' can often feel overwhelming & sometimes even impossible. This is why focusing on small, actionable tasks works well. It's less intimidating.
Well, when shit hits the fan & you feel like you're losing control over everything, you kind of can't help but think of that big picture. Things then go in a downward spiral & you end up in a vicious cycle of negativity & discouragement. So, forget about the big picture for a moment.
Shift your focus on those smaller, attainable goals; things you can get done & accomplish today. I find this a really powerful way to bringing yourself back on that track of habit & routine.
Check In With You
There are days where you'll feel strong & motivated enough to work on your goals & make good progress, days where you'll feel unstoppable. There will also be days where you'll feel drained, defeated & weak. You can't always give 100% to everything you do especially when you're trying to get back on track with your self-growth goals.
Take time to check in with yourself & pay attention to your feelings & emotions. Make this a daily habit, especially when you're getting ready to work on specific tasks. Once you make that effort to tune in with yourself more often, you'll be able to recognise the change in your mindset. You will learn when it's okay to push yourself a little harder & when it's necessary to be gentle with yourself. Nourish that relationship you have with yourself as this is something that no one else can walk you through.
The whole process of self-growth, personal development; the process of making plans & goals a reality, is incredibly fulfilling. It's also just as complicated & challenging. I think that growing, learning, improving & discovering yourself is one of the most amazing parts of life. Seeing yourself grow & make progress is incredibly gratifying. When you suddenly find yourself facing a great deal of doubt, hopelessness & uncertainty, it's so easy to begin feeing lost. If you find yourself needing to get back on your feet, remind yourself that it takes time. Celebrate every single small victory, every small achievement. Whether it's finding enough strength to get out of bed or finding the courage to leave a toxic relationship. One small goal. One small victory. One day at a time.