I don’t profess to be a wise philosopher however I do enjoy reading it (and try to practice it too) – however I have had a personal belief that has helped me through dark periods in my life. That belief is a metaphor, that there is always sunshine above the storm clouds.
In a recent post “How are you? What to say when you are NOT OK?”, I addressed the reality of depression and really tough times felt by people. It is not all the Facebook and Instagram false-reality of “how great is it to be an entrepreneur” and “I feel so blessed”….we may have had moments like that but for most of us it is a daily slog. Starting and running a business is hard work with lots of rejections, disappointments and failures. Just ask anyone with a successful business.
One successful client, Michelle, recently reflected to me that she feels that to this day, even with a successful business it is all about problem solving…figuring out the puzzle. It never stops. Part of managing hard times is about putting things into perspective…running a business is hard. Really hard. And anyone who told you different, was lying.
The client that is in the afore mentioned post said to me recently “The sun seems so much brighter after a period of darkness”…I understand her thinking as it is linked to my belief.
When we go through a hard phase in our life, facing challenges and obstacles we are unable to do what we want to do. We start to feel like we are not really living but rather existing, day by day sometimes hour to hour. Our challenges can feel insurmountable and the solutions do not appear before us.
There are things we can do to start to gain control.
1. This to shall pass. This is an ancient proverb and means everything in life is transient. Both bad and good. Life is constant. Ever changing. Never still. In short, even though you may be feeling overwhelmed, like you are drowning in your problems – it will pass…eventually.
2. Perspective. I recently was confronted by some very challenging decisions and felt overwhelmed and taken over by these problems. It was around the time when the Syrian refugee crisis began. I decided to attend the rally to support the increase of refugees into Australia. Afterwards I felt lighter as I had realised that my challenges, although they seemed insurmountable to me (and they are real issues), in context of what the refugees are facing, helped me put things into perspective quick smart. It wasn’t my intention for that to happen, but an important life lesson for me. The challenges didn’t go away, however I changed my perspective on it.
3. Support network. They will also help you seek perspective. Give you new ideas on how to address the challenges or even how to cope. They can be a mentor, coach, business partner, your partner or a friend. It is OK to reach out and say, I am not OK. They will not think any less of you.
4. Move. I know I say it a lot but physical exercise, walking, yoga, whatever takes your fancy – it helps. Physically, mentally and emotionally. So move.
5. Meditate. Still your mind. So much of what happens in our life is in our own head, our thoughts. By taking better control of our mind, we can stop it from running away from us.
Remember, we have more strength in us that we realise. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said:
A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong she is until she is in hot water.
This is a quote relevant to men too and don’t love the reference to women as tea bags, but I think you get the meaning – that often we don’t know our own strength until we are tested. So if you are going through challenges know that there are lessons there, support if sought and sunshine above the storm clouds.
Have courage. It will see you through.
Did you like what you read? Please share this with your people. How do you deal with the challenges that face you?
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