Why your life is not getting better and better, and how it can be. Part 2Jun 12, 2017
PART 2: How to deal with life’s Challenges
When you think about your future or even just tomorrow, are you excited? Are you in joyful anticipation and can’t wait to have more amazing experiences?
Are you dreading another day, worrying about what’s around the corner or at least cautious, afraid to be disappointed if you expect good things to come?
If you are the cautious type, and you think wearing rose-colored glasses is just irresponsible and unrealistic, you need to know this:
- You get what you expect
- What you believe is what you’ll see
- You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by maintaining a focus on the positive
- Your life is your responsibility, take it!
This four-part blog series is about how to create a better life, free from feeling overwhelmed by worry, anxiety and stress.
So many people are saying how tired and stressed they are.
It’s a huge concern that so many of our children are struggling with anxiety, low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence while the pressure and expectations are constantly increasing.
There is a way you can control feeling overwhelmed by anxiety and stress. And no, I am not talking about drugs, if that’s what you are thinking.
Why is this so important?
- Once you understand what goes on in your mind below the surface you realize it’s all a story your mind is telling you, a story told by your conditioned brain. It is not real. It’s a habit of thinking.
- Once you understand that you are protecting yourself with an armour, hiding behind masks and playing roles to satisfy mostly other people’s needs, you realize that you don’t really know you and you can’t wait to find yourself and be yourself.
- Once you understand that you always have a choice, and you are in control of how you feel, challenges and adversities become your opportunities.
The first blog post was all about confidence and doubt and why it is so hard to maintain confidence when life gets in the way.
You can find it by clicking this link here: 'What’s eating away at my confidence?'
This second part is all about how to deal with life’s challenges.
- Why is it important to learn about dealing with adversities?
- Where does this feeling of overwhelm come from?
- How can you change that feeling of dis-empowerment into feeling empowered, so that you can deal with life’s adversities in a beneficial way?
Why is it important to learn about dealing with adversities?
Isn’t it just a matter of buckling down and a nose to the grindstone kind-of-a-thing?
After all, life just happens and I have no control over it, right?
Well, yes and no.
Things do happen, things that cause stress, sadness, and hardship.
We are living in times of uncertainty.
Maybe your relationship ended or you lost a dear one and you don’t know if you can handle being on your own.
Maybe you are at the point of a big promotion or change in career and you wonder if you are up to the new challenges and able to succeed under the new conditions.
Maybe you have experienced a lot of struggle and frustration in the past few years.
Maybe you are dealing with significant stress and too many obligations.
You worry about being able to handle it all.
You don’t always control what happens and you certainly don’t control what other people do.
But you do control how you handle it all.
More often than not though, you are in control. Most people just don’t know how to take charge of their life.
I'm sorry if this is hard to take. I know how hard it is to accept this truth, I have been there!
When you master the way you handle yourself in difficult times, suffering becomes an option, not a given.
Learning how to deal with yourself in difficult times can prevent you from getting stuck and losing your confidence which consequently prevents you from achieving your dreams and desires.
When life seems out of your control, it matters more than anything that you find a way to connect to your inner self, your source, and focus on who you want to become and what you want.
However, you can’t focus on anything unless you clearly define for yourself what it is you want and who you want to become!
Focusing on the trouble and how difficult it is, is not helping. The more you focus on the problem, the more it will be in your experience, simply because you are giving it attention. You are feeding trouble, so to speak. You will never see a solution.
It’s as if you are wearing reading glasses and you can read what is right in front of you, but you can’t see what is ahead of you. You can’t focus there.
- You can’t find a solution for a problem unless you clearly define what you want the outcome to look like and feel like
- Without clarity you can't focus
- Without focus, you can’t ‘see’, you have no direction and it feels as if life is pulling you in all directions
That is when you start feeling stuck, powerless, victimized, and stressed.
This is why you think you have no control.
Nobody feels victimized, stressed or powerless on purpose. It is not your fault when you find yourself stuck, or unable to believe in yourself. We are all human and we all experience days, weeks, months, or even years of struggle at times.
The point is to start living your life on purpose, and rise above your misfortune.
We are immersed in a society that is vibrating with fear, worry, stress, and unrealistic expectations. It has become the norm.
You are not deserving unless you struggle.
It’s supposed to be hard.
In a way, you earn validation and acknowledgment through the amount of sacrifice and suffering you endure.
Ironically, we gain something from others by maintaining the struggle: acknowledgment, sympathy, and validation!
No wonder this constant feeling of being in survival mode is so stubborn!
It is important to learn how to deal with this because you need to break the cycle. For yourself, your loved ones, your community and the global society!
We need to stop chasing our own tail and reconnect with ourselves and our purpose again.
Where does feeling overwhelmed by life come from?
Feeling overwhelmed is not caused by a shortage of time and energy or too much to do.
It is caused by a shortage of clarity and focus.
With clarity, focus, and intention feelings of overwhelm dissolve and passion takes over.
Thoughts about a lack of time, energy, money or health and worry about what could happen are taking up far too much time and space in your brain.
I hear it all the time from people around me. “I feel so overwhelmed right now, it’s just too much….”
- Are you feeling too busy?
- Not enough hours in a day?
- Is time flying by and you don’t know where it went?
- Do you feel you are constantly putting out fires and putting off your dreams?
- Are you wondering how you can enjoy your life more, have more energy?
- Is your patience running out and are you easily agitated?
- When things go well, do you worry when your luck will change?
If your answer is yes, or even sometimes, to any of these questions then you are not living your life, life is living you.
You are living a reactive life, not an intentional life.
It means there is always something to worry about, and the problem is always something or someone out there, beyond your control.
The job is too stressful, there is never enough money, time or energy, your partner doesn’t understand you or support you, you don’t like the state of your health, the weather is too hot, cold, wet, dry.
The conditions are never perfect, and you believe the conditions have to change first for you to take action, to be happy, healthy, and prosperous.
As long as you blame something or someone else for your problems, you are giving your power away.
The moment you take responsibility, you become part of the solution.
Taking responsibility does not mean something is your fault or you are to blame.
This may be the most important realization that will change how you deal with problems.
Most people believe that by taking responsibility they are admitting it’s their fault, they did something wrong or they are wrong.
That seems logical when the focus is mainly on the trouble or problems.
However, you are not taking responsibility for the problem, but for working on the solution.
When you take full responsibility for figuring out a solution, you free yourself from your self-imposed prison of struggle.
Maybe this is when you realize that you don’t feel confident that you can figure it out, that you don’t believe in yourself. Then that is at the root of your feeling overwhelmed by major challenges!
In my previous blog I go deeper into this: 'What’s eating away at my confidence?’
Life will always continue to throw curve balls at you and at times it may even feel like you are pummeled by life. Nothing is ever certain or permanent. Things just change, not always in a predictable manner.
When misfortune hits hard it's not easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It doesn’t help that the energy in the world today seems to be trembling with fear, anger, hate, and bitterness.
Because that is where the focus is. And the media keeps our focus there. All we hear about is what’s wrong with us, the world, and our leaders.
No wonder one can start feeling overwhelmed by life.
Feeling overwhelmed by anything comes from:
- The need for certainty
- The need to control and the belief that it’s lacking
- The feeling that life is happening to you and you are powerless
- Feeling victimized and dis-empowered
Fortunately, this feeling of being powerless doesn’t mean you are powerless.
You are never POWERLESS.
Only when you look through the lens of a dis-empowered being will you experience a lack of control and feel victimized.
Feeling as if life is happening to you is a perception.
A MISperception actually, a mistaken belief.
Feelings of stress and overwhelm come from a MISPERCEPTION!
In your mind things are out of control, you get through the day reacting to what’s happening to you, and you seem to have no choice but to keep going and keep putting out fires.
Worrying thoughts dominate your mind and you believe there’s nothing you can do about it. You feel dis-empowered.
BREAK THIS CHAIN.
How can you change that feeling of dis-empowerment into feeling empowered, so that you can deal with life’s adversities in a beneficial way?
‘It always seems impossible. Until it’s done’
Change your focus.
Change what you look at. Be present, pay attention to the good stuff. Stop thinking about what happened yesterday, don’t worry about what might happen tomorrow.
Focus on what is happening now, what can you do now. You are breathing, you are alive, you can see beauty, you are enough, you are free and you have a choice. What is it that really matters? Can you rise above the desolation?
Change your perspective
Change how you look at it, your perception. Rewrite your story, change the meaning you give to your life and what is happening. Take control over how you feel.
“What meaning am I giving to those things that are happening to me?"
”What is important to me and what makes me and my life more meaningful?”
Almost always we make assumptions about our future that are not beneficial to us.
The happiest people are not the people that live a life without adversities. They know it is about what meaning they give to what they experience. They are clear about what is really important and that is where they put their time and energy into, to serve a greater purpose.
If you wish to experience happiness, then you have to tune your thoughts and beliefs to the right frequency, by changing your story, the meaning you give to your experiences, and focus on what truly matters.
(If you haven’t read Viktor Frankl’s book ‘Man’s search for meaning’, I highly recommend it.)
Change your attitude.
Change how you react. Drop the drama. Don’t listen to it, don’t think about, talk about, or complain about it. Get your focus away from the drama. Don’t tell the story, instead feel the feeling.
All you have to do is acknowledge the emotion or feeling. It’s okay to feel pain, fear, anger, sadness, guilt, shame or whatever the emotion is.
Don’t try to get away from it, deny it, or ignore it. But don’t justify why you feel the way you feel, or make excuses why you shouldn’t feel this way.
Be kind and non-judgmental to yourself and others, allow yourself to be and accept yourself and others.
We have made our mind the master and it is very good at maintaining habits of thinking.
Most people don’t want to feel, so they talk and think about it. They practice the mind into believing that they are powerless. They keep thinking the same dis-empowering thoughts and they keep telling the same story.
Repetition is how the brain learns. Break the habit of thinking dis-empowering thoughts.
Change your habits.
Change your habit of thinking and doing. Learn to soothe yourself first. Then take responsibility for finding a solution. Trust that you can always figure a way out.
Practice feeling at ease in an unconditional way. Most people are always waiting for their life to change first before they can feel better.
Or they are waiting for their partner, parent, friend or child to change their behaviour before they can feel good and love them.
Make your whole life all about YOU.
And I don’t mean that you shouldn’t care about others and become totally self-absorbed and ignorant.
What I am saying is to become self-aware, and even selfish. You do come first.
You are all you have any control over. You are in control over how you respond. Everything you experience is about you.
If we were all content and happy with who we are and accepted the responsibility for our own life, we wouldn’t care so much when someone said or did something ignorant, we wouldn’t feel the need to defend or attack back.
There is no need to assert yourself when you know that you are good enough. There is no need to panic, when you trust unconditionally that you are always going to be alright.
I hope this helps you. Leave a comment or question for me in the comment section below. Your input helps me create content that matters to you.
My next blog will be about how to feel less powerless.
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