“The best way out is always through.” ― Robert Frost
We are always going to be faced with challenges – it is an essential part of life. We need challenges in order to grow as individuals… but there is a fundamental mistake that many make when it comes to dealing with and/or overcoming these challenges. People get wrapped up in the whirlwind of the problem. Life can often be truly testing and It is easy to get wrapped up in our “issues” and all the negativity that comes along with them, but the reality of the matter is - that this does absolutely NOTHING to solve them. In fact – to my mind, it does the complete opposite.
People are masters in the art of perpetuating negative situations because they donate so much of their time and energy to the problem instead of looking for potential solutions. Challenges often come with an array of negative feelings attached to them, because we don’t know how to find our way through the tunnel and out the other side.
So what happens is – you sit with the problem - it hangs over your head like an axe, weighing you down. You repeat the “how am I going to solve this” question endlessly in your mind, internally playing out all the disastrous results – therefore conjuring up feelings of stress, anxiety, depression and/or sadness. The most ridiculous part of this all is that we will repeat this process tirelessly – and it achieves absolutely nothing.
If your thought process in approaching the problem is not of a constructive nature, then nothing is going to change – unless somebody comes along and “rescues you” from said problem – which in most cases, is highly unlikely.
It is perfectly natural to experience all the above emotions when faced with a challenge but at some point (and sooner is generally better than later), those thought processes and the emotions attached to them, need to be channeled more constructively. You actually need to accept that there is a mountain ahead of you and in order to get to the top, it needs to be climbed.
I have often noticed this type of repetitively negative behaviour and pattern being displayed by people who are unhappy in their dead end jobs for instance… but they are so absolutely consumed by their misery that they cannot seem to motivate themselves enough to even take one step forward, which is truly sad because for as long as that remains the case, they will stay trapped in that “space”.
My first suggestion is always to start getting pro-active in changing the situation. Update your CV, get it sorted and ready to go, start looking at what jobs are out there and then start applying for the ones that appeal to you. What people seem to completely miss about this action itself is that even if you don’t land a new job straight away, the action itself - of applying for available positions is self-motivating. It is the first step to breaking the negative whirlwind and shifting your mind-set into a positive frame. It gives you hope and it makes you feel better about yourself too.
Unfortunately though, people seem to have all the energy in the world to moan and whine – but when it actually comes down to doing something constructive to change it, they are suddenly missing in action and filled with even more excuses and reasons as to why it won’t work or why they would be unsuccessful.
And then they wonder why they are stuck in the same “place and space” ten years down the line… Allowing the problem to completely consume your world is NEVER going to solve it. It will break you down little by little as time passes, eating away you until you eventually give up. You have to FACE the problem and then SEEK the solutions – until you find the one that works.
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami
Over the years, I have learnt to expend as little of my energy as possible on the things that essentially keep me running around in circles. It is not always an easy thing to do, especially if the problem is an emotional one which is close to the heart, or a particularly stressful one on the work or financial side of life. BUT – you simply HAVE to STOP repeatedly regurgitating the problem in your mind if you want to solve it.
“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” ― Dalai Lama XIV
If you have a tough month in business and sit and focus on the fact that business is slow, not only does it NOT solve the problem, but it stresses you out which makes you feel even worse! Alternatively, on the other side of the coin, if it has been a tough month and you acknowledge the fact that you need to improve things then you can set your mind to doing something constructive – not only does this contribute to solving the problem but it also reduces the stress levels and makes you feel more positive about the situation as a whole. Not particularly complicated is it…
So then why do so many people struggle to grasp and action this approach in their lives? Perhaps it is because they lack faith in themselves or the fact that they might actually succeed… well I can assure you of one thing… that being - if you don’t try, then you definitely won’t!
“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass... get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it's the ability to deal with them.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
Essentially it is all about how you look at things. If a problem is truly out of your control and not in any way solvable then worrying about it and re-living it in your mind again and again is not going to be of any use anyway, so why torture yourself like that – just learn to accept it. And if there IS something that you can do about it, then start doing THAT.
When you approach life expecting good results for yourself, and you put your energy into attaining those results, then life produces! It opens doors and presents opportunities. You cannot stare at an empty frying pan and expect a bacon and egg breakfast to materialise out of thin air… you have to turn on the plate and add the ingredients. It is as simple as that!
Until next time...
Much Love from Cape Town, South Africa xxx
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