Maybe you are in a pinch (even though you just got paid), or you feel like everything is going wrong (even though you are giving it your all). The struggle is real. It has the ability to make you feel like breaking down, and you only feel motivated to be a 24-hour nap Queen…okay, maybe not that extreme, but you get the idea.
Struggles, whether big or small, that you may face at work, in your personal life, or with yourself, take their toll on your overall wellbeing. The reality is that struggles are ubiquitous in life, but it doesn’t have to feel like you are rarely in control of how you deal with them. Here are six tips to help you face whatever struggle comes your way, and more importantly, how to give them new meaning.
1. Identify the struggle and sit with it.
Take a moment to write down what your struggle is, why you feel it is affecting you, and allow yourself to acknowledge it. Let yourself express sadness or frustration for no more than 10 minutes, and tell yourself you accept it (even if in the beginning you have to lie to yourself a little). Your initial emotions, much like those towards struggles you faced years ago, will fade. Feel it out and move beyond feeling low or sad for yourself. Tell yourself you will tackle it.
2. Reach out to your people.
Use your support network – talk to your friends and family. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice if you need it.
3. Be proactive, not reactive.
Naturally, we are very quick to react to negative news, situations, or outcomes. Try to first understand the struggle and do not give it the power to make you perceive it as unalterable. Make it feel tangible, like it is there in your hands, and it is yours to handle carefully and mould it as you want to. Rise to the challenge it gives you. Practice being solution orientated – face the problem head on by brainstorming actions you can take to improve the situation. How can you package the failure or loss you faced with a sense of motivation? Can it fuel you to be better towards yourself and/or to others? How can you gain more from this situation instead of feeling as if something was lost?
4. Remind yourself that you are in control.
To crash and burn, or to rise above – you choose.
5. Be patient with yourself.
The more kind you are towards yourself, the easier it will be to fix or make light of the situation. Remind yourself that this struggle does not define you, and you will not let it own you. Instead, focus on giving it a definition that feels purposeful for you.
6. Find motivation within the challenge.
Tap into your competitive spirit, and think of yourself as a goalie, and the struggle as an opposing teammate trying to score. See it as an obstacle that you are going to crush and use that energy to move forward.