When You’re Forced to be Strong

No one enjoys being cornered by unfortunate happenstances of life. But you will be astonished what you are capable of accomplishing when your only option is to be strong.

Personally, the past year has been an enormous challenge to navigate. Emotionally, financially, physically, and mentally. I will save the details for a rainy day, but the point is that these over-arching gray clouds hanging over certain aspects of life the past twelve months have not just been obstacles – they have been opportunities. Trying times always have a lesson to teach and sometimes you just need to reach down deep to find them. Every roadblock encountered also offered a chance to pivot. Every hurdle met also provided a moment of clarity. And through it all, a distinctive coherence emerged, revealing what was truly important to myself and unveiling where I drew my happiness and confidence from.

These kinds of revelations don’t call for ultimate transparency – you don’t need to go online and share every heartbreak, challenge, and frustration you’ve ever faced with everyone you’ve ever known in order to feel like you’re overcoming those things. Just know that suffering does not discriminate against anyone. The difficulties you face are not singular and you are capable of steering your way through storms with the right tools.

A Support System

Whether its your family, friends, a significant other, or a hired professional… you need a sounding board, besides yourself. Bottling up your emotions in general is dangerous and when you’re feeling trapped by events out of your control, its like shaking a can of soda.

Who is your circle of influence? Who are the people you talk to and confide in the most? The ones who support and uplift you during difficult times are the ones to keep close.

Make friends in all walks of life so that when you face a challenge, you can see different perspectives. Find a mentor who you trust who has been successful in overcoming difficult situations. There is a whole wide world of knowledge out there, ready to be provided by people who freely give it as long as the person listening is willing to learn.

Committing to a Routine

When there are things occurring out of your control, bad habits can take hold and breed. When we’ve fallen outside of our comfort zone, we tend to gravitate towards activities that bring us any sort of small comfort; ever heard of having “too much of a good thing?”

Define some healthy habits to reinvent yourself and make a personal commitment to making them stick. Having a routine that includes such activities as a morning workout, an evening meditation, or a nightly journal can strengthen resolve. These things are easy to do, but they’re also easy not to do. So prove to yourself in small ways that you are capable of being strong-willed.

Write it Down

Your feelings. Your failures. Your pain. Get it on paper and then rip it up if that’s what you need to do. The first step forward cannot be taken without a clear understanding of what you’re turning away from.

An exercise in catharsis, true. But also a method of gaining a better understanding of yourself. What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? What do you need to change in order to overcome this situation? And which of these qualities will guide you to a better tomorrow.

Pivoting is not the end of the disruption process, but the beginning of the next leg of your journey.

Jay Samit

I’ve heard the saying before, “dig the well before you need the water.” Well, what happens when you need the water but you haven’t dug the well?

You begin to dig.

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