Trapped in a room that’s filling with water, doors all around you, you struggle with all your might to open them, but it seems the harder you struggle the faster the water rises around you. As the minutes, hours, and days pass you feel the walls closing in tighter and tighter, and the water rising higher and higher. You feel trapped, and as hopelessness and stress overtake you, you fall into a depressed state, numb and unsure what to do to survive. In these situations in life, you have 2 options, you can either given in and accept what you believe is an unavoidable result, or you can fight.
Life is never easy for any of us, we all find ourselves at different times in our lives struggling with a situation that consumes us to the point that life feels like it’s coming to an end. Sometimes it’s through our own decisions and other times through unforeseen circumstances. The reasons can vary from financial, family, friends, relationship, career, addiction, or plain old depression for unknown reasons to yourself. But whatever the reason your response should always be a fight and never flight. You have to remember that as bad as you feel at this point in time, you have definitely felt the same or worse at other times in your life, and you certainly will have more to come. It’s just a part of life and growing as an individual. Overcoming what feels like the impossible is how we become stronger and progress forward.
Whatever your situation is, it certainly isn’t the end of the world as it might feel. You have to detach yourself from what you are going through and look at it logically, why do I feel this way? Have I felt this way before and what did I do about it? What are my options? Every time I put myself in a financial bind, it always felt like the end of the world and the first-time things were ever that bad, forgetting the hundred other times I did the exact same thing.
Prepare yourself for situations that might arise by understanding who you are. Take some personality test and get a better understanding of how you think and what traits you have that are dominant. I found out about myself that I struggle to keep my emotions in check, I’m always way too high or way too low, never in the middle. I found that I also tend to be very disorganized. By understanding your personality strengths and weaknesses, you have a better understanding of why you feel the way you do in certain situations.
Organize your life wheel and understand where you are satisfied and where work is needed. A life wheel is the different aspects of life that come together to make up who we are such as family, friends, relationships, health, career, finance, personal development, and spirituality (you can read “life wheel” post to get a better understanding of how to use it to your advantage). By knowing where you’re satisfied in life, what aspects are most important to you, and where work is needed, you’re able to fix the problem areas and limit the damage a situation might have on your life.
Lastly, you need to take the time and reflect back on your life. Have a journal and write down times you have been through situations that made you feel hopeless and depressed. Understand the situation, how you felt, and what you did to get through it. By reflecting you can see what you did wrong and what you did right. What works for you and what doesn’t. Most importantly it’s a way to show yourself that I made it through before, I can make it through again no matter the outcome.
To overcome these moments in life, it’s so important to understand who you are, your emotions, and how you react. When understanding all of this, it allows you to be more logical when deciding on the steps to move forward, instead of feeling like the sky is falling every time. when I was younger, I consistently put myself in financial difficulties by not budgeting myself properly. Weeks before having to pay rent or other bills and completely desperate, I would find myself detached from the world around me, consumed by my problems and unable to think logically of what to do. I am a very proud person, so asking friends or family for help was always out of the question, but eventually that’s what would end up happening. Days would pass after that expense was due and I would find that I had saved money over the course of those weeks, and I would swallow my pride and ask for help from friends and family for the remainder. Embarrassed I would consume myself with paying them back as soon as possible and before you know it, the situation was taken care of.
I put myself in these situations countless amounts of times, and every time it felt like the first time. If I had just understood my personality traits and emotions, I would know that I needed to control my lows and highs and stop being so disorganized. If I reflected on my past I would see the countless times I put myself in those situations and how I found my way out. And if I understood my life wheel I would know I need to budget better and my family and friends are always there for me.
Every day I see another story about a person that allowed their emotions in times of distress to get the best of them; a young man that kills himself over 8K in college debt, a family dead over a love quarrel or debt, my friend in high school who killed himself over a girl that dumped him. Human emotions can be so strong to the point we react to them without thought, that’s why it’s important to get ahead of them by understanding yourself and being prepared for the moments in life when you fall under their spell. Whatever situation you are going through, remember things can always be worse, and they probably already have been; evaluate, reflect and plan ahead and the sun will always look brighter on the other side.