I have to admit, I’m pretty tired of articles that try to take something huge and make it doable in “3 Easy-Peasy Steps.”
First of all, let’s face it. A whole lot of struggle comes from mindset and fighting ourselves (or at least our fears and limiting beliefs). Telling someone to, “just send out letters to 100 people you know” doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
The best strategy in the world won’t work if it’s never used. And those “Easy-Peasy Steps” are generally strategies that you may or may not use.
The suggestions I’m about to share with you will help you stay present to what’s going on, not simply get through it.
Tough situations can be tough because what’s going on is scary, stressful, heart-wrenching, or all three. They can also bring up past traumas; feelings like guilt, shame and regret; and/or a sense of isolation and aloneness.
All that can stop us in our tracks!
This is the kind of thing I help clients with all the time. In fact, Marie had asked me to help her with money and self-confidence issues. Not long after that, one of her biggest clients abruptly ended their work with her, after having said they wanted to do MORE work with her.
Something like that can knock down ANYONE’s self-confidence while amping up money fears. For many folks, that’s the start of a downward spiral – or a big fight not to go down it.
When we go through a tough situation, we experience anger, resentment, guilt, blame, regrets, pain and abandonment. Without a great deal of consciousness, we add that to the load we’re already carrying. Believing you’re a victim or helpless to change things is a good clue that that’s happening.
Being present, on the other hand, helps you NOT pile on extra crap that you’ll carry around for years to come. It may be harder in the short-term. We’re a society that loves magic pills! It’s pretty ingrained for us to blame someone else, get angry at how unfair it is, and spend our energy trying to get out as fast as possible.
Being present means actually feeling your feelings – feeling the pain, the hurt, the loneliness. Yes, it can be intense. Really intense. But if being more free and increasing your personal power is your goal, it’s the only way there.
Just remember that NOT feeling your feelings doesn’t mean they aren’t there. It just means you’re burying them and carrying them with you. At some point, you’re either going to have to feel and deal with them, or deal with the health and life issues NOT dealing with them creates.
So here they are: 3 Keys to Get Through Crappy Situations Without Taking the Crap with You
Remember that this will pass.
It used to drive me crazy when my mother said this over and over while we were growing up. The thing is, it’s true. (Yeah, Mom was right.)
The situation will shift. It won’t stay this intense. It can’t.
As long as you’re breathing, there’s possibility for change. Not even the emotions are permanent when you’re actually feeling them. (BTW, holding your breath is a way NOT to feel.)
If you feel like you’re stuck in an emotion, check to see if you’re feeling it in your body. Chances are really good that you’re actually THINKING about the emotion instead of feeling it. Get into your body and FEEL.
(Janice thought she was an emotional person until we’d worked together a few times. She finally saw that she thought about emotions a lot and talked about them, but wasn’t actually feeling them. That was a game-changer for her because her emotions were finally moving through instead of staying stuck.)
Let it be okay that it’s hard.
Don’t make up stories about it, just notice that it’s hard. Try using other words, too. This is big. This is challenging. This is intense. This is painful.
Time and again I see clients who are being hard on themselves for having the experience in the first place. I’ve done it, too! I’ll bet you’ve said things to yourself like, “I can’t believe this is happening! I screwed this up! This is all my fault. I should have known or done better.”
Having thoughts like that is normal. Saying them over and over is harmful and unproductive. When you have them, follow them with thoughts like, “This is really hard. It feels scary and makes my heart hurt. I’m going to let myself cry or scream now, or curl up in a ball. In a little bit, I’ll see what to do next. For now, I’m just going to do this.”
Tweet: The best strategy in the world won’t work if it’s never used.
Get help and support.
You need someone to talk to who can really listen and understand. Someone who supports you, who can give you a different perspective and help you spot old patterns you may be repeating.
This person needs to be compassionate. (You don’t get to be mean to you (see above), and neither does anyone else.) They also need to be focused on your growth and clarity. Having someone agree that you’re a victim and that the world sucks may feel good in the moment, but it’s a disservice to you.
Hard as they are, these situations, when handled consciously, can be transformational.
Remember Marie from above whose client evaporated? I was able to help her use the experience for some really deep releasing and healing.
Her business has taken off and evolved in a whole new direction – one that she’s much happier with. This wouldn’t have happened if that client has stayed.
Even bigger than that, though, she cleared some old, deep wounds around rejection that the client brought front and center.
Seeing her now, one of the first things you’ll notice about her is her sparkle and enthusiasm. Plus, the new depth at which she claims her expertise allows her to serve her clients at an even higher level.
When you experience a stressful time, try these keys. They won’t make it easy-peasy, but they will help you be real.