Life can be described in so many ways but for now my preferred analogy is that of a bouncing ball. I can remember distinctly my mum buying me this small rubber multi-coloured ball that for hours I would simply bounce up and down. Every time I put a little more energy in I could make that little ball travel higher. I remember persisting in my attempts to make it reach the ceiling.
I see life in very much the same way. Every time I hit the floor I am determined to pick myself up and scale great heights to reach the top.
At times it has required that I completely reinvent my life. Having reached what I describe as the bottom of the barrel having gone through the personal disasters of having my beautiful home repossessed and being forced into bankruptcy, finding my business reeling on the brink of disaster, having reached the lowest point possible or so I thought, I was then pushed further back by a retinal detachment subsequent operation and significant loss of sight. The end result of this was I could no longer carry out many of my jobs and responsibilities of a gym owner and instructor.
My solution was to reinvent myself. To walk away from my physically active career as a gym professional and become a life coach blogger and wannabee author. Throughout this period there were many challenges but these were matched by wonderful opportunities. Life was still like a bouncing ball with highs and lows. After all I was constructing a completely new life having lost much of what I’d had.
What I have come to understand is the following
Life is full of challenges
Maybe if you accept mediocrity things could be easier. But if you are someone who wants to better yourself, making a difference to your world and prepared to take risks, then you will undoubtedly meet challenges obstacles and failures. But if you keep going you will eventually get what it is you want. Success awaits all of us as long as we persist and put it all in. Face your challenges deal with them and know you can get through.
Failure is never final
Having gone through so much loss I was physically and mentally drained. My perceived failure had knocked me down and for a while it seemed easier to just accept it and give up on any attempts to rebuild my life. Then I came to the realisation that failure is never final, I may have failed but I wasn’t a failure. Only by giving up would I have failed so I picked myself up and began reinventing my life. So please never accept failure just see it as a step necessary to take on the road to success.
Accept the roller coaster ride
Anyone who has gone through major loss or personal disaster will go through what’s called the grieving process. You can’t avoid it but by understanding what it is can help you get through it quicker.
The first stage takes you through denial. You’re not ready to face up to what’s happened and internally you’re denying it has.
Then as you accept the fact of what has happened you get angry. Why has this happened to me, I don’t deserve it, bad things always happen in my life. You’re angry with the world.
Next you reach the bargaining stage. Internally you’re making all sorts of promises of what you’d do if things just went back to ‘normal’ and you are driven by the frustrations that have overcome you. You try to find something that can take all the pain away and solve the loss. Of course your frustrations just grow because you can’t turn the clocks back, what’s gone has gone.
You now enter the worst stage which is depression. The reality of your situation hits you hard, your loss becomes unbearable and pushes you as far down as you can go. You see everything that has happened, play it over in your head time after time and at this stage you can see no light ahead of you.
That is the stage where many of you will get stuck for too long. Looking at what’s you’ve lost feeling sorry for yourself instead of asking what now … what can I do to improve my life … how do I want to reinvent myself?
Eventually you will reach the final stage of the grieving process, that of acceptance. What’s done is done, it’s time to move on. You get to the point where you simply accept what has happened and realise you can no longer waste time mourning and instead start sorting your life out.
Live life driven by goals
The best way to recover from your losses is to create new dreams. C.S. Lewis wrote ‘no matter how old you are you can set new goals or dream new dreams.’ Having gone through the grieving process you’ve spent long enough in a negative rut. Now’s the time to live once again with excitement and belief. Belief in yourself and the things you can do with your life. Go write that bucket list of the things you want to do, achieve and have, places you want to go, the way you want to spend your time. Once written now get to work on making it all happen.
Enjoy the moments
Here is the one mistake I kept making throughout much of my life’s journey. I worked so hard to build my successes and to recover from my disasters, I never gave myself the chance to enjoy those special moments. I don’t make that mistake now. When I’m away from work I stay away. My mind no longer thinks of what I should be doing. I let myself fully exist in the moment with the people I’m with or the thing I’m doing. So give yourself time to smell the roses.
Please follow these 5 steps to personal recovery if you’ve struggled with dealing with something in your life. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on twitter at HealthyLife_uk if you just want a sounding board. My mission is to make the difference.