Eventually we have to face the facts, there's no easy street in life. Throughout all stages of life we will encounter struggles, some more drastic than others.
Overcoming the struggle all comes down to how we manage our internal dialogue and processes.
It's easy to look at someone else and think they're further ahead or more put together than us.
That's not always the case and comparing ourselves to others never ends well. I'm not immune or unaccustomed to struggles, and I've had my share of battles with mental health: anxiety, and depression.
When we are spiraling and it feels like the world is against us it's really easy to lean into substances.
A short-term quick fix that doesn't really solve anything, it only makes things worse.
Now, maybe your story is happier than mine, however, these tricks for overcoming struggle will hold true regardless.
Step 1: Understand Self Care Isn't Selfish
Self care is not selfish! If we're not caring for ourselves it makes it tough for anyone to care about us, let alone be around us.
Block off your calendar and make self care non-negotiable.
Whether you're an AM, PM, or afternoon person, schedule in some time every day for some physical training. You may need to experiment with time of day to find your peak zones, and that's okay.
Physical training is a great way to test our limits, practice eliminating negative self talk, and great for boosting confidence & self esteem.
Personally, I prefer to work out first thing in the morning - do the hard work first, right? The rest of the day seems pretty effortless after pushing limits in my home gym, or going for a walk when the weather is nice on rest days to decompress.
You can also grab a cookbook and schedule in cooking time.
Making food yourself and skipping the processed foods will help you get more vitamins and minerals, which can improve your gut health, leading to improved mood and immune system.
Step 2: Know Your Boundaries And Limits
The work to get to know ourselves, or even create ourselves, can be pretty daunting. It's a lifelong journey with no finish line, we just leave this world and who knows what's after that.
The more we can develop our self awareness the more we can understand what we tolerate or not in life, from the people in our lives.
We all have different limits and capacities, understanding those complexities that are unique to us is key.
We can use our limits to set our boundaries. After all, in life, how you do anything is how you do everything, and in time we become what we tolerate.
You owe it to yourself to create the best version of yourself, and that requires boundaries and learning your peak times for activities!
Step 3: Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude
We have all had negative nancy friends at some point through our lives. Do you remember how they made you feel?
Maybe it was a friend, a client, a peer or a boss. Maybe it's a family member. I'm sure we're all familiar with those gross feelings we get being around those people.
Or maybe seeing their name on the call display sends us into a spiral for the day, it's hard to say. My point here? Don't be that guy or gal.
People may not remember what you did or what you said, they'll sure as hell remember how you made them feel.
Quite often, our internal dialogue is a lot worse than anything we'd say externally. After all, 95% of our thoughts every day are negative.
Which means we are essentially predisposition to negativity. A negative attitude doesn't get us far in life (look at broke people, unhealthy people, etc).
In fact, it gives us everything that's exactly what we don't want.
It's a great way to propel people away from us. It's a great way to develop a more intense downwards spiral.
How can you practice a positive attitude? Your daily training.
Remember step 1, self care?
- Get out of bed without snoozing your alarm
- Write out 5 things you're grateful for
- Listen to a positive podcast (business or general life)
- Reframe negative self talk on your last couple of reps to something positive
- Be conscious about the language going around in your head
- Interdict and redirect negative thoughts to positive reframing
It's simple, not easy, and it does take practice. There are no short cuts, no hacks.
It comes down to perseverance, patience, and tolerance. When it feels like the world is against us, the only thing we can control is what's inside of us and we may have nominal influence on what happens outside of us.
Overcoming the struggle is all about mastering your internal game.
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