Life Area: Personal
Topic: Perseverance in hard times
How Hitting Rock Bottom Will Make You Stronger
As you may have read in my blog post about my personal perfect storm, after a consistent rise to the pinnacle of success, the bottom fell out 8 years ago when my daughter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer (she scans clean now), the financial markets meltdown hit my real estate development business hard, and I had a humongous love loss. A triple whammy. Maybe you’ve experienced similar, or God forbid, worse circumstances. Maybe your business has failed or you lost your job or maybe a relative or spouse died. For whatever reason, you found yourself in a place you never imagined–rock bottom, like me.
Well, let me remind you: when you face situations like that remember failure is not fatal and rock bottom is not forever, unless you make it so. There are very important lessons to learn when you’ve hit rock bottom. Here are some of the most important ones:
1. Your True Self shows up. When you’re down and out, you’re forced to confront yourself as you probably never have before. It’s when you’re at your most broken and weak that you can dig down through your vulnerabilities to the strength to stand strong. It is in loss and imperfection that you can see how perfectly human you are.
2. Choose stumbling blocks or stepping stones. Hitting rock bottom is a powerful reminder not to carry your mistakes around with you but to learn from them; use them as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks, on the way to your success.
3. What you thought you wanted may not be what you needed. Sometimes painful circumstances turn out to be the impetus of a new direction and months or years later you look back and see how they played an integral part in getting you where you ended up…a direction and destination you may not have chosen, but was much better than you envisioned.
4. You stand taller after having been knocked down. When you hit rock bottom you’re grateful for all you have and soon forget what is gone. You can approach the future with new energy and higher standards. You can be strong because you experienced weakness; you can be fearless because you have experienced fear and conquered it with your courage; you can be wise because you have experienced failure and learned valuable lessons from it.
5. When you’ve lost everything, you’re free to choose a fresh start. Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance. If you don’t re-assess your desires, it will be difficult for you to see all the possibilities ahead for you. If you stop, you’ll remain right where you are, at the bottom. Now, if you choose to pick yourself up and persist through these bad times, you’ll find the motivation you need to reach your goal, or the new goal you’ve set for yourself.
“Learn from your mistakes; use them as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks, on the way to your success.”
6. When you can no longer change your circumstances, you are challenged to change yourself. When you feel you have nowhere else to go, commit yourself to learning something new. The most valuable asset you will ever have is your mind and what you put into it. When life becomes harder and the circumstances are beyond your control, make yourself stronger. Turn to friends and family for support. And, when you can afford it, hire a life coach to give you perspective and guide you through the turbulence.
7. At some point it can only get better. If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; and if you can’t walk, crawl–but whatever you do keep moving forward. No perfect storm, no trouble, no bad break lasts forever, and even if you can’t feel anything around you changing, every step you take brings you closer to something better.
8. Rock bottom can become the solid foundation on which you can become rock solid. Whatever life gives you, even if it hurts a lot, be strong. Remember, strong walls may shake but they never collapse. You were given this life, this pain, this struggle, so work to keep yourself strong enough to make it through.
Now, after you’re on the other side of your circumstances, remember to thank the many people that supported you in getting through it and, remember to pay-it-forward. The valuable lessons you learned from going through all that you did, and the many things you learned, like those mentioned above, must be passed on to others to help them get through it when their own version of rock bottom shows up. Your mentorship will help them pick up the pieces and move forward with hopeful anticipation.
If you are looking for a roadmap to achieve any goal and create the life you want, look no further than my Create The LIFE You Want Workshop. In this workshop, I’ll walk you through the steps needed to create a crystal clear vision of what you want, choosing a BIG, ambitious goal, and putting together a complete plan of action and achievement. This workshop is often held in an exotic location (last year we were in Santorini, Greece. This year we are in Sedona, Arizona!), so if you want to plan for a vacation with a purpose, this is the one for YOU!
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I am a Success Strategist and Master Coach. I provide transformational coaching and training for individuals and organizations to help you Grow Your Life and Build Your Business by getting clear and focused on what you want, why you want it, and how to create it. Learn more about me at SuccessSeriesLLC.com.
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