4 Steps To Take Your Life From A Struggle To A Success
Even if you think you are a high-functioning superstar who can constantly withstand major stress and prioritize others before yourself, the stage you strut will eventually break. You’ll find yourself lying on your back in the middle of your living room looking up at the ceiling covered in a constellation of sushi and soy sauce wondering how you got there. Well, at least I did. A sushi fight was the moment the marriage I was desperately trying to save and keep “normal” and “successful”, fell apart.
To tell anyone, much less myself, I was living in an unhappy stressful marriage would have been admitting failure at something. I’d rather not say that out loud. I wanted everyone to believe that it was all great, all perfect. No one knew the insecurity I felt or the complete and utter absence of stability to my life and bank account. All of my worth was depleting, and I was going down in flames without a lifeline. On the outside, I was very successful: calm, put-together and well dressed with my hair neatly styled. I was a vision of the typical hard-working perfectionist who excelled at work and life, but inside was a completely different world. Internally, I was mixed with anxiety, shame, and a serious existential crisis.
I had been lying to myself and trying to hold it together for the sake of having a husband, yet the silent witnesses in my apartment all knew what they knew before I did. The overturned kitchen table that nestled into the upright legs of the kitchen chairs, silverware splattered throughout the carpet like glitter or the ceramic soy sauce bowls that had been thrown sky-high to the heavens only to fall back in a side-lying rescue position all knew what they knew before I knew. My marriage was over.
My ‘Great Sushi Fight of 2009’ was the first time in my life I felt forced to surrender to someone else, or something else. It was the moment I allowed the universe to take over and start re-directing my life. When you really want something, but it is breaking you to try and keep it, it might be time to accept that thing is really not meant for you. Understand that “rejection is God’s protection” and know that this is the time to walk away to something much more fulfilling and loving. A friend of mine often reminds me about what Aristotle taught us, that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
While I feared letting go of what my life used to be, I held on to the trust of my inner spirit that told me I was going to be okay and that I didn’t have to secretly be anxious to achieve and succeed.
Here are the 4 steps I took to pick myself up off the floor and heal
1. Call a friend
Friends have either been in a hard spot themselves or know someone who has. Just taking that one small step provided me with many people who came out of the woodwork and into my life at the exact moment I needed them, to help me understand that I wasn’t alone. It’s a universal truth – there is strength in numbers.
2. Ask for help
Asking for help when your motto is “I got this”, can feel like a huge deal and a threat to your safety, but it’s not. It’s a lifeline. Be vulnerable and take a risk to receive help. Find a trusted counselor or person in your life to help get you where you want to be. For me, I went to a divorce support group. Being part of a group helped me to see and connect with other people going through a similar story. Practice being open to new ideas of where to go and what to do. When you surrender to that higher power, it will show you the way.
3. Turn your outer assets inward
You already know you can pull it together to be a high performer, so use those positive traits to your benefit. Perform highly when it comes to your own needs. Take some time off from usual outward activities and put that into your own self-development. Read a book that speaks to you, join a spiritual or meditation group, or find quiet time to journal and figure out more about your needs and feelings.
4. Seek peace through your spirituality
Spirituality involves getting in touch with your inner self. It is not necessarily connected to a specific belief system or even religious worship, instead, it arises from a connection with yourself. The key to enhancing the health of your life both mentally and physically is to stay connected to your inner self and inner spirit. Spirituality is different for everyone, but some places to seek it are in nature, music, art, meditation, journaling, or prayer…whatever helps you connect to yourself and the beauty of the world the most.
When you start with these steps, you might be pleasantly surprised and feel like a real true high functioning superstar to discover that success need not be the result of struggle and pretending all is perfect, but rather the opening of yourself into a more authentic experience of you in the world.
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