“Life experience is what defines our character, even if it means getting your heart broken or being lied to. You know, you need the downs to appreciate the ups. Going on the adventure or taking that risk is important” – Nev Schlman
I have been broken many times in my life. I have had life deliver blows that have knocked me to the ground. The pain and the feelings of hopelessness and despair have consumed my life for many months. I wondered if I would ever survive this, or if I would live a life where I felt happy and safe. Slowly, over time, my life got better and I got stronger.
Now when I look back I realize that these events, though they were painful at the time, were the catalysts for me changing my life. Now I am living my life doing what I love – writing, speaking and coaching.
For us to live our lives to the fullest the only way we can achieve this is by overcoming the challenges that life throws at us. We have to experience the pain, the betrayal, the adversity, the feelings of hopelessness and the despair in life- because how else do we learn about who we are?
There is no other way for us to learn how to be resilient, courageous, hopeful and optimistic about life and our future.
Though we do not like it, everyone feels broken at some point on their life journey. Often when we find ourselves at this place of despair we do not know what to do and so we can end up living our life through our fear, regret, pain, disillusionment and sadness. This is not the way our lives are meant to be lived.
When you are feeling broken inside remember these 7 things as they will help you discover your courage and build your resilience so that you can step out and embrace the joy of living a life you love.
1. Remember To Accept & Anticipate Change
“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.” Dr Leon C. Megginson
In today’s world of constant change it is hard to hold on to who you are and manage the complexity and unpredictability of life. The one constant thing in our lives today is change.
Instead of fighting the inevitability of change, learn how to accept it. Embrace change and know that by doing this your life can only get better.
Resisting change will fuel the negative energy that keeps you feeling broken and discouraged about life.
2. Remember To Embrace Your Power Of Choice
“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” – Kevyn Aucion
Using your power of choice will enable you to change your approach to life from one where you languish in pain to one where you flourish with joy and hope.
Using your power of choice empowers and strengthens your ability to take action and to make decisions.
Your power of choice is a gift that you have within you that if you choose to use, will transform your life.
3. Remember To Ask For Help
“Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.” Anne Wilson Schaef
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. When we are feeling so broken inside, we want to hide away from the world. Sometimes it is because we feel embarrassed or we believe that people won’t understand what we are going through.
The support, advice and encouragement from others helps us to overcome adversity and solve problems in our life.
It is the energy and wisdom from friends, family and supporters that fuels our courage and our desire to take action to change our lives for the better.
4. Remember To Be Present
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Mother Teresa
Your thoughts fuel how you feel about your life. When you feel broken in your life, it will be your negative thoughts that dictate your feelings of sadness, disillusionment and unhappiness. When you feel joy and happiness, your positive thoughts of hope and self belief will support more of these feelings.
The key to managing your negative thoughts is to practice trying to distance yourself from these thoughts and observe them rather than react automatically to them.
Identify those thoughts that will draw you in and create confusion and inertia within you. Accept that these thoughts do not serve you well and work towards having more control over them.
Label the type of thought you are having rather than paying attention to its content. Observe your thoughts and if you notice a thought that is judging (how good or bad the situation is) label it “judging.Advertising
If you are criticising yourself for doing something wrong then label that thought “criticising”. Then ask yourself how long you want to spend criticising and blaming yourself. My suggestion is that you spend zero time doing this activity.
5. Remember To Focus On What Brings You Joy
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain” – Joseph Campbell
When you are feeling despair, frustration and hopelessness it is easy to forget the good things that are happening in your life. In fact, if you are consumed by negativity you will start to believe that there is nothing good in your life.
Focusing on what in your life is good and what brings you joy is an important step to you changing your life. The more you focus on the good in your life the more hopeful you become.
Positivity and hope are contagious and the more you celebrate this the better you will feel about your life.
6. Remember To Be Hopeful About Your Future
“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time” – Abraham Lincoln
It is understandable that when you feel broken in life you can become consumed by the concern that this is what your life will be like forever. It is very hard to be hopeful about the future when you feel so much pain and heartache. However your pain and heartache will not heal you and deep down inside you want to be healed – you just don’t know how.
For me when I felt broken in my life the one thing that helped me on my journey of healing was to try and keep hopeful about my future. It was important for me to keep perspective on the fact that what was happening in my life at the time was not a part of my future life. That tiny bit of hope I had about my future was enough for me to slowly start to heal – step by step.Advertising
7. Remember To Accept That Life Is A Mystery
“The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved; it is a reality to be experienced” –
Jacobus Johannes Leeuw
Life is a funny thing and the more we fight and resist it, the harder it is to live our life. Accepting and embracing the mystery of life allows us to heal and look at our pain as only one chapter of many chapters in our life.
Life throws us curve balls. It tests us and challenges us. We survive and thrive in life by by embracing these challenges so we that we can grow and live courageous and resilient lives.
When we feel broken inside we need to remember that this is part of our journey and that there is no escaping the pain. We just have to work our way through the pain and despair.
Instead of fighting and questioning life and blaming yourself for how you feel take a deep breath and remember that life is a mystery. Do not make the moments of despair and unhappiness in your life as foundations for how you will live your life forever.
Your role in life is to embrace it – the good the bad and the ugly and to live your life to its fullest – so go live it!
“Ester asked why people are sad. “That’s simple,” says the old man. “They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people’s ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.” – Paul Coelho, The Zahir.
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The Gentle Art of Saying No
It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.
But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.
What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.
But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:
- Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
- Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
- Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
- Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
- Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
- Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
- Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
- Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
- Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
- It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.
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