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 to change 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 in 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 and 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”.
If you are criticizing yourself for doing something wrong, then label that thought “criticizing”. Then, ask yourself how long you want to spend criticizing 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.
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 embracing these challenges so 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.
More About Living a Happier Life
- What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People
- How to Be Happy Again: 13 Simple Ways to Shake off Sadness Now
- How to Have Happy Thoughts and Train Your Brain to Be Happy
Featured photo credit: J’Waye Covington via unsplash.com