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Published on July 24, 2019

13 Things to Remember When You Hit the Wall in Life

13 Things to Remember When You Hit the Wall in Life

You think you have it all together, then suddenly one day, you don’t. You think you have the best in front of you, a road you selected with presumably no detours and then suddenly, you hit a wall. It can be discouraging when your best laid plans go awry but that wall is one you can bounce back from.

It can seem impossible to bounce back; it can seem like this dead-end is permanent.

Well, it’s not. It’s time to refocus your ambitions, your love life, your story, whatever ails you and to remake yourself.

You have what it takes inside you. You have everything you need right here, right now, to abandon the path you were on and create a newer, better one.

The light in you is meant to be seen, especially in the dark.

When you hit that wall in life, you need only remember– you have been through things before. You’ve gotten through them. You’ll get through this wall, too. You’ll overcome. You’ll beat the odds. You’ll make it.

When you get there, don’t forget to look back every so often to see how far you’ve come. That’s your Why in the midst of making it through this. You’ve made it before. So you will again.

It isn’t easy. But it can be done. No matter the circumstance, you have once choice in life: how you respond. That has to do with attitude. Greater attitude leads to greater character, meaning you will bounce back better when you take things in stride.

Equip yourself with the following mentalities, and you will be free.

Here are 13 things to remember when you hit the wall in life:

1. All You Need Is Inside You

When you are recovering from hitting your wall, you have to remember that you got yourself this far already. Everything you need to move forward, the drive, the resilience, the will, is already inside you. You have the tools, the ability and the power to get through that wall to the other side.

When you look within, you can realize your self-worth. The outside world may disappoint us or let us down, but when you look to your own self for strength, there is nothing that you can’t do or accomplish or recover from.

2. Your Story Isn’t Over

Hitting a wall can feel like the end of life as you know it, and it may very well be. But just because one chapter of your life is coming to an end doesn’t mean your story is ending.

What feels like a dead end is actually a new beginning. You have to adapt it to your story — the story you are telling yourself in order to get through difficulties ahead; the story of you. You can’t turn back. You can’t pack up and just call it quits. You have to still find a way to move forward. It can be with the simple thought: “This doesn’t end here.”

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And it doesn’t. It won’t. Not if you don’t let it.

Your story will keep going; in fact, it’s meant to. All you have to do is live it. You won’t love every second of it but in the end, you will have told it your way.

3. Today Is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

You can find what you need in the mentality to start over every day. Today is that day, the day you figure out what is most important to you. You find out how strong you really can be. You learn from the lessons of the detour or dead-end and, begin again.

Appreciation of what you still have and can offer will keep you from feeling like a failure. Appreciate how far you’ve come already. See what is still left and what you can do.

You’re still alive. You’re still breathing. Sometimes, that’s all we’ve got, and sometimes, that’s all we need.

4. Just Show Up

You’re not always going to be motivated to move past the wall, and you’re not always going to want to put your best efforts into a day. And that’s okay, as long as you show up.

If you have no energy to solve the problem, just show up, even if you don’t know how it’s going to end. We don’t have to know every outcome in order to start solving problems.

So, just show up. Just be there. Don’t expect any answers or insights. Don’t expect to see what the future holds. One thing is for sure — there will always be obstacles but, so will be opportunities. You just need to show up in order to find them.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

5. Find Your Fire

What ignites your soul? You need to harness that. Find your fire when you hit the wall. Burn right through it.

Steve Jobs once gave a commencement speech at Stanford,[1] where he discussed “connecting the dots.” With each flame or passion for life, you begin to connect the dots. You start to discover what makes you tick, what moves you, especially in times where you feel you have nothing left.

He says that when you follow your heart and intuition, you “somehow already know what you want truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

What sets you on fire? What can’t you live without doing, being or loving?

6. Pave the Way

You might have hit the wall, but somehow, somewhere, someone already paved the way for you to get as far as you have. And maybe, you’re paving the way for someone else.

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Find out who has accomplished what you are trying to do. Or who has opened doors to getting there. Realize you are next in line.

You only need to realize that you are never alone. Great men and women have come before you. You just need to see them, to hear their voices, to find their strengths and utilize it for your own path.

7. Be Humbled

Be humbled by life’s twists and turns. You may think you have it all, then one day, you do not. It keeps us from taking it all for granted.

You may lose what you think you’re supposed to become, but you’ll never lose what you’ve already done. Instead of getting angry, get humbled. See the world a whole new way. You weren’t meant for that path, so instead of turning around, turn it around.

This one isn’t the easiest, because we want to feel capable of everything at all times. We want to soar with the wind beneath our wings. But it is finding out you can fail that you also find you have the power to start again. In failure, we find our truth, what truly defines us. Everything else is icing on the cake.

So, be humbled. Be self disciplined. Be loyal to this life. When you hit the wall, be humbled.

It is not easy, but it is worth it.

8. Start Again

Don’t waste this time wallowing in self pity. It’s time to start again when you hit the wall. You can only do so much while dragging your feet with your head down. You need to look up, stand tall, stand proud — proud of the chance to start again.

You don’t measure your success by how easy the path was. It was how you manoeuvred through things you needed to overcome. If everything came easy to you, you’d miss out on the meaning of it all. And that is a far greater loss.

Your day is here for renewal, for becoming who you need to be. Life will change, that’s its constant, and so will you. If you stayed the same all your life, you would never grow. You need growth in order to change and be changed.

Be open to renewal, for the rest to come naturally and focus on the greatest and most important change of all, the goodness of you finding an opportunity in this obstacle.

You don’t need much other than that. You may think you do, but you are free when you acknowledge life’s simplicities and all their worth.

9 Stay Positive

It makes sense to become negative in the face of negativity. It feels natural to want to become defeated and depressed. But you’re only sabotaging yourself.

“Change your thoughts, change your life.”– Wayne Dyer

Every day, make a gratitude list. Say daily mantras in order to make peace with yourself.

When you look around you, you’ll want to think about the negative. Instead, train your mind to look for the positive. Repeat the positive that you find over and over again until it becomes natural to see it.

Why does this work? Some could say the universe, some could say we change our brains in the habits we form, etc. but ultimately, it’s about recognizing that not everything is what it seems. The brain automatically wants to pinpoint the negative. You can reprogram that by simply believing. Believe in the good. See the good. That’s how it works. It’s always been there. You just have to look.

10. Take Deep Breaths

Just because the walls in life can be opportunities for growth and new direction, that doesn’t mean they aren’t stressful. If you’ve hit a wall, you’re likely facing some hard times. It’s important to make time for self care. Take it easy while you recover. Relax, refocus, and breath. Deep breaths. Focus on the negative leaving with your exhale, and focus on the positive returning on the inhale.

Meditate on what matters. According to Meditation 101,[2] observe thoughts, do not judge them in mindfulness meditations. That way you can focus on your breath.

An example of a meditation you can do is Mimi Page “Reflection”:

There are a ton out there!

Meditation can happen anywhere, anytime. It can be while stuck in traffic. It can be while waiting in line at the grocery store. Its’ not just a practice. It’s a mentality. One that can make all the difference.

11. Change Your Life

It’s time to learn that things aren’t working. So, what do you do? Stand there and stare at them? No, you make them move. You change your life. You change what isn’t working to make what is right come together. You only need to start with the small things and gradually tackle bigger things.

All you need is inside you, remember? And all you need is to find your fire, your passions, to connect the dots.

Don’t be a passive spectator in your life. Get proactive. Go for the win. When you hit the wall, you can learn how to climb over it. Dig your feet in and start to climb. Use whatever ledges you can find. Use what you have to pick yourself up.

That’s being resourceful.

That’s being resilient.

That’s doing what is right.

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12. Help Others Along the Way

There’s nothing more rewarding than to help someone else with something we have struggled with.

What you give, you get back ten fold. It gives you a reason to right the wrongs in your life. It gives you a reason to turn the page to starting living the next chapter.

When you help others, you become less afraid of the obstacle in front of you. You remember that you’re not alone. You’re alive, and that life is worth it. Others will inspire you with their own willpower, their own story. When you reach out and help someone, you make a difference. That means you have not been defeated yet. That means you must not give up.

Helping others is recognizing a universal truth — we all deserve love and light. You deserve to know what it’s like to have recognition, too. When you help others along the way, you realize this:

“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” — Etienne de Grellet

13. Bounce Back

According to Dysheada Rheed,[3] resilience is the act of ‘bouncing back’ or resisting to cracking under pressure.

There’s no going back. You’ve come this far, too far, to just give up. It’s time to bounce back.

Furthermore, resilience is driven by two things:

  • a strong why
  • the ability to adapt

When you have a strong why, you are able to bounce back from the present problem. It does not mean you solve everything. In fact, it may mean you overcome simply because you keep going due to this why. For example, Viktor Frankl, holocaust survivor, has said that if you have a strong enough why, you can “overcome any how.”

When you are adaptable, you realize you can find gratitude in any situation. This is key to bouncing back when you hit the wall. You discover that you can not only face something, you can learn to work with it rather than against it.

A great analogy is when one is stuck in a current, they should not start fighting against the current. They should go with the flow. This is how to surpass one’s circumstances and ensure survival.

Final Thoughts

You can be whoever you want to be, do whatever you want to do and love whoever and whatever you want to love. It’s time to be restored in all you are meant to be. It’s time to bounce back. It’s time to just be. Just trust. And you’ll find yourself on the other side of that wall, looking back thinking “I did that, that was me.”

You’ll get through it. I know you will.

Good luck.

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More About Getting Through Tough Times

Featured photo credit: Piotr Chrobot via unsplash.com

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More by this author

Sarah Browne

Sarah is a speaker, writer and activist who promotes the end of stigma for mental health.

How to Practice Meditation for Anxiety and Stress Relief How to Control Anxiety and Calm Your Anxious Thoughts 5 Steps to Cultivate a Positive Mental Attitude How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want 13 Things to Remember When You Hit the Wall in Life

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Last Updated on October 23, 2019

How to Change a Negative Attitude That Is Destroying You

How to Change a Negative Attitude That Is Destroying You

A negative attitude carries with it a lack of awareness. You’re not necessarily aware of a negative attitude permeating your outlook on life, and because of this lack of awareness, your attitude affects your interactions with other people and your interactions with yourself.

What if you were to become aware? What if, suddenly, you were able to step outside of the thought pattern that creates your attitude, choose a new pattern, and thus, a new attitude?

Think about your thoughts. Many sources of advice aren’t going to tell you this crucial point:

Changing your attitude is not about stifling or eliminating negative thoughts. It’s about changing your thought patterns through action.

Negative thoughts will arise, but when you brood on them it’s like feeding and rewarding them so that they will come back again and form a pattern.

When you alter repetitive thought patterns, you alter your attitude — it’s a physical process, and with it comes the ability to change the world in which you live. You’ll achieve things you didn’t think were possible before.

To undertake this change, understand what to do with negative or unhelpful thoughts when they arise. This understanding will help you take action towards changing your attitude.

Read on for some quick and easy suggestions on how to change a negative attitude.

1. Harness the Incredible Power of Redirection

Oftentimes, we think in a black-and-white, limiting way. It’s called binary thinking. Even thinking of thoughts as only negative or positive is a binary way of thinking.

You develop a negative attitude because you are convinced this binary way of thinking is an accurate reflection of reality. When this way of thinking doesn’t achieve good results, you assign blame. Blame doesn’t help solve the problem of binary thinking — it perpetuates it.

Binary thinking causes you to have tunnel vision when you’re working on your goals. You feel one approach is the right one — but research shows that redirection improves creativity.[1] Redirection requires you to think differently by changing tasks.

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Take a step back from what you’re doing. Is there a different approach you can take? Who can you reach out to for help? What haven’t you tried? Redirect your actions and you’ll find yourself thinking more creatively and positively when it comes to solving the original problem.

2. Amp up Your Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk is exactly what it sounds like: these are uplifting statements you make to yourself. Then, you act on them.

The thing about positive self-talk is it’s self-fulfilling. In other words, by concentrating on your strengths and making positive statements about yourself, you become what you tell yourself you are and your attitude changes.

Psychologist Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker identifies key statements that mentally healthy people make:[2]

  • “I am lovable”
  • “I am capable”
  • “Most other people are lovable and capable, too”
  • “Success comes from doing”
  • “Challenges are opportunities”
  • “It’s only human to make mistakes”
  • “I have what it takes to cope with change — and to make changes happen”

Tell yourself these things every day. Note statement number 4, “Success comes from doing.” You want to change your negative attitude. To successfully change your attitude, do things that help you feel good about yourself and others. Volunteer work and community sports leagues are great options.

Action creates change. Make positive statements to yourself, take action based on these statements, and your outlook on life will change.

3. Be a Change Agent, Not a Victim

An agent is someone who is actively engaged in making something happen. A victim is someone who suffers from circumstances beyond their control.

Victimization is valid and real, but if there’s no active pursuit of a solution, you remain a victim — you remain passive, and your attitude is one of bitterness, helplessness, or cynicism.

You’re an agent who can change your own attitude. Ultimately, your own actions are the only things you control.

You may not be able to control the rise of negative thoughts due to a tragedy that was beyond your control, but you can control how you respond to those thoughts.

Consider the following methods of coping with tragedies:[3]

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  • Talk with a counselor or someone who can give you an outside perspective.
  • Turn off the news, stop wallowing, and get active. Activities such as exercise, art, and games will help you process your feelings better by giving you a break from concentrating on repetitive negative thoughts.
  • Offer your support to others who have had a similar experience. If, for example, you’re recovering from addiction, find a peer support group.
  • Redirect painful emotions by finding an activity, such as volunteer work, writing, music, or sports, that is emotionally fulfilling and allows you to release pent-up emotions.

Sometimes tragedy is self-inflicted, meaning you have a bad experience that’s not necessarily a tragedy, but you treat it as such. You get down on yourself, turn to drugs and alcohol, and brood over your negative thoughts and feelings.

Be sure to recognize if this is happening, and become an agent of recovery instead of victimization.

4. Dream Huge — but Set Realistic Expectations

This is the truth about your dream: it’s real. What you really want out of life — call it your dream or fantasy or ambition — is a real idea you can and should hold onto no matter what happens.

To set realistic expectations, break your dream down into steps that are achievable in the short-term.

If you believe you’re entitled — you expect everything to fall into place — you will not realize your dream. Even if you’re lucky and successful, it won’t feel like success because entitlement is a bottomless pit.

A negative attitude stems from expectations that don’t line up with reality. Again, your actions are the only thing you control. Science shows you’re not even necessarily in control of your thoughts.[4]

But you are in control of the thoughts you choose to dwell on. Concentrate on your plans. You can expect to follow through when you concentrate on and check off the steps to completing a task. Concentrate on the tasks you need to complete in order to make your dream a reality.

5. Transform Negative Thoughts into Ultimate Questions

Asking questions opens your mind to new ideas. It helps you begin to build confidence. Positive self-talk can be tough, because your mind is like a broken record. You tell yourself you’re lovable, but for every time you say that, the thought that no one loves you pops up 10 times.

Forbes’ Melody Wilding makes a great recommendation:[5]

“When you catch your inner critic flinging accusations, think: how can I turn this statement into a question?”

Here are some examples:

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  • Instead of, “Something must be wrong with me,” say, “What are the steps to success?”
  • Instead of, “I hate going to the grocery store,” say, “How can I save time at the grocery store?”
  • Instead of, “These people are annoying,” say, “How can I talk to these people so that this meeting is enjoyable?”
  • Instead of, “I was a complete idiot last night,” say, “What can I do differently in the future?”

This way, you’re opening possibilities for new, constructive thoughts. You’re also paying attention to your thoughts and doing something with them.

6. Laugh!

“It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either.” – Wayne Dyer

In almost all cases, you’ll develop a negative attitude if you choose to be angry and depressed instead of choosing to laugh. But how can you choose to laugh when something seems downright terrible?

This is where the imagination and mental exercise kick in. Choose to look at a disappointing or disheartening circumstance in a different way. What is it that’s ironic, absurd, or outrageous about the circumstance?

Is there an opposite circumstance you can imagine, one that’s so fantastically great it brings tears of laughter to your eyes just thinking about it? Are there any details that are just flat-out strange?

If you’re depressed, choose comedy — choose something that can bring a smile to your face. Train yourself to seek good opportunities for humour, and you’re training yourself to have a positive attitude.

7. Embrace Your Emotions and Release Them Confidently

The moment you experience an emotion, there’s a reason for it; and therefore it’s valid.

Here’s the challenge: you must control what you do with that emotion.

You could hold the emotion in and let it fester, but that leads to things like depression, pent-up rage, and low self-esteem.

You could release your emotion the moment you feel it without thinking, but that leads to relationship issues with other people. Or, you could release the emotion confidently in a way that asserts your self and your boundaries.

  • Practice observing your emotions when you feel them on a daily basis. Note what the emotion is and be there with it.
  • When you experience a strong emotion such as anger, take time to note your anger, take deep breaths, and calm down.
  • Figure out what or who caused your anger, and why.
  • Assert yourself. Don’t be mean about it, be confident. Say something like, “I would prefer for you to treat everyone as equals in the group, I can’t speak for everyone in the group, but it’s very important to me.”
  • Set your boundaries by repeating “I” statements, such as, “I don’t want you to yell at me, I feel uncomfortable. If there’s a problem, I would prefer to talk about it calmly.”

If you embrace your emotions by processing them — by asking who, what, why, and how — and then you deal with them by expressing yourself confidently, your attitude will remain one of confidence, calmness, and positivity.

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8. Create, Move, Believe, Contemplate Great Things

Once you know you are in control of how you react to thoughts and emotions, and in turn your actions create a pattern that reinforces itself, a huge world of greatness is there for you.

Greatness is there because at all times you can choose it. You can choose to listen to your deepest emotions, which are a thing of beauty because of their intense purity, and you can translate them into new things. New songs, poems, sayings, artworks, running routes, exercise routines, meals, friendships, jobs — it’s all there for you.

Each negative thought is a positive response waiting to happen. Feel how your positive responses and your positive attitude are so enjoyable you wouldn’t trade them for anything else. Believe that you are amazing and your actions will have amazing results — even if you are not around to see the results bloom and flower.

Contemplate great things because they’re the greatest things to contemplate. What if your decision to appreciate other people’s little quirks someday becomes love? What if your decision to write in your diary everyday someday becomes a memoir? You’re capable of all these things, and life can be great.

9. Leave with the Four Agreements — but Agree to Come Back Again and Again

A man named Don Miguel Ruiz wrote a book called The Four Agreements. With these agreements, Ruiz distills pearls of ancient Toltec wisdom. To transform your attitude, agree to do the following:

  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Do your best

That’s it. Think about how these agreements inform your actions.

If you are doing your best, you are in the moment.

If you are impeccable with your word, you say things that reflect on the world you want to create.

If you don’t take anything personally, you don’t get offended by other people’s words and actions, so you don’t lash out at them.

If you don’t make assumptions, you have realistic expectations.

Furthermore, check out these other tips on how to change your attitude. Return to advice that helps you again and again. With an attitude that says, “I’m always learning,” you’ll do just that, and your life will keep improving.

Featured photo credit: Carolina Heza via unsplash.com

Reference

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