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Published on July 20, 2020

10 Things to Remember When You Feel Like Your Life Is Over

10 Things to Remember When You Feel Like Your Life Is Over

Have you ever experienced one of those crisis moments in life when you say to yourself, “My life is over”?

You feel helpless and hopeless, like the world is against you, and you wonder what you have done to deserve it.

I think the first time I felt this way was when I was 16 years old, and my first love dumped me for someone else. Over 40 years later, I can see that what I experienced then was pretty minor compared to the many life challenges since, but at the time, it felt like the end of the world.

Whether it’s when your first love dumps you for some else, or it’s a much deeper crisis point, like the death of a loved one or your kids leaving home, it can sometimes feel like there is nothing left to live for.

Certainly, losing a dream job or business you have been working your whole life for can feel devastating. And I know there are many people going through that experience right now during our global economic downturn.

There is good news in this, though.

It’s often times like these that we begin to reevaluate who we are, what’s important, and what we really want. We evolve and become stronger, more resilient, and more determined than before. Life often takes on new meaning, and we find another direction with increased fulfilment.

These musings and reflections tend to take place after the initial shock, though, and it’s easy to get stuck wallowing in those early negative and sad feelings. Without awareness, this can go on for an extended time after the event.

Over the years, I have gathered together a tool kit of insights that I pull out at times when I feel like giving up. It has helped me move on from feelings of despair, instead feeling a sense of hopefulness that things will work out for the better.

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If you are having one those “my life is over” moments, then check out my toolbox of reminders to help you get through each day. You may find something to help you, too.

1. Everything in Life Eventually Passes

Sometimes when we are stuck in those challenging moments, we forget that everything eventually does pass, even the more difficult stuff. Nothing is ever stationary because life is in constant flow.

Think for a moment about the seasons; they are never stagnant. It seems like those first blossoms of spring evolve into fruit in no time at all. This is because everything is always progressing. This means that what you are experiencing right now, even your emotions, will change in time.

2. There Is Good in Your Life

Those moments when we feel like life is over happen because we are overthinking the things that we don’t want. As we give more of our attention to obstacles in life, we can feel a sense of loss and hopelessness.

When we make an effort to notice the good, it helps us feel better. We begin to notice more of our blessings. As we continue to do this, it lifts our emotional state and energetic frequency. This allows the changes we want to manifest.

3. Nature Offers Peace

There is a reason we feel more at peace in nature, and that’s because the energy is pure and high-frequency. This therapeutic practice has been called forest bathing[1].

When we regularly spend time in nature and allow ourselves to be fully present with our surroundings, it raises our energetic frequency.

Forest bathing is said to have numerous health benefits. Some of those are that it helps us release stress, anxiety, and depression. It has healing effects, plus it lifts our energy to the vibration of manifestation.

This means you will not only feel so much better, but you will also create a different experience.

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4. You Are the Writer of Your Life Story

Telling yourself your life is over brings with it feelings of helplessness because you are not looking for the things you can change.

We are each the writer of our own life story, even when things happen that we have no control over, because we always have control over how we respond.

You may not be able to change what has happened, but you can change your story from this point onwards. It is important to acknowledge your feelings in any situation, but don’t make this your story.

Decide what you want, and focus on writing your next chapter.

5. A Diamond Is Formed Through Intense Pressure

I know this is a much-quoted metaphor, but it is used a lot because it is true. It’s the same process when a flower begins as a bulb. It fights its way up through layers of soil to eventually produce the most spectacular bloom.

The more pressure you are feeling right now, the greater the beauty it can lead you to experience. Think of yourself like a diamond. Know that the intensity you feel is an indication of the sparkle of life to come.

6. When One Chapter Ends, Another Begins

It’s a horrible feeling when a door just slams in your face. When it’s something you have wanted badly, it really can feel like life is over.

Really, it is over in a way as life as you used to know it has come to an end. However, the good thing about this is that, for anything new to begin, there is something that must end. If you continue to focus on the chapter that is over, you could miss the one that is about to begin.

When you take your attention from the closed door and look out for those openings, you will feel heaps better.

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7. Every Day Is a New Beginning

During any crisis point in life, we have those days that feel so much worse than others. Nothing seems to go right, and it seems like wherever we turn, we’re reminded of what we want to forget.

We will always have the good and the not so good; it is the natural process of life. For there to be light, there must be dark. Otherwise, the light would cease to exist. This means if we want the good days, then we need to accept the not so good, too.

When you feel those darker moments, remind yourself that tomorrow is another day. Things can always change for the better.

8. It’s Not Personal

There are many things that happen throughout life that are related to us directly, so you may think that you have to take everything personally. But that kind of thinking can send you into a negativity loop.

If you hear yourself say, “Why does this always happen to me?” I guarantee you are taking it personally in a way that will keep you stuck. This is because the word “always” implies that you never experience anything better. This means you will continue to look for similar situations.

Instead, remind yourself of times when you have enjoyed more fruitful circumstances and choose to look for more of those.

9. Forgiveness Will Help You Heal

Forgiveness is often seen as letting someone off the hook. By remaining resentful, we think we’re punishing others for their wrong doing.

In fact, we punish ourselves because this only brings us more personal pain.

Nelson Mandela said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then waiting for it to kill your enemy”[2]. He had a lot that he could have felt resentful about, but he knew the power of forgiveness.

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When you forgive another person, it doesn’t mean what they did was okay. Forgiveness is a space that you reach within yourself to help you let go.

As you allow yourself to do this, you free yourself from your own hook as forgiveness brings you personal peace.

10. Challenges Are Gifts

Yes, it is true, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. It’s often much later after the crisis has passed that we notice the gift. However, knowing there has to be a precious jewel in the pain can often help us bear the harder moments.

Some of my greatest life challenges, including losing my parents, losing my home, and going through divorce led me to where I am now. I can see the growth and changes in direction I made because of them. It’s these changes that have created the beautiful life I live now.

This insight probably helps me the most whenever a new challenge presents itself. It helps me trust in the process of life.

Always remind yourself that, however miserable your current circumstances are, there is a gift in it. You will notice it when you are ready. Trust that all is unfolding with perfect timing.

Final Thoughts

Those feelings of helplessness and hopelessness will begin to dissipate in time. You have done nothing to deserve what you are feeling, and your life isn’t over; it is really just beginning.

Start the reflection process.

It’s easy to think about what we don’t want when in pain, but we rarely think about what we want instead. We extend our negative feelings by holding onto that which has already passed, and thinking we never want to feel like this again just makes us feel it more.

Begin to move your attention forward. Decide what’s important to you and what you really want from life now. Decide how you want to feel. It will change your life.

More Tips to Get Through Tough Times

Featured photo credit: Analise Benevides via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Deb Johnstone

Deb is a professional mindset speaker and a transformational life, business and career coach. Specialising in NLP and dynamic mindset.

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Critical (And How to Strike a Balance)

The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Critical (And How to Strike a Balance)

It is easy to hear the term “self-critical” and be immediately put off. After all, it’s difficult to be our own critics. However, utilizing self-criticism means taking a more self-aware path to ensure that you aren’t overlooking any possible areas of self-improvement.

Self-criticism affects your self-esteem and can be a useful tool to identify patterns of weakness that you can look to eradicate by adapting your behavior.

Self-Criticism Vs Self-Deprecation

In exploring the idea of self-criticism, one has to first consider what it means for the individual. It’s important to remember that there is a significant difference between being self-critical and being self-deprecating.

Self-deprecation is the act of putting oneself down, sometimes in an attempt to be humorous, but oftentimes out of a place of doubt and insecurity[1].

Self-deprecation erodes one’s confidence. It isn’t something to use lightly, as your own self-talk will play a part in defining your existence and how you are perceived, and, more importantly, in how you perceive yourself.

At the same time, you can’t take yourself so seriously that you are unable to make light of your mistakes as you pursue self-improvement. There is, of course, a balance to be struck, and both self-criticism and self-deprecation can be utilized in moderation.

Learning the difference between the two is the key to pursuing a productive life that will allow your successes to compound and your failures to be reduced. While self-deprecation can highlight flaws in your approach to life, self-criticism is more concerned with addressing those flaws and then acting to correct them.

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Self-Criticism: A Roadmap for Positive Change

Self-evaluation as a tool can open your eyes to the problematic behaviors that are derailing your goals. By identifying those behaviors, you can identify the steps to become the best version of yourself.

“Your thoughts affect how you feel and how you behave. The way you think has the power to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.” -Amy Morin[2]

This idea underlines the importance of not allowing self-criticism to blur into the realm of self-deprecating behavior. That will only work against you as you are attempting to constructively analyze your own behavior.

Auditing is necessary and good. Look at industries across the board and you will find that the most successful companies, people, and products have worked hard to refine their final output. Auditing your life, schedule, clients, contacts, and more will help you to identify the good from the bad.

If you don’t look back on what you’ve done and allow yourself to be self-critical of the areas that created more problems and less results, how will you learn how to avoid those missteps in your future endeavors?

Auditing with critical thoughts will allow you to build your own map to success by targeting behaviors that are ineffective in your pursuit of goals, and it will help you realize the changes that need to take place in order to correct for those inefficiencies.

The Pros of Being Self-Critical

Self-Criticism Opens Your Eyes to Areas of Improvement

In life, you ought to be your biggest fan and instill the confidence in yourself to show the world that you are worthy of the life that you’ve achieved up until now.

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At the same time, however, you need to have the self-awareness to understand that you can feel like a million bucks while still having room for improvement. Learn to be self-critical enough to increase your overall success in the pursuit of your goals.

You can check out this TED Talk with Tasha Eurich to learn more on how to improve your self-awareness:

We all need to look in the mirror at times and work to identify the deficiencies in our own behavior in order to find room for improvement. So many people live their lives in a manner that allows no room for self-reflection and thus are missing out on key opportunities.

For example, many people complain about not having the money to save for retirement, but instead of working to identify a solution, they assume that it cannot be fixed. Some of those individuals might find that if they challenge themselves and open themselves up to criticism, they may find the source of their problem.

Perhaps they don’t have a proper budget in place and are spending more money than they bring in on a week-to-week basis. Being self-critical would help them realize this.

I’d argue that if we all spent more energy evaluating our place in life, how we got there, and where we want to go, it would clear up what is missing from the equation.

Self-Criticism Allows You to Realize Your Potential

By working to analyze your own behaviors and identify areas that need to be improved upon, you will be able to better strive to reach your full potential in life and unlock success.

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Being self-critical will help you to go from where you are now to where you want to be, and it will increase your self-awareness. There are so many positives to be gained by adopting a self-critical attitude.

Read more about self-improvement: 42 Practical Ways to Improve Yourself

The Cons of Being Self-Critical

Self-Criticism Can Overemphasize Negatives

The problems that could arise if one is overly self-critical are not always clear, but there are a few issues that can pop up if you start being too hard on yourself.

If you are self-critical too often and don’t allow space in your own audit of yourself for praise, celebration, and reassurance in your victories, then you may be on a path of negative self-talk and perhaps even depression.

If you are constantly looking for what is wrong with your actions or pursuits while failing to see what you are doing right, then you aren’t utilizing self-criticism properly. While the line is thin, there is definitely a difference between appropriate, foundation-building self-criticism, and over-zealous, confidence-eroding self-deprecation.

Self-Criticism Can Lead to Negative Distortions of Yourself

One struggle I often see in individuals is with their own perception of self. If you have been raised to believe that you are a failure, for example, then you may not have a healthy expectation of yourself.

By being overly self-critical, you might be distorting your own self-image. The key here lies in utilizing the device of self-criticism correctly, which many people often do not do.

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If utilized properly, self-criticism can be a fantastic tool, but if used incorrectly, it can have devastating effects on your own self-worth and confidence.

Final Thoughts

When used properly, self-criticism can be a tool for success.

We must work hard to ensure that we are in fact exercising a constructive analysis of our own behavior and not falling into self-deprecation.

Unfortunately, it seems as though many view the idea of being self-critical with a negative connotation. However, it can be an extremely positive and fruitful exercise if pursued with the right mindset.

It helps tremendously when you have a community of friends and family who also help to uplift you and encourage you as you are pursuing your dreams in life.

In evaluating your own situation and in attempting to constructively self-criticize, you should also take a look at the people you surround yourself with to try and better understand if those individuals are helping you in your aspirations or if they are holding you back as you work to better yourself.

“We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn[3]

If you work to adopt a healthy version of self-criticism and avoid allowing it to delve into self-deprecation or self-doubt, then it will serve you well as a tool to lend support to your goals and aspirations.

More Tips About Building Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Elijah O’Donnell via unsplash.com

Reference

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