“Nothing is worth losing your inner peace. Take action as circumstances require, but never surrender your inner peace. Stop. Breathe deeply. Close your eyes and breathe deeply again. Then, and only then, take action – from a peaceful heart”Jonathan Lockwood Huie
None of us is guaranteed a life free of challenges and difficulties. Borrowing from the Bible, we all go through 7 years of struggle followed by 7 years of abundance at some point in our lives.
Either way, success and abundance should not be the reason for losing yourself and stray from your higher values due to external pressures. Neither should the hardships you experience become uppermost in your mind to a point where they take the driving seat of your life.
Many people lose sleepless nights because of work overloads, toxic work environments, toxic relationships, financial challenges and due to myriad of human difficulties. You should not become a victim of circumstances and fall prey to the manipulation of others or suffer due to the insecurities projected unto you.
You need to acknowledge that you can only be defeated if you allow yourself to be defeated. Even amid great life challenges where it feels and seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, you should stand up and claim your inner peace.
I am not for a moment suggesting that it will be easy.
I have found myself in the depth of the valley following the end of a 15-year marriage, financial difficulties and losing my mother in the same year however my mental fortitude pulled me through to realise that I deserve inner peace no matter the circumstances.
I came to realise that gaining inner peace comes with simple actions.
Most people struggle with this because they have been subjected to terrible hardships to a point where they believe that regaining inner peace should come through complex and arduous activities.
In the words of Pema Chodron, “inner peace starts the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotion”
These may seem simple; however, they are the key to restoring your inner peace:
- Mental shift: You need torecognise that staying in the valley does not serve you. It can only worsen your health and steal your joy. You need to make a mental shift and realise that you are not your circumstances but the person who is experiencing or have experienced the circumstances.
- Counter negative thoughts: This requires a high level of mental alertness to catch yourself when swamped with negative thoughts and reframe them into positive ones. Thoughts have power and you should not take lightly what you allow in your mind. If you always believe that your problems are bigger than you, they will indeed be magnified.
- Speak out: You might think that your hardships are safe bottled in. You will suffer in silence while they grow into cancer eating away at you. You do not have to broadcast your challenges to the world. Find a trusted friend you can share your deeper feelings with and if need be, seek professional help.
- Use positive affirmations: You are the best-positioned person to declare some statements or propositions true to yourself. Put more energy and emotion into the words and believe what you say. One of my favourite affirmations is that “I am equal to the hardships before me and I always surmount them”. Come up with your own and believe what you say.
- Empty the trunk: In his book, 64 lessons for a life without limits TD Jakes says, “In order to move forward in life, you have to let go of old things and habits that no longer serve you. You have to clean the junk out of your trunk. That is the only way to clear space for the new things you desire in your life”. This will help you to ensure that you are not caught in the vortex of bad habits or end up being drawn into relationships that end up in the same drama.
- Practice silence: It is ok to switch off the laptop or the mobile phone and to put work away. It was in 2014 flying from another city when I decided that I will never take work home unless if the business was burning. No business burned since that day. In the last two to three months, I have taken a deliberate effort of setting aside 15 to 30 minutes daily, just lying down and doing nothing. This disassociation from the world brings quiet to the mind.
- Renew the mind: I was hectic in terms of listening to the news and radio talk shows. Most are filled with negative news and people expressing their frustrations without providing solutions to the challenges at hand. I suggest that you replace these with audiobooks and inspirational messages to restore your inner peace.
- Connect with your faith: Sometimes we are caught in trying to solve every challenge that we encounter. Whatever your faith is, lean on it and it will take you through. I personally connect with God for inner peace through prayer and the results are remarkable.
You deserve inner peace and let no one or event take that away from you.
If you are intrigued by the idea of achieving extraordinary results in your life, I invite you to explore coaching with one of our coaches. Drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tex Hlalele is a Life & Business Coach, Consultant, Speaker and Author of the book Face the person in the mirror. Book Tex for coaching and speaking engagements to help you and your team gain insights and possibilities for individual learning and organizational advancement. Get in touch by sending an email on email@example.com.
If you found value in this article, please be so kind as to share with those close to you.