“No matter how long the night, the day is sure to rise” – African Proverb
Life is never a straight line between two points. This is critical to understand because some people make plans assuming that it will be all plain sailing. We hardly put in plans to mitigate the harsh and difficult times in life. Some challenges are easier to plan for, like putting an emergency fund but even that requires discipline. Others such as death and divorce are not easy to face and deal with.
When you think you have it all covered, storms of life hit and you find yourself down, deep inside the valley. You might think that you have the best of everything, but when it rains it pours. You may find yourself left with almost nothing. Most of the times when this happens, it feels like there’s no end in sight.
During the course of last year, my mother passed on, I was divorced and, in the process, I was rejected by the people I care most about. My business was going through the challenges that start-ups go through. It felt like the earth can open for me to disappear forever.
Your challenges might be different from mine:
- You might be subjected to horrible treatment by a toxic boss to a point of depression.
- Your finances might be in shambles and you are not able to breathe.
- Your children might be hooked on drugs and you are blaming yourself as a poor parent.
- Your teenage daughter might be pregnant and you might see that as a reflection of your parenting skills.
- Your business proposals are rejected and you start to doubt yourself.
The list is endless!
When this happens, it feels like the coldest winter, the nights are too long. It feels like the world is against you and that you are the only one in a pit. It is easy to lose focus and give up on your dreams.
Let me share some tips of how I went through my ordeal. I do not promise you plain sailing through these storms of life. Let me assure you, stick to the process with its ups and downs, no matter how dark and long the night is, the day will ultimately rise:
- Remind yourself of your purpose: If you haven’t discovered your purpose, this might be very difficult. You need a reason bigger than yourself to look forward to. Draw on your value system, maximise your purpose and not your problems. In my case, reaching out to you through this blog was my main drive. Down as I was, I pulled myself up to impact someone positively out there.
- Own up: We can easily gravitate towards the negative when faced with these circumstances. We feel pity for ourselves and spend time trying to find out why us. Own up, acknowledge that this is the challenge you are facing and look forward to a better day. There should be no going back!
- Journal: Let it become a daily practise to write down 3 – 5 things you appreciate in you and others. This will help you to separate the negative from the positive. You will realize that not everyone and everything is bad.
- Connect with a force greater than you: For me, God is the centre of my life. I don’t know about you, make a call.
Remember the following words (Author Unknown):
When life pushes you down, push back!
That is what you are here for.
You’re capable, you’re creative,
You’re full of life and energy.
You have what it takes to move yourself forward
around any obstacle.
Don’t let anything stop you.
Take strength from meeting the challenges,
and move ahead.
The struggles you face are just what you need
to fulfil your potential for greatness.
A year from now, when you look back at today,
you’ll see that the problem you’re so concerned with right now,
was another valuable lesson waiting to be learned.
Tex Hlalele is a Personal Mastery, Leadership & Organisational Effectiveness Specialist. Book Tex to help you and your team gain insights and possibilities for individual learning and organizational advancement on +2764 656 6174 or visit http://www.dreamsmadepossible.co.za/contact.html. He is the author of the book, Face the person in the mirror.