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I know what it’s like to struggle. Most of my life has been a struggle between chasing money, fighting mental illness, feeling unwell, talking down to myself and acting like a pretentious knob towards other people.
We’re all going to struggle at some point. That job loss is going to stab you in the heart; that partner you thought loved you is going to cheat on you; that friend you thought had your back will be nowhere in sight during your darkest hour; you’ll battle the human condition through health challenges; that company you start is going to self-implode.
There are so many reasons you will struggle.
Don’t wait for the universe
The universe is not going to combine good timing with a free gift and get you out of this struggle. There are no free handouts when you struggle.
It’s up to you to do something about this current state of flux and pick yourself back off the ground, wipe the dirt of yourself and say, “No more, that’s it, I’m done!”
The universe ain’t coming to save you, so you might as well save yourself.
Go easy on yourself
I know you’re struggling, but you’re doing the best you can. When I battled mental illness, I wanted to tell myself that I was stupid and born a failed product on the manufacturing line of life.
I blamed myself. That’s the worst thing you can do.
Give yourself a huge break. Take a load off or go to a place you have never been to before. Talking to yourself with a harsh tone of voice is only going to make you feel like crap and cause this struggle to last longer than it needs to in order for you to learn the lesson: you will make it through so be kind to yourself.
Help someone get what they want
Let us go into solution mode for a second. What’s one strategy that can help you overcome this struggle today, not tomorrow?
If you’re struggling, try this: help a stranger get what they want.
When you do something for another human being, you allow yourself relief from the struggle. Helping someone is the headache tablet for struggle.
When I struggle, I go into my dark room and type out as many articles as humanly possible that might help someone in the same situation. My way of helping is through writing. The opportunity you have is to find your way of helping.
Struggles are mostly selfish. Go beyond yourself and you’ll transcend the struggle.
Go through it
Circling around your struggle in an infinite loop is not going to help you find a way around. The only way is through the middle.
When you go through your struggle, you make it to the other side. On the other side of struggle is a giant lesson that you couldn’t see before and you now have the gift of seeing through hindsight, thanks to your friend struggle.
We want the struggle to end when the answer is to go through and become a better person in the process.
When you go through struggle, you shed your entitlement and ungratefulness that you collect through life. Struggle makes you humble.
Commit a little drastic action
If you feel like you’ve tried everything, maybe you want to take a drastic approach. Do something wild.
When I was completely pissed off with mental illness and had enough, I got on a plane — which was one of my biggest fears in life — and went to an event that changed my life. At that event, I got a different perspective and got some ideas that I would never have found hiding in the recommended and predictable list of my Youtube newsfeed full of safe videos that validated my struggle and its existence.
Drastic action is a strategy that will show you an alternative. It takes courage and heart to do something you’ve never done before that scares the shit out of you and changes your life in the process.
You deserve to live again and drastic action can help you do that.
Look at how far you’ve come
Struggle sucks, but you’ve come so far.
Today might not be great, and I’ve been there. Look at the journey not just today’s pit stop. Who you were five years ago is totally different from today. Maybe you have progressed or maybe you have gone backwards.
The only direction from here is straight ahead. Making a wrong turn or going back is just what you need. It tells you what you don’t want so you can find what you do want.
Every day is part of the process. Take a moment to appreciate where you are.
Unite with others
There are other people who have gone through the exact same struggle. Connect with them. Learn what they did.
Even if you can’t meet them or talk to them, you can live through their eyes if they have content or stories that exist on the internet for you to learn from.
Struggle is worse when you endure it alone. Knowing you’re not alone gives you hope and that’s a powerful drug during this time.
It’s okay to talk about it
Ask for help or at least talk about it. Otherwise, you live trapped in your head in a jail cell that has no key.
Talking releases your thoughts and allows you to hear them out loud so you can see some of the lies you’re telling yourself.
Asking for help doesn’t make you weak and it’s how you live with yourself during a difficult time.
You’ll be surprised how kind other people can be to you. Why? They are part of the same species as you and they’ll see a little bit of themselves in your struggle.
Repeat these words out loud:
“Struggle is part of the process.”
“Struggle is temporary.”
“We’re stronger together.”
“Struggle will redefine me and make me the person I’ve always wanted to become.”
Take the cliche phrase “change your life” and understand that it’s 100% possible for you to do. Drop the blame and take up the game of responsibility. Own the struggle and write out a plan about what you’re going to do about it.
Be wild with your list (you can always go back and edit it, but you won’t).
Write down at least ten things that you can do to push through this struggle and change what is happening right now. Life is happening for you not to you. It hurts to be let down or to fail badly — I get it.
Now all we can do is take the action to move forward.
When you overcome this struggle, there will be another one. This process of struggle doesn’t end. All you do is get better each time you go through it.
If you’re struggling, you will get through this. Try helping someone get what they want first and that will give you the insight you need.